I looked at this cast and thought,this should be good. Wrong. I keep forgetting a cast is only as good as its writer .
You might ask, what could go wrong when you have Virginia Mayo, Zachary Scott,Dorothy Malone,Elisha Cook Jr, Douglas Kennedy,Tom D’Andrea,Douglas Fowley. Even a one line summary of the plot sounds good – Virginia Mayo as a double crossing floozy who frames lawyer Zachary Scott for murder after he gets mixed up with mobster,Douglas Kennedy.
But oh, the script needed so much more to do all that talent justice.
Playing the title role, Virginia disappears for about half an hour of the film, whereas Zachary is in practically every scene.
Tom D’Andrea has about two scenes as an old friend of Scott’s.
Elisha Cook has a slightly bigger role,though all he does is run after Scott,trying to kill him.
Douglas Fowley also has about two scenes as the cop after Scott.
Dorothy Malone (who is a stranger to Scott) does a Lauren Bacall and rescues Scott when he’s on the run . But at least Lauren’s character in DARK PASSAGE had some reason to believe in the Bogart character. In Flaxy Martin, Dorothy simply says, “I know what it is to run away “( though we never learn from what ).
I laughed when Cook has Scott and Malone tied up and is digging a hole to bury them in. Dorothy,in a calm voice, says, “I’ve always had a dread of being buried.”
DARK PASSAGE it isn’t. What a mis-fire.