The engine of film noir isnt lust or greed, as primal as those impulses are. Its guilt. And not the weak-tea stuff they serve in Catholic school, but a soul-gnawing, whiskey-craving amalgam of remorse, regret, and retribution. Ask wronged man Vincent Parry, who sneaks out of San Quentin to find the lowlife who framed him for the murder of his wife. But every move the erstwhile hero of Dark Passage makes puts another person in jeopardy of either his fists, the real killer, or the cops. Delmer Daves 1947 adaptation of David Goodis corkscrew-clever novel is the quintessential S.F. noir, with Lauren Bacall as the not-so-innocent dame with a Telegraph Hill hideout, and Humphrey Bogart as a rather ordinary fellow whos always a step behind even with the advantage of a new face, courtesy of a late-night surgeon. Along with the customary newsreel and cartoon, this years outdoor Film in the Fog show includes a set by local faves Grass Widow. Its never too early, were convinced, to introduce the little ones to the ultimate noir value: cynicism. The real crime is that San Francisco is the only place where noir is considered family entertainment.
Sat., Oct. 1, 5:30 p.m., 2011