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High Sierra

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ida Lupino, Humphrey Bogart, Alan Curtis, Arthur Kennedy, Joan Leslie
  • Directors: Raoul Walsh
  • Writers: John Huston, W.R. Burnett
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Home Video
  • Release Date: Oct. 3 2006
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GIXLV6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #59,027 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

This 1941 melodrama is memorable for both its strong central performances and their intimations of how the previous decade's crime dramas would evolve into film noir--no accident, given the solid direction of veteran Raoul Walsh and the hand of screenwriter John Huston, who teamed with the author of its novelistic source, W.R. Burnett (Little Caesar). In the central character of Roy "Mad Dog" Earle, a fictional peer to John Dillinger, Humphrey Bogart finds a defining role that anticipates the underlying fatalism and moral ambiguity visible in the career-making roles soon to follow, including Sam Spade in Huston's directorial debut, The Maltese Falcon.

Earle suggests a prescient variation on the enraged sociopaths that were fixtures of the gangster melodramas that shaped Bogart's early screen image. Pardoned from a long prison stretch, the weary robber is clearly more eager to savor his new freedom than immediately swing back into action. But his early release has been engineered by a mobster who wants Earle to pull off a high-stakes burglary, setting in motion a plot that is a prototype for doomed-heist capers--a small, yet potent subgenre that would later include Huston's The Asphalt Jungle and Stanley Kubrick's The Killing.

What gives High Sierra its power, however, isn't the crime itself but Earle's collision with the younger, brasher confederates picked to help him, and the hard-edged but vulnerable taxi dancer they're competing for, played forcefully by Ida Lupino, who actually received top billing. Her attraction to the reluctant Earle is complicated by a convoluted subplot designed to showcase then starlet Joan Leslie, but the movie finally moves into its most gripping moments when the wounded Earle, pursued by police, flees ever higher toward the mountains. His final, suicidal showdown would become a cliché of sorts in lesser films, but here it provides a wrenching climax sealed by Lupino's vivid final scene. --Sam Sutherland

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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By Robert Badgley TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 12 2009
Format: DVD
"High Sierra" released in January of 1941,gives us Bogart after having climbed that acting mountain for many years,just in hairs reach of the peak of super stardom.A classy tale of a heist gone wrong with lots of action and good acting throughout.
The story concerns one Roy Earle,a criminal who is sprung out of the pen by his old boss Big Mac(Don McBride).He has one last big job for him and wants him to take charge of a group of characters,none of which Roy really trusts.On the way out he meets up with a kindly family led by Pa(Henry Travers)and his granddaughter Velma(Joan Leslie).Roy falls for the granddaughter whom he later helps out by giving the funds necessary to correct her clubbed foot.But Roy's love in the end is unrequited and in the end chalks his good deed up to experience.
He reaches a camp where the "gang" are holed up waiting for the job to begin.One of the two men Babe(Alan Curtis) has brought along a girlfriend by the name of Marie(Ida Lupino),whom he periodically roughs up,much to the chagrin of Roy.After one such incident Roy gets rough with Babe and puts him in his place.Roy has wanted Marie to leave but in the end recants and Marie starts to fall for him.
Roy finally meets up with Big Mac who is in serious trouble,health wise.Big Mac gives Roy a letter to be opened if anything should happen to him.The day of the big job finally comes and Roy and company rob the safe of a very up-scale hotel.The front desk clerk Mendosa(Cornel Wilde) is their inside man who leaves the safe purposely unlocked.The job is taking a little longer than expected when a security guard making his rounds stumbles in on the heist and gets shot by Roy.While fleeing in seperate cars,Roy and Marie witness their three partners accidentally run off the road and seemingly killed.
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Format: DVD
"High Sierra" is the story of an convict who is makes parol only to find himself thrown back into the hopper of organized crime. Bogie is the bad guy, tough as nails and raw as meat in a butcher's window. He's got a soft side though, and in this movie it's for Ida Lupino - a largely forgotten but extremely talented actress who's hooked up with two small time operators who are planning a hotel robbery job in the Sierra mountains. Great action and suspense!
TRANSFER: VERY NICE! Warner's usual sterling quality is at work here. The credit sequence is a bit rough and there is a bit of instability in the original camera negative but over all this is one fine looking transfer. The gray scale is impeccably rendered. Blacks are black. Contrast and shadows are well balanced. There appears to be very little in the way of age related artifacts. There are NO signs of digital compression. The audio is MONO but nicely rendered.
EXTRAS: A featurette that manages to cover a lot of ground in a very short time and provides a succinct look at the film's backstory.
BOTTOM LINE: This Bogart classic is an absolute must for anyone who appreciates great performances and wonderful story telling. Ah yes, I remember why it is that I fell in love with the movies!
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Format: VHS Tape
In HIGH SIERRA Humphrey Bogart plays professional criminal Roy Earle who is pardoned from prison because of the influence of a crime boss named Big Mac. Bogart is paid advance money to report to Big Mac in California. Mac is planning to use him to lead a small gang in pulling off a jewelry robbery at a swank resort hotel.
En route to California Bogart helps a distressed family he meets at the scene of a minor traffic accident. He is attracted to the granddaughter who is played by Joan Leslie. She has a deformed foot which Bogart arranges to have fixed by a surgeon in California. When he arrives at the hideout he finds two cheap crooks and a dance hall girl waiting for him. One of the hotel employees is also involved in the robbery scheme.
The suspense builds rapidly from this point on as we await the outcome of both the holdup and also the romances which are developing simultaneously between Bogart and the two women.
Ida Lupino gives a stellar performance as the former dance hall girl whose love for Bogart isn't really appreciated until it may be too late.
Bogart and Lupino are at their best in this film. A Strong supporting cast includes Arthur Kennedy, Alan Curtis, Henry Hull, Henry Travis, Jerome Cowan and Cornell Wilde. There is also a small dog in the cast who will win your admiration and break your heart. Raoul Walsh is known for his direction of many other fine movies including ROARING TWENTIES and THE STRAWBERRY BLONDE.
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Format: VHS Tape
At the close of "High Sierra" Ida Lupino exhibits a look of serenity as she exclaims the word "free!" It symbolizes her feelings over the death of the man she loved, Humphrey Bogart, in Raoul Walsh's gripping gangster drama.
Bogart is trapped in a life not of his own ultimate making in a society that is rapidly changing. The wily old gangland doctor who treats him when he is wounded after a gun battle with former policeman and more recent mob operative Barton MacLane constantly reminds him of his temporary status as an old line bank robber living in a swiftly perishing world.
At the film's beginning we see that Bogart, who is serving a life term for armed robbery, is sprung through a pardon from the governor, a result set in motion by mob operatives greasing the wheels of political operatives. He is controlled lock, stock and barrel by the mob and is immediately instructed to travel to California to preside over a robbery of a luxury hotel in the High Sierras where wealthy people go and women store their jewelry in a safe.
As a hard-bitten professional Bogart immediately becomes involved with amateurs. Arthur Kennedy and Alan Curtis are two young, inexperienced hotheads under his command. Cornell Wilde plays a highly fearful desk clerk at the hotel who has agreed to cooperate with Bogart and his gang, but who is highly fearful, prompting skepticism by Bogart that he will collapse when the going gets tough.
Bogart's skepticism toward Wilde proves justified after he is apprehended following the holdup. Kennedy and Curtis, in a rattled state, traveling in a separate vehicle from Bogart and Lupino, are involved in an accident and die.
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