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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Directed by Raoul Walsh
Witty dialogue, great on-location direction by Raoul Walsh, a cute dog, and a climactic car chase that wouldn't be equaled until "Bullitt" (1968) with Steve McQueen, are just some of this films other virtues, plus a great cast of actors lead and supporting.
Special footnote, Incidentally, a lot of people have mistakenly thought that Pard was played by the same dog that played Toto in "The Wizard of Oz," but in fact it was Bogart's own pet, Zero. Hopefully the star negotiated a decent contract for his mutt.
This film made Humphrey Bogart a major star while creating what can be called the birth of American film noir. If it's not in your film collection it should be. Roy Earle was a new type of character -- the truly romantic criminal. Bogart would play variations on Earle throughout his career, though he rarely exceeded his triumph here. Giving much of the credit to Bogie's acting, some more credit must be extended to the screenwriter, John Huston. "High Sierra" was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Haunting score by composer Adolph Deutsch.
Bogart's interpretation already showed signs of the special qualities that were to become an important part of his mystique in a few more films. As a film, "High Sierra" has other notable qualities, particularly Ida Lupino's strong and moving performance as Marie, the girl who brings out Roy Earle's more human emotions.
Many fine moments with Bogey -- including a memorable speech within his cabin hideout. This is one of the best portraits of a desperate outlaw in film history.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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!
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Produit défectueux ou du moins illisible ici, car on y voit que du gris à l'écran. Read morePublished on April 16 2013 by Jean Malouin
This was the first of the George Raft reject parts that transformed Humphrey Bogart from James Cagney's second banana into...Bogart. Read morePublished on July 9 2004
High Sierra (1941) is considered by most to be Humphrey Bogart's first real, breakout role, playing a part that wasn't initially offered to him. Read morePublished on April 1 2004 by cookieman108
The callous Roy Earl (Humphrey Bogart), a skilled robber, is pardoned and released back into society from being locked up in a prison. Read morePublished on March 11 2004 by Swederunner
One of the old films that when we start watching it, we know how it will turn out-making it sad and a bit predictable, in a funny way. Read morePublished on Dec 12 2003
Bogart fans rejoiced when High Sierra was finally released on DVD. Bogart plays Roy Earle, freed from prison for the sole purpose of getting "that last big score". Read morePublished on Nov. 18 2003 by Keith Garlington
At the close of "High Sierra" Ida Lupino exhibits a look of serenity as she exclaims the word "free! Read morePublished on Jan. 31 2002 by William Hare
The movie starts by showing how a lifer convict can be pardoned to allow him to continue crime in another state, but provides no other details. Read morePublished on Jan. 28 2002 by Acute Observer