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||IMDB Rating: 7.6/10 from 10,810 votes
||Release: 25 January 1941 (USA) /
||Genre: Adventure, Crime, Drama, Thriller
||Director: Raoul Walsh,
||Stars: Alan Curtis, Arthur Kennedy, Barton MacLane, Cornel Wilde, Donald MacBride, Elisabeth Risdon, Henry Hull, Henry Travers, Humphrey Bogart, Ida Lupino, Isabel Jewell, Jerome Cowan, Joan Leslie, Minna Gombell, Paul Harvey
||Synopsis: Roy 'Mad Dog' Earle is broken out of prison by an old associate who wants him to help with an upcoming robbery. When the robbery goes wrong and a man is shot and killed Earle is forced to go on the run, and with the police and an angry press hot on his tail he eventually takes refuge among the peaks of the Sierra Nevadas, where a tense siege ensues. But will the Police make him regret the attachments he formed with two women during the brief planning of the robbery. Written by Mark Thompson <[email protected]>
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*High Sierra* is almost excruciatingly important in the development of
cinema, laying to bed the "gangster picture" of the 1930's while
simultaneously giving birth to American film noir. Oh, and it made Humphrey
Bogart a major star while it was at it. Therefore, I'm not entirely sure
that your film collection, if you have one, can survive without
Based on a pulpy novel, it chronicles the story of Roy Earle, sprung from a
life sentence in prison so that he can knock over a casino along the
California-Nevada border. It's easy to miss, but notice the first minute of
this picture closely: it's of course the Governor -- bought off by a
mobster -- who gets Roy released from his life sentence, indicating that the
corruption has finely infested the top of the social order. This is the
usual tough-minded, whistle-blowing gangster-picture stuff that Warner Bros.
specialized in. But there's also something else at work here, perhaps
something new: one gets the sense that what happens to Roy in this movie
has been engineered from On High, in advance . . . in other words, he's in
the Jaws of Fate. And thus we're in the unforgiving world of Film
More than the opening scene, it's Bogart who almost single-handedly invents
film noir with his groundbreaking work in *High Sierra*. Not cocky like
Cagney and Muni, not psychopathic like the early Edward G. Robinson, not as
smooth as Raft, Bogart is a ruthless professional with a wide stripe of
sentimentality. His Roy never shirks from killing, but he doesn't get off
on it. He's more a rebel than a gangster, a poetic soul denied
respectability, a man longing for the innocence of his youth.
Unfortunately, he thinks he finds in the personage of a transplanted Okie
farm-girl (Joan Leslie) a reasonable facsimile of that innocence.
Competing for his affections is Ida Lupino, a sour "dime-a-dance girl"
who's been up, down, and around the block a time or three. She's the
baggage that comes with the two new-generation hoods whom Bogart is assigned
to babysit for the casino heist. Not until later in the picture does Bogart
recognize Lupino's better suitability to his own temperament and experience.
(They share in common, among other things, suicidal impulses, a desire to
escape a corrupted world.)
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. And while I've given the actor much of
the credit, some more credit must be extended to the screenwriter, John
Huston. *High Sierra* was the beginning of a beautiful
Oh, and did I mention that the movie -- aside from its importance in
American film history, yadda yadda -- is quite simply a good time? Witty
dialogue, great on-location direction by Raoul Walsh, a cute dog, and a
climactic car chase that wouldn't be equaled until 1968's *Bullitt*, are
just some of this movie's other virtues.
Tags for High Sierra Full Movie
, Arthur Kennedy
, Barton MacLane
, Cornel Wilde
, Donald MacBride
, Elisabeth Risdon
, Henry Hull
, Henry Travers
, Humphrey Bogart
, Ida Lupino
, Isabel Jewell
, Jerome Cowan
, Joan Leslie
, Minna Gombell
, Paul Harvey
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