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High Sierra

   

High Sierra (1941) starring Humphrey Bogart, Ida Lupino

High Sierra stars Humphrey Bogart as a self-destructive ex-con. He’s “just rushing toward death” after an attempted heist of a luxury resort n California goes wrong. A woman complicates his flight from the law.


Review

High Sierra – Murphy’s law says that anything that can go wrong, will. And that’s extremely true in this heist film. “One final heist”, and then Roy Earle can retire. And he has plans for his retirement that include Velma, a young lady whose surgery he’s paid for. He expects her to return his affection — but she doesn’t. She’s grateful, but in love with a young man her own age. But part of his gang, Marie, is willing to fill that spot. She has a crush on Roy, but he doesn’t return her affection — at first.

And the actual heist goes wrong. And one thing cascades into another. And soon Roy’s on the run, trying to hide in the mountains, to evade the police.

Product Description 

Marking the moment when the gritty gangster sagas of the 1930s began giving way to the romantic fatalism of 1940s film noir, High Sierra also contains the star-making performance of Humphrey Bogart, who, alongside top-billed Ida Lupino, proved his leading-man mettle with his tough yet tender turn as Roy Earle. A career criminal plagued by his checkered past, Earle longs for a simpler life, but after getting sprung on parole, he falls in with a band of thieves for one last heist in the Sierra Nevada.

Directed with characteristic punch by Raoul Walsh—who makes the most of the vertiginous mountain location—Roy and Lupino’s Marie, a fellow outcast also desperate to escape her past, hurtle inexorably toward an unforgettable cliffside climax and a rendezvous with destiny.

Humphrey Bogart’s star-making breakthrough performance 

Marking the moment when the gritty gangster sagas of the 1930s began giving way to the romantic fatalism of 1940s film noir, High Sierra also contains the star-making performance of Humphrey Bogart, who, alongside top-billed Ida Lupino, proved his leading-man mettle with his tough yet tender turn as Roy Earle. A career criminal plagued by his checkered past, Earle longs for a simpler life, but after getting sprung on parole, he falls in with a band of thieves for one last heist in the Sierra Nevada. Directed with characteristic punch by Raoul Walsh—who makes the most of the vertiginous mountain location—Roy and Lupino’s Marie, a fellow outcast also desperate to escape her past, hurtle inexorably toward an unforgettable cliffside climax and a rendezvous with destiny. 

Cast of characters

  • Ida Lupino (Moontide, Dance, Girl, Dance) … Marie Garson. Babe’s lovely girlfriend, a dance hall girl, who transfers her affection to Roy. Like Roy, she’s desperate to outrun her past.
  • Humphrey Bogart (Casablanca, Sabrina) … “Mad Dog” Roy Earle. The career criminal, who wants to get out of his life of crime. After “one last job”, of course. Which goes horribly wrong.
  • Alan Curtis (Phantom Lady, New Wine) … ‘Babe’ Kozak. Part of the robbery gang. He’s brought his girlfriend Marie along to their hideout.
  • Arthur Kennedy (Barabus, Lawrence of Arabia) … ‘Red’ Hattery. The other member of the gang who, along with Babe, dies in a car accident after the heist goes wrong.
  • Joan Leslie (Sergeant York, Born to Be Bad) … Velma. Pa and Ma’s young granddaughter, whom Roy has a crush on. But she doesn’t return his affection.
  • Henry Hull (Werewolf of London, The Fountainhead) … ‘Doc’ Banton. The doctor, who performs surgery to fix Velma’s club foot.
  • Henry Travers (The Invisible Man, It’s a Wonderful Life) … Pa. Velma’s kindly grandfather. He’s both grateful to Roy, and genuinely likes him.
  • Jerome Cowan (Shall We Dance, Miracle on 34th Street) … Healy.
  • Minna Gombell (The Thin Man, Block-Heads) … Mrs. Baughmam
  • Barton MacLane (The Big Street, The Mummy’s Ghost) … Jake Kranmer. The former cop – a very dishonest man, who tries to take over after Big Mac’s death.
  • Elisabeth Risdon (Five Came Back, Cowboy From Brooklyn) … Ma. Velma’s grandmother.
  • Cornel Wilde (The Greatest Show on Earth, Road House) … Louis Mendoza. The inside man working at the hotel. He’s captured by the police when the heist goes wrong.
  • Donald MacBride (Buck Privates Come Home, Room Service) … Big Mac. The aged gangster, who wants Roy to lead a robbery at a fashionable California resort hotel. He’s bribed the governor to release Roy for that very reason.

Secondary characters

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