- Language: English
- Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B0000B1OGA
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 305,554 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
High Sierra [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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This 1941 melodrama is memorable both for 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, WR 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 (1941).
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 savour 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 sub-genre that would later include Huston's The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and Stanley Kubrick's The Killing (1956).
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 sub-plot 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 clich&éacute; 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 alternate DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The film follows the fortunes of gangster Roy "Mad Dog" Earle, who seems to be loosely based on John Dillinger who is mentioned in the film. Earle following his release from prison at the start of the film goes straight back to his old ways, and is immediately involved in planning a hotel robbery with a couple of young thugs and their moll. But things aren't like the old days, and the new breed of gangsters can't be trusted. Things start to go wrong early on. Earle has already spent time in prison and he doesn't intend going back. We head to a spectacular finale, where the forces of law and order close in on the last gangster on the slopes of spectacular Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the USA. Much in the same way as James Cagney did in "White Heat"(48), Earle refuses to go quietly.
The film is based on the book of the same title by W R Burnett, who also wrote the screenplays for "Little Caesar" and "Scarface". The screenplay was also co-written by Burnett with the young John Huston. The film was to mark the start of a long and fruitful, and hard drinking friendship between Bogart and Huston.Read more ›
The film speeds along at a good pace, taking in some incredible scenary on its way. There is something for everyone - romance, humour, car chases and a shootout. Thee is even a cute dog called 'Pard' (played by Bogart's own dog)if you like animal films!
Whilst not being Bogart's best film, this is certainly not far behind, and would make a good introduction to the films of the great man.
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Much enjoyed, with Bogie showing all of his masterly abilities, in this early film. The wee dog was featured highly. as was the female lead actresss.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
The story, co-scripted by John Huston, rattles along like the late thirties Studebaker that Bogart flees in at the end of the film. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Hamish Adam
Great classic movie, Bogart in one of his greatest roles displaying both toughness and vulnerability as the ex con on one last job. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Mr. John Archibald
Another great and classic film to have in the home collection!
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High Sierra is not just a hard bitten gangster movie, (although that theme runs throughout the film) it also tells the poignant story of a man hankering after his younger, easier... Read morePublished on 5 April 2014 by Eddie.
Humphrey Bogart (Roy Earle) is sprung from prison so that he can lead a gang in a robbery at a hotel for the wealthy. Read morePublished on 4 July 2011 by Alex da Silva