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@example.com>
When Pa first meets Roy at the gas station, Pa says, referring to an accident he almost had, "A jackrabbit jumped in front of the car and I kinda lost my head." Director Raoul Walsh lost an eye a dozen years earlier when a jackrabbit jumped through the windshield of the car he was driving. See more »
When Roy Earle, traveling under an alias, first meets Pa Goodhue at the gas station in the desert, he only introduces himself as "Collins". However, when they meet for the second time after the car accident in Tropic Springs, Pa immediately greets him as "Roy," even though Earle had never offered a first name. See more »
Roy, this is the land of milk and honey for the health racket. Every woman in California thinks she's either too fat or too thin or too something.
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It is a great Bogart vehicle. But what makes Bogart look good is the fine screenplay. Not having read Burnett's book is a disadvantage for me to judge the contribution of Burnett and John Huston to the screenplay. Being familiar with Huston's screenplays, I tend to think it was Huston who probably made all the difference to the screenplay.
Huston loved to play on the good side of men that became sometimes comical and sometimes their folly. In "High Sierra" the goodness in the "mad dog" is played up: the bad guy looks good. Huston did that with aplomb in "The Man who would be King". At the same time he reverses the role of the poor girl with the clubfoot into an ungrateful woman. Only animals remain the same...
The lines are made for Bogart's style. The direction of Walsh is not bad but not striking either. I will remember the film for the strong screenplay alone, without which the film would have floundered.
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