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High Sierra (1941)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 9,595 users  
Reviews: 77 user | 52 critic

After being released from prison, notorious thief Roy Earle is hired by his old boss to help a group of inexperienced criminals plan and carry out the robbery of a California resort.

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Title: High Sierra (1941)

High Sierra (1941) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Alan Curtis ...
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Pa
Jerome Cowan ...
Minna Gombell ...
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Elisabeth Risdon ...
Ma (as Elizabeth Risdon)
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Donald MacBride ...
Paul Harvey ...
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Blonde
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Storyline

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 <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

robbery | police | california | prison | nevada | See more »

Taglines:

Towering Thrills with this Year's Academy Award Star! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 January 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Entscheidung in der Sierra  »

Box Office

Budget:

$455,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Humphrey Bogart's part in this movie was originally intended for Paul Muni. Muni did not like the first draft of the screenplay which was authored solely by John Huston and given to him by Hal B. Wallis, so Wallis got the book's author, W.R. Burnett, to assist Huston in a second rewrite. This was presented to Muni who still disliked it and turned the movie and the role down completely. In the meantime, On May 4th, 1940, Bogart sent a telegram to Wallis reiterating his continuing desire, which he had mentioned several months earlier, to play the part of Roy Earle. After Muni turned down the script the next person on the list for Warner Brothers was George Raft. Bogart, knowing that Raft was trying to change his image and move away from gangster roles, found out about this and mentioned to Raft when he saw him next that the studio was trying to get him do another gangster movie where the gangster gets shot at the end. Raft marched into Wallis' office and flatly refused to do the movie. Bogart finally ended up with the role he wanted all along by default. See more »

Goofs

When Roy Earle stops at the gas station in the desert he asks the attendant for gas and water, the attendant immediately grabs the water-hose and removes the radiator cap with his bare hands, despite the fact that the engine and cap should have been hot. See more »

Quotes

Big Mac: Times have sure changed.
Roy Earle: Yeah, ain't they? You know, Mac, sometimes I feel like I don't know what it's all about anymore.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Pard" as Portrayed By "Zero" See more »

Connections

Featured in Army of One (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

I Get a Kick out of You (1934)
(uncredited)
Written by Cole Porter
Played on a record at Velma's Home
Danced to by Joan Leslie and John Eldredge
See more »

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User Reviews

 
'Mad Dog' Meets a Poetic Finish
25 October 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Humphrey Bogart's screen name in High Sierra is Roy 'Mad Dog' Earle. But it's clear from the outset that if Bogart is anything he's not crazy. Bogart may have been a wild guy in his youth, but he's now a middle-aged man who is fully aware that he can't do anything else, but continue in a life crime. He's got the resume and the reputation for that and nothing else. What else can he do, but accept an offer to crew chief a heist at an expensive resort hotel in Nevada.

He can't pick the men he'd like, they're probably all dead or in the joint. He gets some young punks assigned to him by Barton MacLane who is acting as a middleman for boss Donald MacBride out on the west coast. Bogey gets Alan Curtis, Arthur Kennedy, and an informant at the hotel, Cornel Wilde. Curtis and Kennedy are getting their hormones in overdrive over Ida Lupino.

On the way west Bogey meets up with a near do well family headed by Henry Travers and he starts crushing out on teenager Joan Leslie. They represent to him a simpler time before he took up crime as a living.

The first half of the film sets up the characters, the second part is the robbery and it's aftermath. In that second half High Sierra moves at a really good clip. Not too many went out for popcorn when it was shown in theaters back in the day.

High Sierra was one of three films that George Raft turned down and were given to Humphrey Bogart that established him as a leading man. The other two were The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca. Raft must have had some agent back in the day.

Of course Bogart is playing a gangster, but this one is a three dimensional character and a fine piece of work. It represented a big advance from some of the villains he played at Warner Brothers during the late Thirties.

High Sierra was directed by Raoul Walsh and another Hollywood icon director, John Huston, co-wrote the screenplay. There's a lot of similarity with this and Huston's later classic, The Asphalt Jungle.

High Sierra was remade twice, as a western with the miscast Joel McCrea in Bogart's role and in the Fifties as I Died a Thousand Times with Jack Palance. I daresay it could be made again quite easily for this generation, it's story is timeless.


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