High Sierra (1941)

Passed  |   |  Adventure, Crime, Drama  |  25 January 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 10,975 users  
Reviews: 82 user | 54 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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Director: John Huston
Stars: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jerome Cowan ...
Minna Gombell ...
Mrs. Baughmam
Elisabeth Risdon ...
Ma (as Elizabeth Risdon)
Donald MacBride ...
Paul Harvey ...


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


HUMPHREY BOGART in one of is most powerful portrayals See more »


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 January 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Entscheidung in der Sierra  »

Box Office


$455,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on April 17, 1944 with Humphrey Bogart and Ida Lupino reprising their film roles. See more »


When Algernon was fishing on the dock using a window curtain spring roller, the fish shown underwater biting his bait was a trout and the fish he catches and holds up in the next scene is a perch. See more »


Healy: [looking at Roy's dead body] Big shot Earle. Well look at him lying there. He ain't much now is he?
Marie Garson: [kneeling next to Roy's body and crying] Mister, what does it mean... when a man "crashes out"?
Healy: Crashes our? that's a funny question for you to ask now sister. It means he's free.
Marie Garson: [picks up Pard and walks with the police in a daze] Free?... Free...
[fade out to credits]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in A Look Back at 'Joshua Tree' (2013) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"High Sierra" was the film that changed the course of Bogart's career and lifted him up to stardom…

"High Sierra" was the film that changed the course of Bogart's career and lifted him up to stardom…

As Earle, Bogart was expanding on the criminal characterization he had already mastered in a dozen earlier films, giving it greater depth by adding contrasting elements of warmth and compassion to compensate the dominant violence…

Bogart helps a clubfooted girl, Velma (Joan Leslie), who repays him only with disregard and indifference…

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…

Here, for the first time, was the human being outside society's laws who had his own private sense of loyalty, integrity, and honor… Bogart's performance turns "High Sierra" into an elegiac film…

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…

The movie was remade as a Western, "Colorado Territory," with Joel McCrea and Virginia Mayo, and as a crime film in "I Died a Thousand Times," with Jack Palance and Shelley Winters in the Bogart and Lupino roles… Neither came up to the stylish treatment given "High Sierra" by director Raoul Walsh from an exceptionally good script by John Huston and W. R. Burnett…

43 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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