High Sierra (1941)

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Movie Description

High Sierra is a 1941 early heist film and film noir written by W.R. Burnett and John Huston from the novel by Burnett. The movie features Ida Lupino and Humphrey Bogart and was directed by Raoul Walsh on location at Whitney Portal, halfway up Mount Whitney in the Sierra Nevada of California.

The screenplay was co-written by John Huston, Bogart's friend and drinking partner, adapted from the novel by William R. Burnett (also known for, among others, Little Caesar and Scarface). The film cemented a strong personal and professional connection between Bogart and Huston. The film is also notable as the breakthrough in Bogart's career, transforming him from supporting player to leading man, and his success in High Sierra would lead to his being cast in many of his famous roles.

The film was noted for its extensive location shooting, especially in the climactic final scenes, as the authorities pursue Bogart's character, gangster "Mad Dog" Roy Earle, from Lone Pine up to the foot of the mountain.

Critic Bosley Crowther liked the acting in the picture and wrote, "As gangster pictures go, this one has everything—speed, excitement, suspense and that ennobling suggestion of futility which makes for irony and pity. Mr. Bogart plays the leading role with a perfection of hard-boiled vitality, and Ida Lupino, Arthur Kennedy, Alan Curtis and a newcomer named Joan Leslie handle lesser roles effectively. Especially, is Miss Lupino impressive as the adoring moll. As gangster pictures go—if they do— it's a perfect epilogue. Count on the old guard and Warners: they die but never surrender."