Sonntag, 15. Januar 2012

Let's watch...HIGH SIERRA

One of Bogie's best films is the 1941 film noir classic, High Sierra. In it, he plays Roy "Mad Dog" Earle, who is released from prison and promptly sought out by an old associate to help with a new robbery. The robbery is botched and things go from bad to worse very quickly. The action will come to a exciting climax in the Sierra Nevadas. Along the way he as to deal with two very different women. An innocent transplanted farm girl Velma (Joan Leslie in one of her best performances) and Marie (the always great Ida Lupino, who actually receives top billing over Bogie). Bogart is top notch as Earle, a career professional who is not too cocky or violent, but just goes about his business. Taut direction by Raoul Walsh, crisp and exciting action scenes and a thrilling car chase. Plus there is a cute little dog too. Gather round to watch High Sierra, one of my favorite films and one of Bogie's best.


This was the last movie Humphrey Bogart made where he did not receive top billing. The studio thought that Ida Lupino should have top billing given the fact that she had been such a big hit in They Drive By Night (1940) and so her name ended up above Bogart's on the title card. Bogart was reportedly unhappy about receiving second billing but never complained.

"Pard" played by "Zero the Dog" was Bogart's dog in real life.

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.

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Thank our lucky stars




  1. This is a great movie...one of my favorite Bogart films. Both he and Ida are terrific in their roles.

    I do feel for George Raft. Had he not turned down this and a couple other roles that went to Bogey, he might have had the career (and the legendary status) that Bogey had/has.

  2. ah.. one of my favourite films.. Great post, Monty!