Sunday, July 7, 2013

HIGH SIERRA (1941)

Aging gangster, Humphrey Bogart, is sprung from prison by a governor's pardon that was paid for by kingpin, Donald MacBride.  MacBride wants him to knock over an exclusive resort motel.  He can't do it alone so MacBride hires him some help, but they're just a bunch of punk kids green behind the ears.  On the way to the meeting place Bogart nearly has a wreck with a dirt poor family that happens to have a very attractive (and manipulating) daughter.  Bogart falls for her.  At the same time a girl that came with one of his crew members (Ida Lupino) falls for him.  You can probably see where this is going.

George Raft and Paul Muni both passed on the role of "Mad Dog" Roy Earle but lucky for us the lesser known Bogart picked it up and he's great.  His co-star from the previous year's THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT Ida Lupino might have gotten the top-billing but he's clearly the star here as the worn down gangster with a noble heart.  That's not to say that Lupino isn't great also cause I think she's always awesome.  Anyway, great movie, somewhat dated, excellent supporting cast, quick pace and Bogart's real life dog Zero is cute as a button!

Remake 1 - Colorado Territory
Remake 2 - I Died a Thousand Times