Sunday, July 7, 2013

I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES (1955)

This is one of the best remakes I've ever seen.  The original HIGH SIERRA is a great film, but I think this retelling of the same story might even be better!  Jack Palance plays the Bogart role as a tough gangster with a noble soul who's sprung from prison by his old friend and mob boss (Lon Chaney Jr.) who wants him to pull a heist on a private resort's safety deposit boxes.  Along the way he falls in love with a crippled woman who's just using him for his money.  Added to his problems is the crew of amateurs hired to help him.  One of them even brought a dame!  And to make matters even worse the dame falls for him. 

Being made 14 years later the subject matter is a little more mature and fleshed out than the original and it helps a lot.  Jack Palance and Shelley Winters' performances were so good that I'm surprised that they weren't both nominated for an Academy Awards but then again 1955 was a really good year for the movies....MISTER ROBERTS didn't even win!

Beautiful color photography, faithful retelling of the story, interesting camera angles/movements, cute dog, very strong supporting cast and quick glimpse of a young Dennis Hopper!  Excellent movie that deserves a much wider audience.  Check it out.

Original - High Sierra
Remake 1 -Colorado Territory