High Sierra (1941)

A man holds a gun while a woman stands behind him on the cover of the movie High Sierra
Cover art for the Criterion Collection release for the 1941 movie High Sierra, directed by Raoul Walsh.
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This review may contain spoilers.

Came to see some great early-Hollywood eastern Sierra goodness and got a tremendous chase scene up the Whitney Portal, culminating in a hasty scramble up the rocks.

I’m in on Bogart (have I said that already?). He’s a great lead—he exudes cool and calm. He’s outstanding in handling situations, and taking charge even when he may not be the man meant to do so. He also plays a decent role as a guy who gets his heart broken a bit. So far, and forgive me if I am totally ignorant here, he comes across as a decently progressive leading guy for the era. I hope that’s true.

Anyway, he was great in this. Sadly, the vast majority of the movie takes place NOT in the High Sierra, which is what I came to see. It doesn’t matter. The movie was a great time and I got to continue get more Bogart experience.


  • That slap in the early minutes—damn
  • Velma’s age was, um, dubious. It was finally mentioned, as “around 20”
  • “That’s right, blame the dame!” He has lines
  • The end, getting shot as he was harmless and probably about to surrender—just seems so American

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November 22, 2023
Tags: criterion collection
Categories: Reviews