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High Sierra

Oh, I thought this was gonna be a western… I’ve bought a bunch of Howard Hawks movies lately, but this isn’t that.

Instead it’s the only guy who looks like a director ought to look.


Noo! Jump the other way!

This is very noir (an early one; this is from 1941), so you gotta have Humphrey Bogart.

This is very early Bogart, isn’t it? I mean, he’d been hanging around for a decade, but he wasn’t really a star? But then:

This, Maltese Falcon, and Casablanca all in a row.

And that’s Ida Lupino, I guess? Who gets billing above Bogart here.

It’s a horribly racist caricature, but on the other hand, it’s an ingenious way to be lazy… But I guess that’s the joke.

I mean…

But that’s Willie Best, isn’t it? It is! I’ve seen him in oodles of movies, like The Ghost Breakers

Now that’s scary! Bogey smiling!

That’s more like it.

YEAH! Over!

I dunno… It might just be me, because I sorta got distracted and started doing laundry in the middle of this, but I don’t think this is a very compelling movie. Lupino is just kinda… there… and Bogart is trying his best to make this movie happen, but it’s just a very, very silly plot, and nothing interesting happens, really. This movie is like they made a movie from the discards of a heist movie; collecting all the scenes that were cut from an exciting movie.

Actually, that sounds kinda interesting, but this isn’t that interesting.

This movie has it all — club-footed girls, annoying dogs, cross-eyed handymen… It’s so corny it could be Iowa.

But it also wants to be this super-dramatic movie, and it just doesn’t make sense.

Indeed. But:

It’s a well-regarded movie.


Time reviewed the film when released as having “less of realistic savagery than of the quaint, nostalgic atmosphere of costume drama.”

I dunno. I didn’t much like this movie? But I might totally be wrong.

High Sierra. Raoul Walsh. 1941.

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