The Making of High Sierra, 1941

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
User avatar
Posts: 298
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Philadelphia

The Making of High Sierra, 1941

Unread post by Phillyrich » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:22 pm

One of my favorite films as a child was "High Sierra." A sympathetic gangster on the run, lots of action and sub plotting in 93 minutes, a devoted gal, and a dog named "Pard." What was not to like? I still think the film holds up well. I wonder if it still has many fans.

In revisiting this film, there doesn't appear to be much published "back-story" to its making. I know Pard was Bogart's own dog "Zero," that Lupino got top billing, and Bogart--this his (maybe last chance?) breakout film, as his marriage to Mayo Methot was falling apart-- was rarely second billed again.

Has there been any in-depth writing on the making of this Raoul Walsh film? I don't recall it featured in any Warners' Production History, but then again there were so many other WB classics at that time.

User avatar
Posts: 9490
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:31 pm
Location: Dallas, TX USA

Re: The Making of High Sierra, 1941

Unread post by silentfilm » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:31 am

The shooting script is available in book form (apparently Kindle only). ... 473&sr=8-6

User avatar
Posts: 2465
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:48 pm
Location: California

Re: The Making of High Sierra, 1941

Unread post by missdupont » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:16 pm

Marilyn Moss has written a detailed biography of Walsh, so I would assume it is discussed there.

Posts: 2107
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

High Sierra Hardbound and Paperback

Unread post by JFK » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:31 pm

“HIGH SIERRA. University of Wisconsin Press (1979) Screenplay to classic Bogart film. Lengthy intro, b/w scenes from the film. ; 8vo; 189 pp. High Sierra (1941) is a highly successful Warner Brothers gangster film of special interest to film scholars, and aficionados. It represented a turning point in the nature of gangster film of the 1930s. It was the film that launched Humphrey Bogart to stardom. And it is representative of the concerted efforts of the very b est of Warners' talent of the era. In a period of serious reassessment of the American film, this revised shooting script, never before published, provides valuable primary data for that reassessment. Douglas Gomery is Assistant Professor of Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Tino Balio, Professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is the author of United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars, United Artists: The Company That Changed the Film Industry, and the editor of The American Film Industry as well as the 22 volume Wisconsin/Warner Bros. Screenplay series, all published by the University of Wisconsin Press. He directed the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theatre Research from 1966 to 1982.”

Dave Pitts
Posts: 207
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:55 am

Re: The Making of High Sierra, 1941

Unread post by Dave Pitts » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:16 am

I love this film, too. If Maltese Falcon hadn't swept in the next year, with its unbelievably sophisticated style (and one of Bogart's ultimate star performances), High Sierra would be one of Bogart's landmark career-making films -- which, to us buffs, it is. I love everything but the Joan Leslie character (clubfooted Velma.) I wish her subplot had been eliminated. I've always thought it was brave of the studio and star to touch up the edges of his hair with gray -- it lets us know that he has wasted years of his life in prison, has a lifetime of regrets, can't quite believe he's getting sucked back into the bad decisions of his youth. My favorite sequence is at the start, when he's being driven away from the prison, and he stops the car to take a little walk in the trees, his first moment of freedom in years. Bogart brings out the sweet, pained emotion of the experience with great power. I might have been 13 when I first saw this film, and I understood the emotional point of the scene at first viewing. Whenever TCM shows this thing, I at least tune in for that scene. The final scenes on the mountain are wrenching to watch, and I don't always hang around for them. Great style to the film. I think this is another one that George Raft passed on, and that's all to the good. Bogart really got inside the character in a way that I doubt Raft could have done.

User avatar
Posts: 618
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:05 am

Re: The Making of High Sierra, 1941

Unread post by oldposterho » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:51 am

I also love this film and share the disdain for Velma, but I have to remind myself that I think we're supposed to dislike her. {SPOILER] When she shoots down Roy, Bogart is magnificent in showing just how gutted he is.

My pet peeve of the film is Algernon, for obvious reasons.

Post Reply