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High Sierra (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

4.9 out of 5 stars 233 ratings
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October 12, 2021
Criterion Collection
2
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Genre Mystery & Suspense/Film Noir
Format Blu-ray
Contributor Raoul Walsh, Joan Leslie, Ida Lupino, Alan Curtis, Humphrey Bogart, Arthur Kennedy, Hal B. Wallis
Studio The Criterion Collection

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Product Description

Marking the moment when the gritty gangster sagas of the 1930s began giving way to the romantic fatalism of 1940s film noir, High Sierra also contains the star-making performance of Humphrey Bogart, who, alongside top-billed Ida Lupino, proved his leading-man mettle with his tough yet tender turn as Roy Earle. A career criminal plagued by his checkered past, Earle longs for a simpler life, but after getting sprung on parole, he falls in with a band of thieves for one last heist in the Sierra Nevada. Directed with characteristic punch by Raoul Walsh—who makes the most of the vertiginous mountain location—Roy and Lupino’s Marie, a fellow outcast also desperate to escape her past, hurtle inexorably toward an unforgettable cliffside climax and a rendezvous with destiny.

TWO-BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • • Colorado Territory, director Raoul Walsh’s 1949 western remake of High Sierra
  • • New conversation on Walsh between film programmer Dave Kehr and critic Farran Smith Nehme
  • • The True Adventures of Raoul Walsh, a 2019 documentary by Marilyn Ann Moss
  • • Curtains for Roy Earle, a 2003 featurette on the making of High Sierra
  • • Bogart: Here’s Looking at You, Kid, a 1997 documentary aired on The South Bank Show
  • • New interview with film and media historian Miriam J. Petty about actor Willie Best
  • • New video essay featuring excerpts from a 1976 American Film Institute interview with High Sierra novelist and coscreenwriter W. R. Burnett
  • • Radio adaptation of High Sierra from 1944
  • • Trailers
  • • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • • PLUS: An essay by critic Imogen Sara Smith

Product details

  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.77 x 5.31 x 0.59 inches; 3.2 Ounces
  • Director ‏ : ‎ Raoul Walsh
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Blu-ray
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ October 12, 2021
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Ida Lupino, Joan Leslie, Alan Curtis, Arthur Kennedy, Humphrey Bogart
  • Producers ‏ : ‎ Hal B. Wallis
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ The Criterion Collection
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B099LK9KTJ
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 2
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 233 ratings

Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
233 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 25, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars BLU-RAY REVIEW: Two Films for the Price of One
Reviewed in the United States on October 25, 2021
Film Noir + Western
During Hollywood’s Golden Age, Warner Brothers produced three versions of W.R. Burnett’s 1941 novel ‘High Sierra’.
The first two, both directed by Raoul Walsh, are in this two-disc Blu-ray from Criterion:

--- 1941: ‘High Sierra’ starring Humphrey Bogart and Ida Lupino, screenplay by W.R. Burnett and John Huston.
--- 1949: ‘Colorado Territory’ starring Joel McCrea and Virginia Mayo, screenplay by Edmund H. North and John Twist.

‘High Sierra is a five star gangster film - Eddie Muller called it “Film Noir and a genuine watershed in the history of Hollywood”.
‘Colorado Territory’ is a Western (Colorado became a state in 1876).
It’s not unusual for studios to remake successful films, but this usually involves some bad blood with the original director.
I had assumed that remaking ‘High Sierra’ as a Western was the studio’s idea, but it turns out that the remake was director Raoul Walsh’s idea.
The script for ‘Colorado Territory’ is about 85% identical to ‘High Sierra’
The farmer’s daughter is nastier in the remake, and the ending is slightly different.
Surprisingly neither W.R. Burnett nor John Huston received a writing credit (perhaps they were unhappy with the idea of a remake).
One actor is common to both films: Henry Hull, who played “Doc” in ‘High Sierra’ and the migrant farmer in ‘Colorado Territory’.
I wasn’t expecting much from ‘Colorado Territory’, but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
At least a 4½ star Western, which is what I should have expected from Joel McCrea and Raoul Walsh.
One improvement over the original: the lengthy train robbery scene at the heart of the film is a lot more exciting than the perfunctory hotel robbery in ‘High Sierra’.
One thing I miss is Pard the dog, played by Zero (Eddie Muller claims that Zero was Humphrey Bogart’s dog in real life).
Joel McCrea has a horse.

‘High Sierra’ is presented in a beautiful new 4-K digital restoration, though someone failed to notice the hair in the frame for seven seconds (@ 1:24.20).
‘Colorado Territory’ is an unrestored print, kind of beat up in places. But the actual cinematography is impressive and well-captured on Blu-ray.
Both films have English SDH subtitles.
Neither has a commentary track, but Criterion does provide four hours of nicely done bonus features:
--- “Curtains for Roy Earle” (15 minutes) featurette carried over from the 2003 DVD (everything else is new to disc).
--- “Bogart: Here’s Looking at You” (50 minutes) a 1997 documentary from British television.
--- “The True Adventures of Raoul Walsh” (95 minutes) a 2019 documentary about the director.
--- Interview with screenwriter W.R. Burnett (15 minutes) from 1976.
--- New featurette on African-American actor Willie Best (15 minutes).
--- New conversation between critics Dave Kehr and Farran Smith Nehme (20 minutes).
--- Radio adaptation from 1944 (30 minutes) starring Bogart and Lupino.
--- Booklet essay by Farran Smith Nehme.
--- Movie trailer.

One regret:
In 1955, Warner produced ‘I Died a Thousand Times’ a third adaptation of ‘High Sierra’, this time starring Jack Palance and Shelley Winters.
Directed by Stuart Heisler, with screenplay by W.R. Burnett (no credit for John Huston).
A 95% faithful reproduction of the 1941 film, but this time it was filmed in Color and Cinemascope.
It’s a lesser film, but it would have been a nice addition to this collection (available on DVD from Warner Archive).
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Reviewed in the United States on October 13, 2021
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Top reviews from other countries

RGP
2.0 out of 5 stars Arrived damaged but sealed!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 19, 2022
One person found this helpful
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Moviefan52
5.0 out of 5 stars Bogart at his best.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 13, 2021
One person found this helpful
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neil sorrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what i wanted!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 25, 2021
Ben Knowles
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely stuff
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2022
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