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Ronald Epstein

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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.

FILM INFO​

  • United States
  • 1941
  • 100 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.37:1
  • English
  • Spine #1099

SPECIAL FEATURES​

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • 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

    New cover illustration by Jennifer Dionisio

    October 12, 2021

 

Ronald Epstein

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Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link. As an Amazon Associate HTF earns from qualifying purchases

 
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lark144

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mark gross
Two Raoul Walsh masterpieces from arguably his greatest period. Beyond tempting. And coming from Warners, I expect the masters to be stunning.
 

DavidJ

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I'm definitely in on this one. High Sierra is a strong film, and I've never seen Colorado Territory.
 

david hare

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One might think Lupino and Bogart were so perfect in Sierra they could never be bettered. But Colorado’s‘ leads, Mayo and McRea take the picture into even bleaker territory and a strangely different mood. It’s another masterpiece all over again. I’m sure Dave Kehr and Farran will also make great commentary out of the two.
 

lark144

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One might think Lupino and Bogart were so perfect in Sierra they could never be bettered. But Colorado’s‘ leads, Mayo and McRea take the picture into even bleaker territory and a strangely different mood. It’s another masterpiece all over again. I’m sure Dave Kehr and Farran will also make great commentary out of the two.
Both Ida Lupino and Virgina Mayo give career-defining performances. It's funny, Raoul Wash is not considered a "woman's director"; we have a tendency to think of him in terms of Cagney and Bogart, yet both Ida Lupino--in "High Sierra" & "The Man I Love"--and Virginia Mayo--in "Colorado Territory" & "White Heat" also became iconic under his direction. I don't know if it's true, but a friend who once interviewed Virginia Mayo told me that Walsh asked for her specifically. At first she couldn't understand why. Apparently, Walsh saw her potential.

I don't know if "Colorado Territory" is bleaker than "High Sierra" but it's darker and more pessimistic. There's still small possibilities of light and hope in "High Sierra" but by "Colorado Territory" all that has been snuffed out. It's more stoic and fatalistic, but then, so were many genre films in 1949, the year of "Gun Crazy".
 

RICK BOND

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Just to clarify, this is coming from Criterion, not Warner’s. So we don’t know for certain how ‘stunning’ the masters might be.
Thanks David. I have the Amazon HD Digital version for a few months now because my old DVD would Freeze up after 10 minutes into the film ! :( Threw it Out. The Amazon version looks Much Better than the DVD. So this Bluray release should look ever Better than the Digital. Criterion will release a fine looking Bluray I'm sure. This is a Much liked Classic Bogart movie that made him a Star. He was one of the Best American actors ever ! One of my personal Favorites.
 

Scott Merryfield

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I just have High Sierra on DVD, so will definitely pick this up during the next Criterion sale. I have never seen Colorado Territory, so that's a bonus for me.
 

Gerani53

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Criterion's recent releases of NOW, VOYAGER and A FACE IN THE CROWD, licensed from WB, were original negative scans (at least mostly), and they looked fantastic. While 4K is fine and dandy, I wish a more complete version of C's statement had been part of this announcement ("...scanned from the original nitrate camera negative."). If that's not the route they're going here, we'll be getting a 4K transfer of a HIGH SIERRA fine-grain (b/w version of IP -- interpositive), which will be gorgeous, no question, just not quite as jaw-dropping. After seeing what the above ONS titles look like (not to mention WB's SERGEANT YORK, CROSSFIRE, ISLE OF THE DEAD, etc.), it's hard not to be spoiled!
 

RafaelPires

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Just to clarify, this is coming from Criterion, not Warner’s. So we don’t know for certain how ‘stunning’ the masters might be.ge
George Feltenstein once clarified that it’s WB policy that it’s film elements can only be handled by their in house restoration department. This was the case with the likes of Mildred Pierce, Now Voyager, Philadelphia Story, Dance, girl, dance, among others. In one the extras of Dance, Girl, Dance, it’s told that Criterion asked for the title and because of this WB imagery department started working on the elements.
Therefore, there is no doubt the digital work on both High Sierra and Colorado Territory has been done by WB itself and shall look wonderful, as they do not license subpar transfers.
 

Thomas T

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I'm a huge fan of Colorado Territory and think it would be worthy of its own stand alone blu ray with special features specifically designed toward it rather than tossed in as a "bonus". That being said, I'm grateful we'll be getting an HD transfer of it. For me, a "bonus" would be I Died A Thousand Times, the 1955 remake of High Sierra while not in HS or CT's league but a solid effort.
 

Robert Crawford

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I'm a huge fan of Colorado Territory and think it would be worthy of its own stand alone blu ray with special features specifically designed toward it rather than tossed in as a "bonus". That being said, I'm grateful we'll be getting an HD transfer of it. For me, a "bonus" would be I Died A Thousand Times, the 1955 remake of High Sierra while not in HS or CT's league but a solid effort.
This Criterion release is obviously being marketed as kind of a tribute to Raoul Walsh too so it makes sense to have Colorado Territory as the Bonus movie and not I Died a Thousand Times.

  • 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
 

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