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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Raoul Walsh
USA 1941

 

Widely acknowledged as one of the gangster pictures that paved the way for the style and moral complexities of film noir, High Sierra (1941) is the story of Roy "Mad Dog" Earle, a crook sprung from prison to perform a crucial heist. Saddled with inexperienced accomplices (played by character actors Alan Curtis and Arthur Kennedy, a Tony Award winner for his role in the original Death of a Salesman) and a dime-a-dance girl who falls for him (Ida Lupino, who would later become a noted director), Earle awaits instructions at a mountain cabin, planning to go straight after this last robbery. He befriends the family of a lame girl (Joan Leslie) and pays for her operation, orbiting the "pure" life he desires. Starring as the surly tough guy with a decent heart was the breakthrough vehicle for Humphrey Bogart who took the role after George Raft, unwilling to "die at the end", refused it. (It was also reported that Paul Muni was offered the role prior to Raft but was fired by Warner Brothers after he turned it down).

Earle was modeled on John Dillinger, but the Hollywood Production Code strictly prohibited glamorizing the thirties gangster legend. John Huston's script, based on W.R. Burnett's novel, was returned to Warners by the censors with over forty objectionable references. They were largely ignored by Jack Warner, who wanted to protect the "spirit" of the story. However, the Code was firm on the ending. Gangsters, no matter how sympathetic they might appear at times, had to pay for moral transgressions on the screen. In other words, death or life in prison was their only option....

Excerpt of review from TCM located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 21 January 1941 (premiere)

Reviews                                                                                                           More Reviews                                                                                     DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Warner Home Video - Region 1,4 - NTSC vs. Horizon Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) Warner Home Video Region 1,4 - NTSC  - LEFT

2) Horizon Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the DVD Review!

Box Covers

  

 

  

   

  

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 1,4 - NTSC

Horizon Films- Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:39:39 1:39:44.061
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.54 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered

Disc Size: 20,453,590,196 bytes

Feature: 20,141,045,760 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.20

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

DUB:

Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None English, Spanish, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• 'Curtains for Roy Earle: The Story of 'High Sierra'' featurette (15:06)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:39)

DVD Release Date: November 4, 2003
Snap case or Keep case

Chapters 27

Release Information:
Studio: Horiz
on Films

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
 

1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered

Disc Size: 20,453,590,196 bytes

Feature: 20,141,045,760 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.20

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• 
None

Blu-ray Release Date:
November 17th, 2016
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 24

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: Horizon Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray (October 2017): We've been here many times before and, yes, this leans heavily to being a bootleg, with a couple of minor reasons into believing it may be legit.

 

On the positive, it is a bona-fide 1080 progressive transfer - not a 1080i, PAL rendering. It has different marks from the Warner DVD - actually less scratches and it shows more information in the frame. This promotes that it is not simply an SD bump from the Warner DVD nor from a PAL DVD - as the running time appears to be 'theatrical.

 

There are reasons to believe it is a bootleg - unknown company, region FREE, lossy Dolby audio, no extras... and we see quite a few of these from Spain and Italy. The most damning thing - it is not a pressed disc but a BD-R (purple back).

 

So, bare-bones - but has menus - the image is superior to the SD - more grain, better contrast... we will post here is we can verify that this is a bootleg. It's more than likely a bootleg.

 

NOTE: This would be a perfect title for a Warner Archive Blu-ray. This Noir masterpiece deserves better than this. Just say'in.

***

ON THE DVD (2005): With a scheduled release of Warner's Humphrey Bogart: The Essential Collection, we decided to revisit some of the titles now being released as part of that mega-set that we for some reason missed covering at DVDBeaver. One of the titles is High Sierra, a film noir classic directed by Raoul Walsh that was twice remade - I Died a Thousand Times and Colorado Territory - a Western directed by Walsh himself. The film was released on DVD back in November of 2003 in a snapper case. In 2006, Warner repackaged the disc is a keep case, but the disc's contents remain the same.

The progressive transfer didn't receive extensive restoration, so there are still many scratches and marks, but they are not overly distracting. The image is grainy in some scenes. The English mono soundtrack is decent and there are English, Spanish and French optional subtitles available. Extras consist of a brief featurette about the making of the film and a theatrical trailer. This is a still a recommended release of an important film noir classic.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


DVD Menus
 

 

Horizon Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Warner Home Video Region 1,4 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Horizon Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Screen Captures


Subtitle sample

 


1) Warner Home Video Region 1,4 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Horizon Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Warner Home Video Region 1,4 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Horizon Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Warner Home Video Region 1,4 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Horizon Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Warner Home Video Region 1,4 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Horizon Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Warner Home Video Region 1,4 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Horizon Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Warner Home Video Region 1,4 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Horizon Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 1,4 - NTSC

Horizon Films- Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 




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