For Humphrey Bogart's career, 1941's High Sierra was a high-water mark. Though second-billed after Ida Lupino, it was this film that elevated him out of the rote-roles of second heavies in films like The Roaring Twenties and into his well-deserved leading-man status. And it's also a high point simply because it's one of his best. Sierra follows Bogey as Roy "Mad Dog" Earle as he gets pardoned via a corrupt mayor, only so he can go on a jewelry heist for his old boss Big Mac (Donald McBride). This means hiding out in a hunting village with his new partners, the lunky "Babe" Kozak (Alan Curtis) and the more talkative "Red" Hattery (Arthur Kennedy). The two picked up Marie (Lupino), a dime-a-dance girl whom Roy wants sent off, but she quickly worms her way into his good graces. But Earle has no interest in her romantically his eyes are on the clubfooted Velma (Joan Leslie), who moved to California after her grandparents' farm went belly-up. Earle offers to fix her foot, and does, but Velma has a boyfriend back home. The heist looms, which seems a precursor to doom the crew is inexperienced, Mac is deathly ill, and Earle has adopted a dog known to give fatal luck. Marking the end of a 10-year cycle of gangster pictures that had begun with titles like Little Caesar, High Sierra is the culmination of an era and a genre that progressed along with America's Depression-era fascination with gangsters and crooks. Their anti-hero status already cemented, it comes as no surprise that Sierra is a eulogy for Earle. As told by director Raoul Walsh, the outlaw is sympathetic because he is so obviously doomed; Walsh was one of the great cinema craftsman whose invisible touch left him to be taken for granted in America, a master of letting things play without getting in the way. Here that craftsmanship is remarkable: The noir fatalism plays well off of Bogey's natural affability. Working from a script by John Huston, Sierra also has one of the most perverse touches of its era the harbinger for Earle's fate is a lovable mutt of a dog (which symbolizes both his soft side, and his weaknesses). It's a wonderful send-off to the genre, and a beautiful beginning to Bogart's leading-man career. Warner presents High Sierra in its Academy ratio (1.33:1) in monaural DD 1.0 audio. Extras include the 15-minute featurette "Curtains for Roy Earle" (which seems excerpted from a larger piece on Bogart) and the theatrical trailer. Snap-case.