Humphrey Bogart is one of the most iconic actors in the history of Hollywood. Known for his gravelly voice, tough guy persona, and sharp wit, Bogart starred in countless classic films throughout his career.
But what movie made Bogart a star? Let’s take a closer look.
The Early Years
Bogart’s early career was marked by supporting roles in various films throughout the 1930s. He was often cast as a gangster or tough guy, but never quite made it to leading man status. That all changed with a little film called “High Sierra.”
Released in 1941, “High Sierra” is a crime drama directed by Raoul Walsh. The film stars Bogart as Roy Earle, a notorious gangster who is released from prison and immediately recruited for one last heist. Along the way, he falls for a young woman named Marie (played by Ida Lupino) and has to navigate the treacherous world of organized crime.
Why It Made Bogart a Star
“High Sierra” was not only a critical success but also a commercial one. Audiences loved Bogart’s performance as Roy Earle, and he finally became a leading man in Hollywood. The film showcased his range as an actor and cemented his status as one of the greatest stars of his generation.
The Legacy of “High Sierra”
“High Sierra” paved the way for some of Bogart’s most iconic roles, including Rick Blaine in “Casablanca,” Charlie Allnut in “The African Queen,” and Phillip Marlowe in “The Big Sleep.” It also established him as an actor who could handle complex characters with ease and helped to define the genre of film noir.
- Fun Fact: “High Sierra” was originally supposed to star George Raft, but he turned down the role. The part was then offered to Bogart, who jumped at the chance to play a leading man.
- Fun Fact: “High Sierra” was remade in 1955 as “I Died a Thousand Times,” starring Jack Palance in the role of Roy Earle.
The Bottom Line
“High Sierra” is the movie that made Humphrey Bogart a star. It showed audiences that he was more than just a supporting player and helped to establish him as one of Hollywood’s greatest leading men. If you’re a fan of classic films or just want to see one of Bogart’s most iconic performances, be sure to check it out.