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Raoul Walsh directed several gangster films, but High Sierra was not just another drop in the bucket. Rather, its main character, Mad Dog Earle, was a complicated man who’s circumstances always seemed to turn on him. Humphrey Bogart brought the layered man to life with co-star Ida Lupino in 1941 and found immediate success.
Read more about the film below.
1. Bogie helped Ida cry.
This was Ida Lupino and Humphrey Bogart’s second film together, after tackling the film noir They Drive by Night (also directed by Raoul Walsh). One scene called for Lupino to cry, but she was having difficulty. So Bogie said, “If you can’t cry, just remember one thing: I’m going to take this picture away from you.” The joke loosened up Lupino, and after getting some advice from Bogie to think of a time she had to say goodbye, the tears started.
2. A stuntman shot himself. Sorta.
Buster Wiles served as the stunt man for the film. He was responsible for filling in for Humphrey Bogart when he’s shot and falls to his death off of the mountain. Wiles also played the officer who shoots Bogie. As Wiles puts it: “I shot myself off the mountain.”
3. Lupino was the bigger star.
Hollywood was in love with Lupino after her showstopping scene in They Drive by Night. That courtroom confession mixed with wide-eyed hysterics was can’t-miss cinema. Lupino received top billing and $800 thousand more than Bogie. Despite this, it wasn’t a competition between the leads. Lupino said, “He was the most loyal, wonderful guy in the world.” The pair would work together one last time for Thank Your Lucky Stars.