Movie Diary 1/17/2018

High Sierra (Raoul Walsh, 1941). Each time I see this movie it gets more interesting. This time I was impressed by the way Bogart plays his role as streetsmart but not entirely smart – he misses things, falls victim to his own sentimentality. Bogie’s performance has a lot to do with the genuninely tragic climax. By the way, the people who are upset that Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri affords a glimmer of redemption to a criminally imperfect character will probably be very upset by this one.

Colorado Territory (Raoul Walsh, 1949). Remake of High Sierra, as a Western. Joel McCrea’s take on the role is more meat-and-potatoes than Bogart’s, which fits the film’s swifter, bleaker approach to the story. Instead of the outdoorsy escape provided by the first movie’s foresty hideout, McCrea and his gang hole up in a bone-dry city of the dead. And the ending really goes for it (this was a few months before Walsh did White Heat), with a vibe that fits 1949 more than 1941. Virginia Mayo rises to the occasion, and dancer/future All My Children star James Mitchell is fascinating as a literate henchman.