High Sierra ★★★½

"Mister, what does it mean... when a man 'crashes out'?"

as a portrait of a man escaping into himself, it's a sublime distillation of the early gangster movie. Bogart (and motherfucking *Pard*) are aces, as is Lupino with her eyelashes for days, but the accoutrement lets them down. the stuff with the crippled girl is thematically invaluable, but the hokum involved in setting it up and knocking it down is a bit much... stretches the innocence that Earle is looking for, and the redemption he's hoping to siphon from it. a lot of the small stuff doesn't connect, but Earle's slow tumble down the mountain (metaphorically speaking) is fine.

mostly astonished by the speed with which Raoul Walsh gets things going... hurry up and wait, with some of the quickest fades in film history. a breakneck pace to let Earle self-destruct in slow-motion.