This depression era heist film is one of HumphreyBogart's breakout roles that made him a star, along with ''Film/TheMalteseFalcon''.

Bogart stars as robber Roy Earle, pardoned six years into a life sentence through the machinations of ailing crime lord Big Mac. Earle has been broken out to do one last heist, alongside two young toughs, who disgust him with their lack of discipline and smarts. Earle finds himself out of place in a world that is changing fast. His failed romance with a young Dust Bowl refugee convinces him that he has no place in honest life, but when the heist goes bad, he finds loyal companionship in the form of Marie, a dancehall girl from Los Angeles.
!! This movie contains examples of:

* BadassInANiceSuit
* TheCaper: Roy, Babe, and Red rob a resort hotel
* ClimbingClimax: Earle flees the police up the rocky slopes of the titular High Sierra
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Everybody dies except Rodriguez, who talked, and Marie, who's going to prison or possibly an asylum, as she appears to be having a nervous breakdown at the end.]]
* FilmNoir: This is a classic example, although one might consider it a gangster film or pre-noir, as many consider the genre to have been defined with ''Film/TheMalteseFalcon''.
* NeverGoingBackToPrison: Roy is haunted by BadDreams of prison, and is determined to never return. [[spoiler:Like so many other examples of this trope, he eventually chooses SuicideByCop rather than get taken back to prison.]]
* OneLastJob: Roy wants to retire after this heist
* {{Retirony}}: [[spoiler: He ends up dead]].