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High Sierra: Roy Earle

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Joe Macclesfield
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High Sierra: Roy Earle

Postby Joe Macclesfield » August 12th, 2014, 12:36 pm

Dear Folks,
I've read, and heard in at least one documentary, that the character Roy Earle (one of the greatest fictional character names) was called "Roy Earldon" in the novel by W.R. Burnett. I'm curious as to how this got started. I recently bought a 1968 reprint of the book, wherein the character is called--Roy Earle! I've also seen, online, a photo of an advance copy put out by Knopf. The blurb on the paper cover of this was reproduced, verbatim, on the dust jacket of the book when it came out. Again, the character is called "Roy Earle". Can anyone elucidate?
Incidently, how do I attach a personal motto to my posts?
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."

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movieman1957
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Re: High Sierra: Roy Earle

Postby movieman1957 » August 12th, 2014, 1:35 pm

Incidently, how do I attach a personal motto to my posts?

Go to the User Control Panel near the top left of the page. A series of horizontal tabs come up and you can select "Profile" and get a list of choices down the left side. The second one is "Edit Signature." There is a place in there.

Look around that area because you can do more things there.

Unfortunately, I am no help on the Roy Earle question.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

RedRiver
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Re: High Sierra: Roy Earle

Postby RedRiver » August 13th, 2014, 10:52 am

I'd like to read the book. I've read a little Burnett. There's not a lot readily available. I'd REALLY like to read ASPHALT JUNGLE. That's my kind of story!

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Joe Macclesfield
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Re: High Sierra: Roy Earle

Postby Joe Macclesfield » August 13th, 2014, 2:03 pm

Asphalt Jungle is a great picture. I might just get a copy of the book. High Sierra's been one of my favourite films since I first saw it in 1974. The book's a good read. At the begining, Roy Earle isn't the sharp character depicted in the movie. In fact, he's a bit of a wreck. The dialogue is a bit corny at times. The descriptive passages, however, conjur up some beautiful images. As much as I like George Raft I've never been able to see him in this part. Robert Ryan--yes!
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."

Western Guy
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Re: High Sierra: Roy Earle

Postby Western Guy » August 13th, 2014, 5:57 pm

Actually, based on the Burnett description of Earle, I think Warners' choice of Paul Muni would have been effective casting. I do agree about Raft not being right for the part of a bucolic badman. But Bogie, of course, pulled it off brilliantly - with just the right amount of Duke Mantee shading.

I agree with you about the book. There's also a fair amount of corny dialogue in his earlier "Little Caesar", but I admire Burnett's Hemingway-like prose.

RedRiver
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Re: High Sierra: Roy Earle

Postby RedRiver » August 14th, 2014, 11:03 am

Asphalt Jungle is a great picture. I might just get a copy of the book

Good luck finding one. I don't think I've ever seen a copy!

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Joe Macclesfield
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Re: High Sierra: Roy Earle

Postby Joe Macclesfield » August 14th, 2014, 1:46 pm

Western Guy: I've never read any Hemingway. In fact, High Sierra is one of the very few novels that I have read (another being The Shootist by Glendon Swarthout, which I prefer to the film). I agree that Paul Muni would, probably, have been very effective. It's a pity he couldn't be persuaded to take the part. I think by that time Muni (like George Raft) simply didn't want to play a gangster. And, of course, if he had taken it on we wouldn't have the classic Bogart performance which is a joy to watch. Jack Palance doesn't do a bad job in the remake. I was surprised to find that, seemingly, no one has yet turned out a biography on Mr. Palance.
RedRiver: Abebooks furnished my copy of High Sierra (the U.K. site--I'm posting from Cheshire, England).
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."

Western Guy
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Joined: March 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: High Sierra: Roy Earle

Postby Western Guy » August 16th, 2014, 8:34 pm

I had a reissue of the book put out by Zebra paperbacks some years back, complete with a dopey cover displaying jewels in place of Roy Earle's eyes. Unfortunately, the book got misplaced during a messy divorce, the details of which I will tactfully not elaborate on. But I have since tried to find copies both of HIGH SIERRA and THE ASPHALT JUNGLE, and that has been difficult.

As for the film, yes, I don't think any of the other candidates suggested for the role would have given justice to the character. Bogart actually campaigned for the part (claiming that he was the "logical choice") after every other Warners tough guy from Raft to Garfield was considered.

Apparently he was just as eager to play the followup gangster Harold Goff in OUT OF THE FOG but was ousted from the part due to Ida Lupino's insistence that John Garfield take the role. The story goes that some dissention existed between Miss Lupino and Bogie during the filming of HIGH SIERRA.

Joe, if you have the chance check out Hemingway's short story "The Killers." Provides just the opening to the classic Siodmak-directed film but though simplistic in its style, quite intriguing.

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Joe Macclesfield
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Re: High Sierra: Roy Earle

Postby Joe Macclesfield » August 18th, 2014, 6:45 pm

Thanks WG, I'll try it. For years I shied away from novels, and stuck with non-fiction. But, I'm finding that some novels are OK, and worth reading. Abebooks should be able to fix me up. I read about the supposed ill-feeling between Bogart and Ida Lupino. If true, non of it was transmitted to the screen. In fact, they're a lot more convincing as a couple than Jack Palance and Shelly Winters in the remake.
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."

Western Guy
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Joined: March 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: High Sierra: Roy Earle

Postby Western Guy » August 18th, 2014, 8:55 pm

I agree about the Bogart and Lupino coupling, Joe, and I wonder if ill will truly did develop between them during the making of the movie. Bogart was certainly not the most likeable chap on the Warners lot but I seem to recall in later years that Lupino spoke with fondness about her HIGH SIERRA co-star and, in fact, said that stories of dissention among some of the Warner players were actually fabricated by the studio itself.

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Joe Macclesfield
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Re: High Sierra: Roy Earle

Postby Joe Macclesfield » August 19th, 2014, 11:07 am

Yes, W.G. I recall reading in Joe Hyams' biography of Bogie how amused he was at some of the bunk put out by the studio. It reminds me of Bogie's last film, The Harder They Fall. Toro's manager asks Eddie Willis (Bogie): "...but why do we have to lie?". Willis replies (with sarcastic relish): "PUBLICITY!".
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."

Western Guy
Posts: 1702
Joined: March 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: High Sierra: Roy Earle

Postby Western Guy » August 19th, 2014, 12:13 pm

And let's not forget, Joe, that Bogie fostered a lot of his own publicity - playing up the Hollywood "bad boy" image both in real life and making stuff up for the benefit of interviewers - mainly during the early years of his career and during his notorious marriage to Mayo Methot.

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Joe Macclesfield
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Location: Cheshire, England

Re: High Sierra: Roy Earle

Postby Joe Macclesfield » August 19th, 2014, 1:18 pm

I think that Bogie was a true artist. Like all the great artists, down through the centuries, whether they be poets, painters, musicians, and so forth, he knew precisely what effect he could create in the mind of the viewer.
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."

User avatar
Joe Macclesfield
Posts: 170
Joined: July 15th, 2014, 3:06 pm
Location: Cheshire, England

Re: High Sierra: Roy Earle

Postby Joe Macclesfield » August 20th, 2014, 1:04 pm

Got a new book to start tonight. Dillinger: A Short and Violent Life by Robert Cromie. Looks like it'll be a good read. I reckon fans of gangster pictures owe Mr. Dillinger a debt of gratitude. For surely, he must have been the inspiration for the characters Duke Mantee, and Roy Earle. Some regard him as a folk hero. Some, a cold-blooded killer (though he was never actually convicted of killing anyone). He was a bit naughty though. Imagine, making life difficult for poor, honest, hard working folk like, bankers, politicians, and police forces!
"...Then as a bee, which among weeds doth fall,
Which seem sweet floures with lustre fresh and gay,
She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all,
But pleasd with none doth rise and sore away..."

Western Guy
Posts: 1702
Joined: March 26th, 2012, 1:19 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: High Sierra: Roy Earle

Postby Western Guy » August 20th, 2014, 1:33 pm

I gotta say I feel Dillinger was much maligned. No boy scout definitely, but neither a kill-crazed outlaw like some of his contemporaries. I write about Dillinger (and other badmen of the era) in my book "Dustbowl Desperados: Gangsters of the Dirty 30s" and in my research found that many of the female tellers in the banks he robbed recall him as quite a gentleman - and even some of the lawmen who chased after him during his relatively brief crime spree actually had a grudging respect for the bandit. J. Edgar Hoover, of course, was of an entirely different opinion - as he was with all of the public enemies, including "Ma" Barker, who, if Alvin Karpis and others are to be believed, was hardly a criminal mastermind - primarily a convenient "cover" for the criminal exploits of Karpis and her sons.

Dillinger apparently tried to avoid gun play, which was why he held a low opinion of "Pretty Boy" Floyd (who, despite this, I have doubts participated in the infamous Kansas City Massacre, which had all the markings of a true syndicate hit) and, of course, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. And Dillinger was never thrilled to be working with that bantam bloodthirsty badman "Baby Face" Nelson - yet, according to Karpis, was a character of contradictions.

Fascinating stuff.


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