Imagine my surprise at seeing, last night, the Rhode Island State House in the opening scene of High Sierra, the 1941 film in which Humphrey Bogart is pardoned. He shortly after plans a heist in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Rhode Island’s star turn lasts but seconds, cast in noir as befits the film. The very next shot depicts some other “state capitol” entrance in high classical style, then the “Office of the Governor” and then the pardon being signed from over the governor’s shoulder. In 1938, the year the film takes place, that governor of Rhode Island would have been Robert E. Quinn, the two-term successor to Theodore Francis Green, hero of the “Bloodless Revolution” (the capture of the state by Democrats after decades of Republican rule). But in fact an actor plays the governor of Illinois, not Rhode Island. Bogart leaves “Mossmoor Prison,” in Chicago. Bogart got second billing to Ida Lupino.
I always rejoice when I happen upon a Bogart film that I’ve never seen. High Sierra opened with a cherry on top. Here is that cherry: