I love classic films. Growing up with my father I was exposed to a plethora of amazing movies from well before I was born, many of them remain some of my absolute favorites to this day. Today’s entry is one that still resonates to me as one of the best. I am proud to present: Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
Todays Key Movie:
Gold, Greed and corruption. This is what this film is about. Fred Hobbs (Humphrey Bogart) is a man out of luck. Living in Mexico, he is desperate for a job and can not seem to catch a break. When he gets an opportunity to dig for gold in the Sierra Madre mountains with Bob Curtin (Tim Holt) and a grizzled Prospector named Howard (Walter Huston), he sees this as his opportunity to strike it rich. However, as with all riches, soon gold fever sets in and greed becomes all that matters.
Why this movie?
I vividly remember the first time I saw this film. My Father was a huge Bogart fan and had pretty much every film he ever made on VHS. One day he wanted to show me one of his very favorite films. At the time I wasn’t very interested in Bogart films but I have in and soon found this gem to be one of my favorites as well.
The story is pretty straight forward, a group of people go out to strike it rich. Along the way they are faced with all sorts of struggles, Banditos, nature and more. Soon they each realize that the greatest danger is each other as the greed of gold sets in. The thing that struck me about this film is that, while it is an adventure, it has a wonderful twist at the end that you will not expect. Nearly hitchcockian in a way, it is a memorable one that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Okay, you like this film, but is it really a ‘good film’?
To me, this is Bogart’s best film, period. He plays a man who is truly human and in that, truly flawed. Most times a man of Bogart’s stature would play the hero in a film like this but he is anything but. Bogart, while the lead, is not all good, as I said before, he is flawed and in some ways ultimately the villain of the film.
Co-Star Tim Holt plays Bob, the more level headed partner and does a wonderful job in the role of the conscious of the group. While he also succumbs to the greed of gold to some degree, he finds himself the better of them all, and in many ways is the true hero of the film.
Finally we come to the memorable Walter Huston (grandfather to the famous Anjelica Huston) in the role of the Prospector Howard. He is the only real straight shooter of the group, and, in a moment of foreshadowing, he even warns his two partners that with gold comes greed before they even set out. Huston also happens to be the father of Director John Huston, the man who directed this very film.
The Movie itself is a grand film. Covering all sorts of peril it shows so many aspects of the human condition over the course of two hours. The films legacy is certainly one that remains to this day. With it being referenced in movies such as UHF, and even in the video game Fallout New Vegas, and many others, this film is one that has stood the test of time. I mean, if you have ever hear the phrase, ‘ We don’t need no stinkin’ badges’ then you should know it came from this film. Although the monochromatic nature of the film may turn many moviegoers off these days, it is not one to ignore and can be truly considered one of the greatest films of all time.
One interesting aspect about the film is the mystery surrounding the writer. To this day no one really knows who it was that wrote the book the film was based on. Although credited to a B. Traven, there are records available indicating if this was a real person or just a pen-name for another author.
OK, where do I get this movie?
This is one that has been released on bluray with a wonderful digital transfer. I can not recommend it high enough and it will run you around $15-$20 these days. You can also get a copy digitally from most digital services.
As usual, the Trailer:
Late To The Game 08/30/2018
Thank you for reading today. I hope you enjoyed the review. If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and also a complete review of Star Trek Discovery. We also have a fun Retro TV Review series in which we are currently reviewing the entire Star Trek The Next Generation Series, episode by episode.
As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these movies as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!