Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
The nearer they get to their treasure, the farther they get from the law.
Fred C. Dobbs and Bob Curtin, both down on their luck in Tampico, Mexico in 1925, meet up with a grizzled prospector named Howard and decide to join with him in search of gold in the wilds of central Mexico. Through enormous difficulties, they eventually succeed in finding gold, but bandits, the elements, and most especially greed threaten to turn their success into disaster.
One small step for man, one giant leap for Hollywood. A landmark turning point in the business, Madre was one of the very first to shoot almost entirely on location, resulting in an unheard of 6 months of shooting. The painstaking details have lived long, gracefully aging this story like the finest wine you've tasted. A classic that time has proven will live forever. Walter Huston's performance only turns your ideas of prospecting wild men completely upside down with spellbinding charm. The roots of Daniel Plainview seed their way back to Huston's face in this.
Nobody puts one over on Fred C. Dobbs.
Sometimes timing is everything. John Huston was trying to get this film into production as early as 1942 but all that was halted when he was activated by the U.S. Army as a documentary filmmaker. When he returned from the war, Humphrey Bogart had continued his rise in popularity that started with Huston's first film, The Maltese Falcon, and was one of Hollywood's biggest stars by this point. He now had final approval on the screenwriter and director of whatever films he would star in. Knowing what Huston had planned on making next, Bogey's decision was already made. It wasn't the first great collaboration between the two, and it wouldn't be…
Bogey can play the biggest asshole in the world and I still love him.
Ah, as long as there's no find, the noble brotherhood will last but when the piles of gold begin to grow... that's when the trouble starts.
"I know what gold does to men's souls"
A classic in every aspect, John Huston's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a revolutionary piece of filmmaking of the highest class. Entertaining in every sense and near perfect, from the in-depth story to the enthralling music, John Huston's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is truly one of the most atmospherically effective films ever created, due to Bogart's terrific and terror inspiring performance and the visually stunning cinematography.
Huston's frequent collaborator, Humphrey Bogart has quite possibly delivered his all time greatest performance with this film, being both sympathetic and terrifying. Bogart's flawless expression of his character's downfall into greed and insanity is one of cinema's peaks, reaching complete…
John Huston's searing drama condemns greed with conviction, explores human nature, and embraces the beauty of humanity in spite of its flaws. Based on B. Traven's novel of the same name, it tells the story of three impecunious Americans living in Mexico in the 20s who travel to the Sierra Madre mountains to prospect gold. Humphrey Bogart as Fred C. Dobbs, Tim Holt as Bob Curtin, Walter Huston and Howard make up a trio of performances that together authentically represent the diverse natures of men in desperation. Unsurprisingly, Bogart steals the show as arrogant and unpredictable Fred Dobbs who goes from casual skepticism, to aggressive paranoia, to complete madness. This progression in unsettling and darkly mesmerizing. Holt as Curtin is…
A terrific tale of greed and fate. Bogart has, perhaps, never been better.
"I don't have to show you any steenkin' badges!"
Interesting setup, cool Bogey. Overall not my kind of movie...
A tragic and compelling tale of man's obsession, propelled by a phenomenal turn from the always-reliable Humph.
A classic parable on the dangers of greed and how it can change a man, this film centers on two down-on-their-luck drifters who wind up in a town south of the border begging for scraps. After listening to an old man's tales of prospecting, they decide to pool the money they're able to get their hands on and, with the old man as a mentor and partner, proceed into the mountains to seek their fortune in gold. However, their partnership is soon threatened as the lure of treasure brings out the worst.
While all of Bogie's performances have been solid, this is one of the finest I've seen from him. Bogie had a tendency towards understated, somewhat stoic performances, but…
This is a film about temptation and greed. The kind of temptation that happens when a man suddenly sees infinite possibility staring him in the face. When he sees an opportunity to get everything he ever wanted and suddenly he’s doing things he never would have done before. The kind that leads him to lose sight of everything he believes in, filling his head with jealousy and suspicion, until he becomes capable of anything, even murder.
The story here is of two American men, living in 1920’s Mexico and down on their luck, who decide to try their hands at prospecting for gold. They find an older, more experienced, prospector to head out with them, and laugh off his warnings…
Bogey is one fucked up dude
"Get away from my burro!"
Dobbs is a little crazy. I can see how Breaking Bad mirrored a few instances from this film. Great day off kind of film!
One of the best depictions in any medium of the pratfalls of greed, the final scene makes the great greater by adding in elements that could be considered near-biblical. The slow burn of paranoia gradually morphing into outright insanity is still to this day near unparalleled in its perfect escalation of stakes and subsequent tension.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre was one of the first films to be shot entirely on location, and though it resulted in what must have been hell for some of the creative forces responsible, in the end, the effort was well worth whatever pain it may have caused. Details hold up under incredibly close scrutiny, and the scenery adds another layer to the rich tapestry that is the final product.
It's my favorite Bogart performance. It's my favorite Huston move. Hell, it's one of my favorite movies period.
Although I found the Treasure of Sierra Madre did share some traits with The Man Who Would be King (which I recently viewed for the first time also) in that it centered around several strong male leads and their pursuit for money and power this was a much darker film.
Humphrey Bogart plays the man at the center of Madre's main plot and it is his character arc and transformation throughout the film from a man just trying to get by on the side of the street to a gold crazed lunatic which is its most interesting aspect. Bogart is of course fantastic in this role and he really make you believe that this person has been completely transformed by…
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