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.
The longer Bogart stays on screen the darker his face becomes, the whites of his eyes and the pearls of his teeth the last trace of his dwindling humanity, fighting back the growing mistrust. His journey through the film shows a man who has waited a long time in life for this chance and he intends to make the most of it. Whatever the cost.
That sentiment becomes an overbearing presence in his mind, be it the foreman who tries to cheat him out of money, the wild bandits roaming the hills or the creeping paranoia that wedges itself between Hobb's and his co-workers. The more the trio of men scour the land, the more disturbed and insecure he becomes.…
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…
not so much a film about how money changes you, but how it really brings out who you are. it only enhances your essential qualities--you were fucked up to begin with, well, money isn't gonna fix it. decency and warmth prevails if it was there to start with. bogart's inherent decency as an actor is used to great effect as it's revealed his apparent grouchy decency is really just a for a survival instinct warped by greed.
Watching Humphrey Bogart get dirtier and dirtier as the movie progressed made me want to bath and brush my teeth repeatedly. A fascinating, and dusty, study of human nature.
While watching this movie, I kept thinking what a shame it was that the basic cable channels didn't air this movie when I was growing up, as it would have fit in great with all the other adventure movies I loved as a youth. Of course Bogart and Huston are fantastic in their roles, but I was especially happy to see Tim Holt again after just discovering him as George Amberson. I also really appreciated all the unexpected places the story went. Now I'll just have to re-watch City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly's Gold to see how many references they make to this film.
Important? Yes. Excellent? Perhaps not.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is yet another classic that really didn't grab me in ways it seems to most people. I did like it overall, I just wasn't blown away with it. The performances are all good and I loved the relationship between the three men as they go through various emotions, including greed and suspicion of each other. I do think things go a little too far near the end with the attempted murder. It just seems to come from nowhere after all of the time they spent together mining the gold. The ending is a little obvious too and I spent the last half an hour hoping it wouldn't go there and would actually take a…
Noir November (Film #9)
"When the piles of gold begin to grow, that's when the trouble starts."
Ok, I'll go ahead and get this out of the way... I realize this film isn't a noir. I decided to put this one on my Noir November list because it's directed by Huston and it's starring Bogart. That's close enough for me. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre tells the story of three down and out men living in Tampico, Mexico who decide to try and strike it rich by traveling up into the Sierra Madre Mountains and looking for gold. While living up in the mountains, the men start turning on each other as the gold they discover adds up to…
Give me more of that old timer laughing...
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
A classic Bogart film, with a classic Bogart performance. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre has a sound story, but it is the changing ideas that the viewer has about the three main characters throughout the film that makes the film. Throughout the story, the characters undergo problem after problem, and each one leaves them a different man, however the film expertly shows how the raw nature of a person can determine their outcome, no matter what they face. The cinematography was wonderful, and it was one of the best directing jobs I've seen in a movie from that era, perhaps sans Casablanca. There are still a lot of parts of the film that haven't aged as well as the…
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