Many consider The Treasure of the Sierra Madre to be John Huston’s finest moment, though he supplied many to choose from. It is in any case a classic tale of greed and its corrosive effect on the human soul.
Two drifters on the bum in Mexico (Humphrey Bogart and Tim Holt) see their fortunes rise after working for some pocket money and Bogart wins a lottery. They take their new means and team up with an old prospector they meet in a flophouse (Walter Huston) to venture into the mountains to dig for gold.
Bogart declares that he won’t fall prey to Huston’s warning about riches turning men’s heads, wanting only his fair share. Their luck seems to hold after surviving a bandit attack and hitting a strike, but as the gold dust piles up, the wariness sets in. Bogart is magnificent as he slowly lets the greed and suspicion eat him alive, pulling a gun on his onetime partner and succumbing at last to the bandit’s gun.
John Huston directed his father, Walter, to an Oscar for his performance. In 1985, Huston did the same for his daughter, Anjelica, with Prizzi’s Honor.
Golden Globes for Best Director: John Huston; Best Supporting Actor: Walter Huston; Best Motion Picture, Drama.
Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Picture.
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Tim Holt, Walter Huston, Bruce Bennett, John Huston, Jose Torvay
Director: John Huston
Producer: Henry Blanke
Original Story: B. Traven
Director of Photography: Ted McCord
Editor: Owen Marks
Composer: Max Steiner
Screenwriter: John Huston
Art Director: John Hughes
USA / Warner Bros. / 126 minutes / 1948