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Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (Warner 1948, Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston)

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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.

production details
USA / Warner Bros. / 126 minutes / 1948

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

cast
Humphrey Bogart as Fred C. Dobbs
Tim Holt as Bob Curtin
Walter Huston as Howard
Bruce Bennett as James Cody
Barton MacLane as Pat McCormick
Alfonso Bedoya as Gold Hat
Arturo Soto Rangel as El Presidente
Manuel Dondé as El Jefe
José Torvay as Pablo
Margarito Luna as Pancho
Ralph Dunn as Flophouse Bum (uncredited)
Pat Flaherty as Customer in Bar Who Warns Curtin and Dobbs about Pat McCormick (uncredited)
John Huston as American in Tampico in White Suit (uncredited)
Robert Blake as Mexican Boy Selling Lottery Tickets (uncredited)
Jack Holt as Flophouse Bum (uncredited)
Ann Sheridan as Pretty woman walking past barbershop (uncredited)
Jay Silverheels as Indian Guide at Pier (uncredited)
Guillermo Calles as Mexican Storeowner (uncredited)
Roberto Cañedo as Mexican Lieutenant (uncredited)
Spencer Chan as Proprietor (uncredited)
Jacqueline Dalya as Flashy Girl (uncredited)
Martin Garralaga as Railroad Conductor (uncredited)
Julian Rivero as Barber (uncredited)
Harry J. Vejar as Bartender (uncredited)
Clifton Young as Flophouse Bum (uncredited)

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