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Taking a story of three vagrants on “the beach” in Mexico who pool their scratchy resources and go hunting for gold in the desolate hills is as old as ‘dem hills.’ Who can resist such a lure of the dangers of desolate places if pots of gold were guaranteed at the end? Greed has never been good even if in the ‘80s we were told by some quarters to the contrary. In Treasure of the Sierra Madre we see the baseness of human nature, greed,like a steel- spring shut on those who succumb to it. John Huston, who wrote and directed it from a novel by B. Traven, does not obfuscate this essential feature of human self- aggrandizement and also equally valid instinct for self preservation ( in an environment where all the barriers are down) even while he boldly presents a great adventure film. ‘ For the details are fast and electric from the moment the three prospectors start into the Mexican mountains, infested with bandits and beasts, until two of them come down empty-handed and the third one, the mean one, comes down dead. There are vicious disputes among them, a suspenseful interlude when a fourth man tries to horn in and some running fights with the banditi that will make your hair stand on end. And since the outdoor action was filmed in Mexico with all the style of a documentary camera, it has integrity in appearance, too. Most shocking…, however, will likely be the job that Mr. Bogart does as the prospector who succumbs to the gnawing of greed. Physically, morally and mentally, this character goes to pot before our eyes, dissolving from a fairly decent hobo under the corroding chemistry of gold into a hideous wreck of humanity possessed with only one passion—to save his “stuff.” And the final appearance of him, before a couple of roving bandits knock him off in a manner of supreme cynicism, is one to which few actors would lend themselves. Mr. Bogart’s compensation should be the knowledge that his performance in this film is perhaps the best and most substantial that he has ever done.’ Quote from NY Times review by Bosley Crowther,1948
Plot Synopsis
by Hal Erickson

John Huston’s 1948 treasure-hunt classic begins as drifter Fred C. Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart), down and out in Tampico, Mexico, impulsively spends his last bit of dough on a lottery ticket. Later on, Dobbs and fellow indigent Curtin (Tim Holt) seek shelter in a cheap flophouse and meet Howard (Walter Huston), a toothless, garrulous old coot who regales them with stories about prospecting for gold. Forcibly collecting their pay from their shifty boss, Dobbs and Curtin combine this money with Dobbs’s unexpected windfall from a lottery ticket and, together with Howard, buy the tools for a prospecting expedition. Dobbs has pledged that anything they dig up will be split three ways, but Howard, who’s heard that song before, doesn’t quite swallow this. As the gold is mined and measured, Dobbs grows increasingly paranoid and distrustful, and the men gradually turn against each other on the way toward a bitterly ironic conclusion. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a superior morality play and one of the best movie treatments of the corrosiveness of greed. Huston keeps a typically light and entertaining touch despite the strong theme, for which he won Oscars for both Director and Screenplay, as well as a supporting award for his father Walter, making Walter, John, and Anjelica Huston the only three generations of one family all to win Oscars.
DVD Releases
Similar Movies
Black Water Gold (1969, Alan Landsburg)
Greed (1924, Erich Von Stroheim)
Legend of the Lost (1957, Henry Hathaway)
MacKenna’s Gold (1969, J. Lee Thompson)
Trespass (1992, Walter Hill)
Plunder of the Sun (1953, John Farrow)
The Trail of ’98 (1928, Clarence Brown)
The Last Posse (1953, Alfred L. Werker)
The Mountain (1956, Edward Dmytryk)
Le Ruffian (1983, José Giovanni)
Movies with the Same Personnel
The Maltese Falcon (1941, John Huston)
The African Queen (1951, John Huston)
Key Largo (1948, John Huston)
The Red Badge of Courage (1951, John Huston)
Beat the Devil (1953, John Huston)
High Sierra (1941, Raoul Walsh)
The Man Who Would Be King (1975, John Huston)
Across the Pacific (1942, John Huston)
Other Related Movies
is related to: Across the Pacific (1942, John Huston)
The African Queen (1951, John Huston)
Beat the Devil (1953, John Huston)
Key Largo (1948, John Huston)
The Maltese Falcon (1941, John Huston
Ack: http://www.allmovies.com

compiler:benny

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A Fortune Cookie ©

A treasure-seeker went into the Arabian Desert. The night before he set out on the last leg of his journey he was in an inn where he picked a fortune cookie. Within the cookie was a strip of paper rolled neatly that read, ‘Ask kindly and do not forget to thank me for the favors’. He went to the oases as darkness fell and he had no difficulty to reach the Tomb of the Unknown Traveler. He could also find the exact spot where the treasure lay hidden. A figure now sat there as if deep in prayers. With one bullet he killed him. Rudely shoving the dead aside he began digging up. He might have kept at it for a length of thirty minutes before the shovel hit some metal.
It was a box. Before he could open it a shadow fell over him. It was that of a Jinn who put such a fright into him and he fainted.  By and by he recovered. The Jinn pointed out to the dead and said: “Did you ask him kindly?”  The treasure hunter remembered the fortune- cookie. He managed a smile and croaked, “Too late for that.”
Before dying, out of fright to be sure, he seemed to see in that face of the dead man an uncanny resemblance to himself. He was also past hearing the words of the Jinn, who exclaimed, “Not even a thanks for the favors done to him. Does not anyone believe in a fortune cookie these days?”
benny

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