Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Treasure of Sierra Madre

John Huston, 1948, 120m
This one is about the power of gold. Three men, starting as friends, find themselves in a wilderness with a load of the stuff. Friendship turns to suspicion and greed, at least for the Bogart character, who we find at his masculine worst, all humanity jaundiced by gold. The farce becomes serious when two shots are fired in the night. This is an epic adventure, flawlessly directed. Humphrey Bogart, in the key negative portrayal, is unforgettable.
"There is a pitiless stark realism that brings the movie to honesty and truth. Leading up to them is a down-market Shakespearean soliloquy when Dobbs thinks he is a murderer and says, "Conscience. What a thing! If you believe you got a conscience, it'll pester you to death. But if you don't believe you got one, what could it do to ya?" He finds out."
NY Times:
"...this steel-springed outdoor drama transgresses convention...originality and maturity....Mr. Bogart as a 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 into a hideous wreck of humanity possessed ..."
Pauline Kael
"..when it's over you know you've seen something."


Anonymous said...

If the characters of "A Simple Plan" had watched this film in advance, they would have reconsidered their plan.

S. M. Rana said...

As they say, property is the mother of disputes.