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. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
B. Traven did not agree with John Huston's decision to cast Walter Huston as Howard, the grizzled prospector. He originally envisioned MGM contract star Lewis Stone in the role, but he eventually came to see the wisdom behind the director's choice to put Walter Huston in the role. See more »
Although John Huston's directing is absolutely equal to the screenplay, winning Oscars for both, it is the performance level of the actors that makes "Treasure of The Sierra Madre" the classic film that it is. Beginning and ending with Walter Huston's award winning role of the worn-out old miner who is looking for one last big score, Humphrey Bogart and Tim Holt are equal to the task and draw us in to this tale of need and greed. So convincing is Walter's portrayal of the seasoned old prospector, we come to believe that he is a gold digger by trade who only acts in movies so that he can dig and pan for gold again and again. His knowledge of mining and the lifestyle it demands and forces upon those who partake, is so thorough that Bogart and Holt seem like school kids in awe of a new hero. Of course, we know that his son John, did much research in preparation for writing the screenplay; but we are nevertheless plunged into a sure belief that this old miner must surely have been there age upon age, mine upon mine, and has therefore, a thousand tales to tell.
When, in the course of the story, Walter is taken away, somewhat without choice, to work the magic of a healer for a Mexican village, we are again convinced that he is a medical doctor hiding out as a prospector. This is the acting craft in full bloom. Walter becomes whatever is called for in the story. However, if one views his other films, the effect is the same. He is one of Hollywood's most under rated actors of all time. Those who have not seen this film have a joyous experience awaiting them. Great story, great screenplay, great acting. This is why we love movies the way we do.
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