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The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Western | 24 January 1948 (USA)
Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains.

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(screenplay), (based on the novel by)
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Top Rated Movies #117 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
...
...
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McCormick (as Barton Mac Lane)
...
Arturo Soto Rangel ...
Presidente (as A. Soto Rangel)
Manuel Dondé ...
El Jefe (as Manuel Donde)
José Torvay ...
Pablo (as Jose Torvay)
Margarito Luna ...
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Storyline

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The more he yearns for a woman's arms . . . the fiercer he lusts for the treasure that cursed them all! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

|

Release Date:

24 January 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Treasure of Sierra Madre  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As with most of the Mexican actors selected from the local population, Alfonso Bedoya's atrocious pronunciation of English proved to be a bit of a problem. Example: "horseback" came out as "whore's back." And speaking of language barriers, there were scenes in which Walter Huston had to speak fluent Spanish, a language he did not know off camera. To fill this need, John Huston hired a Mexican to record the lines, and then the elder Huston memorized them so well that many assumed he knew the language like a native. This is but one reason why Walter Huston was long regarded as an "actor's actor." Meanwhile, Humphrey Bogart only knew of two Spanish words, "Dos Equis," a Mexican beer. See more »

Goofs

In the opening shot of the poster, the word "febrero" ("February") is spelled with a capital F. In Spanish, month names may or may not be capitalized. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dobbs: Say buddy, will you stake a fellow Am...
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Connections

Spoofed in UHF (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms
(1808) (uncredited)
Music traditional
Played on harmonica by Walter Huston
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of Warner Brother's triumphs of the forties…

Having had his day as an idolized star and romantic leading man, it was now time for Bogart to get down to the serious business of acting… For eighteen years it had usually been Bogart playing Bogart in various shadings… Now that Bogart was gone and in his place was an older and far less romantic figure, one who found new challenges and was able to meet most of them successfully… This new phase of his continued growth began with a story of three men in search of gold…

Although "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" is indisputably one of Bogart's best films, it was co-star Walter Huston who won an Academy Award as did the movie's director and scenarist, John Huston…

Based on a novel by the mysterious B. Traven, the film told a riveting tale which explored the degenerative effects of encroaching greed, distrust, and hatred on three prospectors who team up to search for gold in Mexico…

Bogart's Fred C. Dobbs was an amazingly complex creation whose slow disintegration into paranoia was brilliant1y managed on camera… He is a born loser with no potential for change in sight… Suspicious, unfeeling, savage, and easily corruptible, he seems clearly destined for a tragic fate almost from our first meeting with him…

Tim Holt was also excellent as Bob Curtin, a man who, like Bogart, is tempted but whose conscience will not permit him to exercise his baser desires. (He could have let Bogart die in a cave-in, but saved him instead.) Young, impressionable, and unprepared, he has never seen the likes of a Fred C. Dobbs and he finds himself overwhelmed and uncertain as to how he will cope with Dobbs's rage and greed…

However, it is the director's father, Walter Huston, who literally stole the picture from both Bogart and Holt as he played Howard, a wise old toothless codger who knew all along what would happen and took it all in stride, kicking up his heels and having a marvelous time… Life can't surprise him any more… He's already had successes and failures enough for one lifetime… Like a faithful dog, he's along for the thrill of the hunt, and should there be another pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, well, that's just a bonus…

It is mainly the interaction of these three men from their first meeting and uneasy partnership through their final confrontation that made "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" one of Warner Brothers' triumphs of the forties…


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