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The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Not Rated  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  24 January 1948 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 73,653 users  
Reviews: 209 user | 103 critic

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.



(screenplay), (based on the novel by)
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Top Rated Movies #105 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
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 ...


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


Warner Bros. hit a new high in high adventure... bringing another best-seller to the screen! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

24 January 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Treasure of Sierra Madre  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Though the daily rushes impressed Warner Bros., Jack L. Warner, he nearly went berserk with the weekly expenditures. After viewing one scene, Warner threw up his hands and shouted to producer Henry Blanke, "Yeah, they're looking for gold all right - mine!" During another screening of rushes, Warner watched Dobbs stumble along in the desert for water. Warner jumped up in the middle of the scene and shouted to a gaggle of executives, "If that s.o.b. doesn't find water soon I'll go broke!" Warner had reason to be upset. John Huston and Blanke led him to believe that the film would be an easy picture to make and that they would be in and out of Mexico in a matter of weeks. Because Warner was notorious for not actually reading scripts, he assumed the film was a B-movie Western. As the full extent of Huston's plans became apparent, Warner nearly blew a gasket. He was especially unhappy with the way the film ended, arguing that audiences wouldn't accept it. Ironically, Warner was correct, since the initial box office take was as impressive as fool's gold. But the film was a huge critical success and, in its many re-releases, it more than earned its original investment of $3 million. See more »


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


[first lines]
Dobbs: Say buddy, will you stake a fellow Am...
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Featured in 100 Years at the Movies (1994) See more »


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