(Recommended by SI Blog Reader S.Ganesh Kumar)
I know what Gold does to men’s souls.
– The old man Howard (Walter Huston) in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
No, we have never caught the gold fever but after having watched The Treasure of the Sierra Madre we now know how dangerous the ailment can be to the victim as well as those around him.
By the way do any of you schmucks know what a full glass of gin day after day does to a desi’s brain? It friggin melts it and makes SI close the comments. 😉
Bogie, We Hardly KnewYe
Who having watched Humphrey Bogart a.k.a Bogie in Casablanca can resist the spell that he casts on viewers.
Not us, definitely.
Great fans that we are of Bogie, we popped The Treasure of the Sierra Madre DVD into our home theater last night to watch one of our favorite stars in a non-romantic and negative role.
Made in 1947 (the year of India’s independence from the British yoke) and released in early 1948, the black and white film Treasure of the Sierra Madre won three Oscars.
And deservedly so.
Sadly, Bogie (now dead for 53 years) was missing among the Oscar winners.
More Than About Bogie
But the Treasure of the Sierra Madre is more than just about Bogie, so much more.
It’s hard to believe that 62 years back Hollywood was producing such fine films and in India we still continue to churn out junk like that Biryani cook Ajit’s Aegan and the ‘Master Chef’ Akshay Kumar’s Action Replayy.
Set in the 1920s, Treasure of the Sierra Madre (directed by John Huston) is the story of two down and out Americans Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart) and Curtin (Tim Holt) getting drawn to gold prospecting after hearing an old man Howard (Walter Huston) at a flophouse wax lyrical about the opportunities therein.
Soon, the trio join hands and are off to the mountains where they, of course, strike gold literally.
Alas, not figuratively.
Drat, the curse of the gold!
No sooner does the gold dust start to accumulate in their little pouches than Dobbs starts seeing villains in his two fellow prospectors, particularly Curtin.
The tension intensifies when another ambitious American insists on joining them despite the fibs about hunting the trio feed him.
There’s never a dull moment in this old film although the ending was not unexpected for us.
Soon as we saw Dobbs get the gold-fever we knew how this movie would end.
And it did. Just as we thought!
All-Round Fine Acting
Bogart, Holt and Huston do a commendable job as does Bruce Bennett in his short role as James Cody, a fellow American determined to join the threesome in their gold prospecting operations.
But it’s the old man Walter Huston who steals the show.
Huston’s is a peerless performance and never more so when he does a short dance on the mountain ridiculing his two younger partners for being so dumb that they don’t even realize they have gold under their feet.
Walter Huston got the Best Supporting Actor Oscar while his son John Huston bagged the Oscar for Best Director!
The movie has a poignant ending with one of the group kissing the dust and ….. No, we won’t spoil your fun.
All ye schmucks, see the movie. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
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