The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
March 28, 2018 8:58 PM - Subscribe

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.
posted by rhizome (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do we need badges for this?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:30 AM on March 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm a special case, I think: I have a badge, but I maintain it pretty well so it isn't stinking.
posted by doctornecessiter at 10:27 AM on March 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

John Huston had a few misfires as director but when he was on, he was near the top. I'm still amazed that he managed to make such a bleak and hopeless film inside the hollywood system using one of their biggest start at the time.
posted by octothorpe at 1:25 PM on March 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'd never seen this before, and now I'm wondering if this is the origin of the "muttering to oneself while doing a task" trope. There were surprisingly few "seen it a million times" bits like I experience watching other influential classics, but I'm thinking the end was directly quoted in Rififi.

Humphrey could sure rock a hangdog expression, and I think this is the most "actor-y" Bogart movie I've seen so far, the previous one being "In a Lonely Place." I tried to watch "African Queen" last week, but that one really seemed like I was going to feel like I'd seen it a million times before by the end.
posted by rhizome at 1:45 PM on March 29, 2018

Streaming on HBO Max, as part of the TCM curated collection, at the moment.

I hadn't seen it before either and two things struck me: firstly, Walter Huston totally steals the movie from Bogart; he's wonderful in this. (And poor Tim Holt as Curtin; he's fine, but it's very much an "oh and also this guy" role.)

Secondly: the increasing paranoia and distrust; the bleakness; the showdown between Dobbs and Curtin across the fire, both exhausted and struggling to stay awake. Same themes, very different movie: The Thing.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 3:26 PM on June 5, 2021

Oh, and I was also struck by the extensive use of Spanish in a number of scenes; Dobbs and Curtin watching conversations that they don't understand play out until Howard explains it to them them. It felt to me like a modern movie would almost certainly use subtitles to translate the Spanish for the audience; Huston doesn't, leaving us hanging, to emphasize how isolated Dobbs has become.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 3:55 PM on June 5, 2021

Huston was a noted collector of pre-Columbian art and featured indigenous people in a number of his films in the cinema verite style inserts you see here. They are always striking and beautiful (I’m thinking of scenes featuring indigenous non actors in “Key Largo”). His admiration of indigenous people was not unproblematic by any means, but it was sincere.

I was assigned Huston as a topic for a research paper in high school and later became an admirer of his films. I was delighted to discover a statue of Huston in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he owned a home and filmed “Night of the Iguana”.
posted by chrchr at 8:49 PM on June 5, 2021

This was good enough that my partner who generally doesn't stick around for movies found herself hooked and watched the whole thing with me. And we've chated about it a bunch since then so it has some great staying power. Walter Huston is really great though, and she really liked Tim Holt, thought he was a pretty great presence.
posted by Carillon at 10:52 PM on December 28, 2021

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