The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Reviews
They enlist Howard (Huston) to take them and help them find gold
As they begin to search for gold they become quite successful and start dreaming of how much to take and what they will do with all the money. They decide to split up the gold dust as they find it and each of them hides it in a separate place. When Curtin accidentally stumbles upon Dobb's hiding place Dobbs begins to lose trust in his fellow partners. They still manage to stick together as they fight off rebels, and bandits. There are some great scenes of comradely between the men, and there are many scenes of tension and darkness where I believed any one of them could have been killed. Eventually Dobb's greed and paranoia gets the best of him as he attempts to kill Curtin in cold blood while Howard is off praised for helping some natives.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is slow drama that gradually unfolds to those who are patient. The characters start off innocent, and you root for them to find fortune. The film depicts what can happen to a man when stricken by greed. Hobbs starts as a good man, but his transition to darkness is the film's best attribute. Huston and Holt are excellent side characters and you feel for them as they try and curtail the wrath and envy of Dobbs. They each share the burden trying to do the right thing despite Dobb's constant objections. Although none of them are completely innocent as they almost decide to kill a man in cold blood to protect their find, they all eventually get what they deserve. Great direction and great performances drive this picture in what has a pretty straight forward story. Treasure of the Sierra Madre runs a little long, but it has quite a payoff and is a great drama/adventure.
With themes that are well taught, great direction, and terrific performances, this film shines as one of the best western films.
If I had to go through Bogart's career of award worthy performances (surprisingly, he was only nominated 3 times), his turn as Dobbs may be my favorite performance of his, and yes that includes The African Queen. There's something to be said about him moving away from his usual gloomy and somber characters to one that completely jumps off the rails. But it fits in with the increasingly unhinged tone of the film, so Bogart would get my vote. He, along with John Huston's directing are why this is one of the most interesting pieces of cinema from the 40's. It's one of the rare films with mostly unlikable characters that actually works. That deserves some props.