Sunday, October 24, 2010

"Can you help a fellow American down on his luck?"

Nicole McBride
English 111
24 October 2010
John Houston's film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre tells the ironic story of three men on the search of gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains. Fred C. Dobbs and Bob Curtin are two American men down in their luck in Tampico, Mexico. They are just scraping by by finding whatever low end job they can get and asking people for money. All this changes when they meet an old prospector named Howard.

Howard is in search for partners to help him prospect for gold. At first, Dobbs and Curtin turn him down because lack of money. However, Dobbs attains some money from winning a small lottery so Dobbs, Curtin, and Howard, go on to search for gold.

On their journey to find gold, they are attacked while on the train by a group of bandits headed by Gold Hat, who will later be a recurring problem in the movie. The men get supplies and set up camp on some territory that is loaded with gold and build a gold mine. The men agree to split all the gold equally amongst themselves, but Dobbs being the suspicious person he is believes that he is being cheated out on this share. This feeling of unsecurity only heigthens when James Cody is introduced.

The three men plan to secretly murder Cody, but before they can do so, their campsite is attacked by bandits leaded by Gold Hat yet again. Cody is killed in the crossfire in the attack and the bandits leave because they fooled by the appearance of Federal soldiers. The men decide to leave the campe because the thinning of gold and Howard is called to help some sick boy at a nearby village.

Dobbs and Curtin continue on their journey with only Dobbs getting more and more paranoid about the gold. This results in Dobbs holding Curtin at gunpoint one night, but Curtin survives. Curtin somehow manages to find the village where Howard is being honored and they go on to look for Dobbs. Meanwhile, Dobbs is killed by the recurring bandits lead by Gold Hat and they mistakingly scatter his gold in the winds. They also still his belongings.

When Howard and Curtin return to town, they barely miss the killing of Gold Hat and his bandits. The film ends with Howard and Curtin having lost their fortune, but realize they were better off than Gold Hat and Dobbs.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre was an okay film. I probably will not want to watch it again, it really dragged on and was slow. I was excited to see it at first though because I liked Humphrey Bogart's performance in Casablanca. I do like how in these old movies, the music is really intense. For example, you can tell what emotion is trying to be put across through the dramatic music played.

1 comment:

  1. It was very slow and did seem to drag on, I agree I wouldn't want to watch it again, but it was a good movie in the end. It really didn't pay much attention to the music at the time, but now that I look back on it, the music can be dramatic which adds a neat element.