Tuesday, September 20, 2011
"I think I'll go to sleep and dream about piles of gold getting bigger and bigger and bigger."
Initially, before I witnessed this movie, I thought it was going to be a corny western with a aimless prospector running around begging for help. I was sorely mistaken. "Treasure of The Sierra Madre" is a movie that answers all the questions I had about being a Gold Miner. The movie opens up with a poor Humphrey Bogart looking at the Spanish Stock exchange (yikes) and sadly turning towards a bar, were he is pestered by this little boy who wants him to buy a lottery ticket. Eventually after some persuasion he buys the cheapest lottery ticket and precedes to bum money of the same guy three times.The last time he gets a "Red Cent"from the wealthy fedora-ridden businessman, another less-wealthy appearing man offers him a job. Fred C. Dobbs is quickly swindelled out of labor though. He soon learns that the man who offered him a job uses jobless people as labor and then leaves to the next town before he has to sign a check. Mr. Bogart and his accomplice then find the man in the bar. After some shots are purchased, the bums proceed to give him a beat-down and take only what they agreed on and nothing more. That night they reside in a poor house for "Gringos"and meet a man who continues to talk about the gold rush. This is were the adventure really takes off.
The old man, known as Howard, tells them he will take them to the mountain in search of gold if they have the money for the trip. After counting the money the took from the crooked contractor and Fred conveniently winning the lottery, they give Howard the money. Both Fred and his friend Bob Curtain initially set out towards the mountain and think they have found huge mounds of gold. Howards chuckles and points out that it is Pyrites (Fools Gold). They have a conversation about gold in general, and Howard dishes out some of the most memorable quotes I have ever heard. Though Fred is persistent about the glory of wealth, Howard leaves them with "Water's precious. Sometimes may be more precious than gold". At this point in the movie, I was defiantly sensing that Fred Dobbs was going to go through a major character reform and probably become very obsessive about gold. Spoiler alert: he defiantly does.
After finding sand-like gold in the mountains, Bob Curtin encounters a man at the shop in town while buying more supplies. His names is James Cody, and seems very interested in what Mr. Curtin is up to in the mountain. Bob says that he's a hunter, but James knows that there is not much game in Sierra Madre. He stalks Bob and makes an offer to the group after being threatened with death. He offers his help but wants a slice of the golden pie. The only other alternative is death. The team recruits him in a sense, but not for long. He dies after a shoot out with some bandits who claim that they are forestry officials.
Later that night, Howard helps a little boy who had nearly drowned and is praised by the locals. The locals return and offer a banquet in honor of his life saving capabilities. Humphrey just has to open his mouth though and puts all of the locals on edge. After a machete standoff, Howard leaves his gold with the two and departs. Fred proceeds to become more and more obsessed with the gold and even ponders the idea of stealing Howard.
He mentions this plan to Curtin, but Curtin instantly rejects the idea. Fred gets agitated and proposes that he continues to the bank. Curtin tells him that they need to set up camp. A few words later and the men are watching each other sleep at gun point. Fred eventually shoots Curtin twice and claims the gold. Curtin escapes though, by dragging himself to the locals in the mountain.
Fred meets his just end soon by being robbed by the same bandits who he had the shoot out with. They brutally murder him with a machete. Bob and Howard hear of this and try to find the gold where the bandits tried to sell the burros. Unfortunately the gold was sliced open and spilt about because the bandits thought it was mere sand. The men have a good laugh and then sweetly part ways.Such a great ending, everything was resolved and the antagonists were either imprisoned or murdered. That is how I like them!