The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (1948)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.5

USA, 1948.  Screenplay by John Huston, based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by , .  Film Editing by .  

Three men, two drifters and an old coot, band together to go looking for gold in the mountains of Mexico. They find bags of it, but it isn’t long before human greed and paranoia divide and set them against each other.  has one of his best roles in this John Huston film, one of the most unlikable characters he’s ever played and one of the most compelling. It is his monstrously weak will that sets the events of the film in motion, with the more rational  trying to keep things rolling while (in one of his most memorable performances) looks on at the both of them and laughs.  John Huston’s direction is airtight and his script very well written, though at times the film’s theme hangs over the story too blatantly and the characters’ downfall is easily telegraphed from early on (The Wages Of Fear would be made a few years later, stylistically and thematically similar and better at both). Still, it’s one of the highlights of the forties and, although I’d rather watch The Maltese Falcon, one of Huston’s very best works.

Academy Awards:  Best Supporting Actor (Walter Huston); Best Director (John Huston); Best Screenplay
Nomination: Best Picture

Golden Globe Award:  Best Picture (tie); Best Supporting Actor (Walter Huston); Best Director (John Huston)

Venice Film Festival: In Competition


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