The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre on Blu-Ray
by Del Harvey
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On October 5, 2010, one of Humphrey Bogart’s most beloved performances will be presented on stunning Blu-ray Disc™ for the very first time. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre has been newly restored and remastered for its Blu-ray™ debut.
Humphrey Bogart is riveting as Fred C. Dobbs, a down-on-his-luck American in Mexico who tries his hand at prospecting with fellow ex-pats Tim Holt as Bob and Walter Huston as Howard. Knowing there would be hazards, they never expected to face bandits, exhaustion and the paranoid fear of being robbed of one’s share by the others. Writer/director John Huston’s 1948 adaptation of B. Traven’s popular novel is classic studio moviemaking, well-oiled entertainment that never misses a beat but also has a thing or two to say about the darkness lurking within of the human heart.
The three gringos band together in a small Mexican town before setting out to strike it rich in the remote Sierra Madre mountains. They ride a train into the desolate and forboding mountains, then survive a bandit attack en route to their claim. When they cross the desert, Howard, the old-timer, quickly proves to be by far the toughest and most knowledgeable of the three. He is the one to discover the gold they seek, he is more in tune with the environment, and he is the most grounded.
At their claim, they dig a mine and find a healthy share of gold. But greed soon sets in and Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart) slowly succumbs to paranoia as he begins to lose both his trust and his sanity, lusting for possession of the entire treasure. Dobbs also imagines that he will be killed by his partners.
It is at this point in the film that a fourth American shows up, which sets up a moral debate about what to do with the new stranger. The bandits then reappear, pretending, very crudely, to be Federales. This scene sets up the now-iconic line about them not needing to show any “stinking badges.” After a gunfight in which the fourth American is killed, a real troop of Federales appears and drives the bandits away.
As the film progresses, Dobbs’ paranoia overcomes him and the trio’s conflict just grows and grows to a very satisfying and surprising climax.
The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre is available on Blu-ray beginning October 5, 2010.
Own it on Blu-Ray by visiting the WB site here.
Check out the official site here.
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Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly, a film teacher, a writer and a film critic in Chicago.
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