Combustible Celluloid
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With: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt, Bruce Bennett, Barton MacLane, Alfonso Bedoya, Arturo Soto Rangel, Manuel Donde, Jose Torvay, Margarito Luna
Written by: John Huston, based on a novel by B. Traven
Directed by: John Huston
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 126
Date: 24/01/1948

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Need for Greed

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

After a long wait, Humphrey Bogart finally broke through to stardom in John Huston's The Maltese Falcon. Unfortunately, the 34 year-old Huston went off to WWII, while the 40 year-old Bogart stayed home. It would be another seven years before they could work together again. But when they did, Huston gave Bogart one of his greatest roles as Fred C. Dobbs in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

A down on his luck American living in Mexico, Dobbs turns prospector and is eventually destroyed by his own mounting greed. Huston also gets a great performance from his father, Walter Huston, as the experienced prospector who warns Dobbs about the dark side of the glittery metal. Huston must have thrown everything he had into this impossibly rich film, packed with grit, passion, adventure and heartbreak. The director appears in a famous cameo as the man whom Bogart asks for spare change.

The film was nominated for four Oscars, though Bogart was not. Huston won for Best Director and Best Screenplay, and the elder Huston won Best Supporting Actor. The double-disc DVD set from Warner Home Video contains an enormous amount of extras, including a full-length 1989 documentary on Huston, two Warner Brothers cartoons, including the Chuck Jones classic 8 Ball Bunny that references the film, a commentary track, various other shorts, and an all-new documentary, Discovering Treasure, featuring San Francisco's Grand Dame of Film Judy Stone.

In 2010, Warner Home Video released a massive new Bogart DVD box set (24 films), plus Blu-Ray editions of The Maltese Falcon and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. There are no new extras on either, but the quality is astounding.

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