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6 Degrees Entertainment

'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre' [Blu-ray]
(Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt, Bruce Bennett, et al / Blu Ray / NR / (1948) 2010 / Warner Home Video)

Overview: Gold in the hills, avarice in the hearts of men. Two hard-luck drifters (Humphrey Bogart and Tim Holt) and a grizzled prospector (Walter Huston) discover gold. Then greed and paranoia set in. John Huston won Academy Awards for his direction and screenplay.

Blu-Ray Verdict: The collaboration between director John Huston and Humphrey Bogart seven years after their memorable endeavor in "The Maltese Falcon", resulted in one of the finest action adventure films of all time, "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre". The combination of a superior screenplay, penned by Huston himself, rugged outdoor Californian and Mexican scenery and terrific acting performances yielded a classic movie. The central theme to this outstanding flick in man's unquenchable greed.

Set in Tampico, Mexico in the mid 1920's, the film features Bogart playing down and out worker Fred C. Dobbs who teams up with buddy Bob Curtin played by Tim Holt. Seduced by tales of gold prospecting spun by grizzled prospector Howard played by the venerable Walter Huston they pool their resources to fund an expedition into the remote unexplored Sierra Madre mountains. Huston, who acted without his full upper denture, garnered an Oscar for his superb performance. Huston, experienced in prospecting was well aware of the perils of such a trek and the pitfalls of striking it rich.

As luck would have they strike it rich while eluding natures hardships and a pack of Mexican bandits led by a memorable "badgeless" gold sombreroed Alfonso Bedoya. As the piles of gold dust grew, the greed for more and paranoia started setting in especially in the mind of Bogart. Finally packing it in they set out back to civilization led by Huston who acted as the mother hen for Holt and Bogart, each guarding their own loot.

When Huston was coaxed by native Indians to return to their village Bogart and Holt were left to drive their pack of mules by themselves. Bogart growing more and more covetous and paranoid eventually losing his mind, hatched a nefarious plot to double cross his partners.

The irony of the tale plays itself out as film concludes with Hollywood justice meted out, as villains get their justifiable punishment.

While the film was not initially a box office success it was nominated for best picture and produced Oscars for both Hustons, John for best director and screenplay writing and Walter for best supporting actor. The film is now acknowledged as a cinematic classic regarded highly in many best movie lists. [CS] This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.37:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Commentary by Bogart biographer Eric Lax
Featurette: Discovering Treasure: The Story of The Treasure of theSierra Madre
Feature-length documentary profile: John Huston
Classic cartoon 8 Ball Bunny
Warner Night at the Movies 1948 short subjects gallery
Joe McDoakes comedy short So You Want to Be a Detective
Classic cartoon Hot Cross Bunny
Trailers of this movie and 1948's Key Largo
Audio-only bonus: Radio show adaptation featuring the movie's original stars