Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - #38 Greatest American Movie of All Time

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is the best Humphrey Bogart film I've seen.  His character is a down-and-out American in a Mexican city.  After getting some cash, he takes up gold prospecting - together with a friend and an experienced prospector.
The story itself has lots of twists and turns.  It leaves you guessing right up to the very end. 
However, the essence of the story is his transformation after they find gold.  He moves from a trusting, stand-up guy to ... well I won't ruin the story.  Gold changes people - a maxim often repeated by the old prospector (who seems to be the type-model for the old man prospector in Toy Story).  They old guy himself claims to have made and lost many a fortune hunting for gold.  Once you strike it rich, you just can't stop, he says.
In the end, this movie is a story about the foolishness of chasing wealth.  A side plot basically reveals the point of the movie.  Another gold prospector tries to force his way into their prospecting team.  He is killed during an attack by bandits, and they discover that this guy has a wife and kids, who are longing for him to come home and to give up his pursuit of gold.  Family, home, and loving relationships are the real treasure - not gold.
The Josh rating: JJJJ.
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