Watching all the movies on the Warner Bros. 50-movie box set that I bought for cheap. This week the random number generator makes yet another reference to badges as it landed on The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
Here’s what happens: A group of down-on-their-luck Americans in post-revolution Mexico catch wind of buried treasure in the desert. Finding the treasure is only the start of the story, though, as our anti-heroes face rival criminals from without and greed and suspicion from within.
Why it’s famous: A classic morality tale of the corrupting power of greed. And, I guess, the “badges” line.
Get your film degree: This was director John Huston and star Humphrey Bogart’s follow-up to The Maltese Falcon, trading in that movie’s shadowy interiors for big, expansive exteriors. With sharp-tongued anti-heroes and an emphasis on greed and mistrust, the script still feels a little bit noir.
Movie geekishness: Once again, I’m fascinated at how Humphrey Bogart is a different kind of action hero. Like in Maltese Falcon, he fights with his lightning-fast wordplay rather than fists or guns.
Thoughts upon this viewing: It’s hard to watch this not be reminded of the many times it’s been parodied over the years, but it’s exciting to see Huston get to play with a big Hollywood budget and go huge with the production values.
Next week: Doctor, doctor, give me the news.
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