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Author Topic: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) - No Badges Needed to Enter -  (Read 12849 times)
titoli
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« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2010, 02:09:42 PM »

Are you getting it?

Need to ask?

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« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2010, 02:42:34 PM »

Need to ask?

Stupid question, yeah, but I do need his opinion when he does.

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« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2010, 03:20:57 PM »

I did order it. But whether I'll actually be getting it or not, well, one can never be entirely sure about these things . . .

The review makes it sound really good. There's also a Blu-ray of The Maltese Falcon out the same day, but I'm passing on that.

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« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2010, 06:03:52 AM »

The disc arrived and I checked it out last night. Alfonso Bedoya has never looked better. Afro

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« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2010, 08:54:21 AM »

I'm sure Juan Miranda will be happy to hear that. Cheesy

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« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2010, 05:10:06 PM »

I'm sure Juan Miranda will be happy to hear that. Cheesy

Si senor.

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« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2010, 05:08:20 AM »

It's interesting how Gold Hat is used to signal the end of each of the film's three acts. His first appearance, of course, marks the end of the Tampico section and inaugurates the new, lawless setting in which the main action takes place. That middle section is in turn punctuated by Gold Hat's second appearance, which resolves certain plot complications and comes just before (and perhaps precipitates, to some degree) the group's decision to leave. Finally, Gold Hat is there at the end to render a final judgment on Dobbs.

I could perhaps also mention the homoerotic subtext in play between Dobbs and Gold Hat, but I don't want to get titoli too worked up.

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« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2010, 08:34:05 AM »

I made a DVD copy of this (and Strangers on a Train) last night from TCM cable as I was out, so I'll have to watch it soon to comment on this.  The end (with the wind) was copied at end of Sabata.

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titoli
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« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2010, 08:45:18 AM »

I could perhaps also mention the homoerotic subtext in play between Dobbs and Gold Hat, but I don't want to get titoli too worked up.


I bought the dvd today. I saw the movie in  the early '80's and the impression I had at the time was more or less the same stanton had: a half-failure like most of Houston's movies. But the copy I saw was dubbed and not pristine, so I decided to give it another try. I have no doubt there's a homoerotic subtext...though I can't remember Borges getting hip to it...

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« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2010, 11:19:02 AM »

The end (with the wind) was copied at end of Sabata.
Kubrick also ripped it off for the end of The Killing (cleverly updated, though). Endings are hard--which is why the good ones keep getting recycled.

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« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2010, 12:32:22 PM »

I have no doubt there's a homoerotic subtext...though I can't remember Borges getting hip to it...
Can I bait a line, or what?

But on to the question of Huston's artistry. I think we've talked about this before: Huston usually did literary adaptations, and so the quality of his films were often constrained by the worthiness (or lack thereof) of the original source material from which he worked. Which is to say, he picked a lot of sows' ears, so rarely produced silk purses. (In the case of Moby Dick, though, we'd have to say that that was a case of Huston biting off more than he could chew--and yes, I'm mixing my metaphors). Although I haven't read it, my suspicion is that B. Traven's novel is junk. Yet Huston managed to bring forth a work that's more than respectable. He had the help of some fine actors, and some wonderful cinematography--which together allowed for some startling close-ups (thank you, Blu-ray Gods). But more than that, he got a lot of good out of his script. There's a basic problem with the plot that requires a fair amount of finessing: how to delay the inevitable falling out among the three companions, yet keep the audience from getting bored in the meantime. And so we have the Tampico prelude, an almost perfect mini-film in itself; the lottery ticket gimmick on its own would have been terrible, but coupled with the Barton MacLane stuff (which leads to that amazingly good knock-down-drag-out cantina scene) you have a model of what good plot construction should be. Then there's the long middle section, which begins, literally, with a bang (thank you, Alfonso Bedoya) and ends, literally, with lots more bangs (thank you, Alfonso Bedoya). Does it seem like Huston was hep to Leone's Ten Minute Rule? Only in the last section does the focus settle squarely on Dobbs's growing instability--although it has been wonderfully prepared for with some earlier telegraphing in Section 2. Even so, the surprises keep on coming, with the incursion of a plot complication via Indians we haven't known about who suddenly appear in the final third. The ending, although predictable, is made palatable simply because we've had so much to occupy ourselves with that we haven't had time to dwell on its predictability. You can quibble about certain details--for example, why is Bruce Bennett in the movie?--but all work together to prolong the adventure and delay the conclusion which, even now, is somewhat startling (then there's a bonus, when, presto, the brand-upon-the-burros is re-revealed). Sleight of hand is necessary for good filmmaking, and I'd say that Sierra Madre is as good an instance of cinematic legerdemain as I know.  And in the hands of others, this material would have certainly remained little more than an excruciatingly dull morality tale.

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« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2010, 01:26:10 PM »

According to what I have read about Traven I wouldn't expect his novels to be junk, but haven't read one.

And I like Huston as director, but I prefer every other film Huston made in these days (up to Moulin Rouge 1953 but haven't seen In this Our Life and We Were Strangers).
I would also prefer Moby Dick for some powerful images. And The Maltese Falcon, The Asphalt Jungle, The Red Badge of Courage and maybe also Key Largo are excellent films, and belong to Huston's best.

I have a Bogart box with Treasure in it, so I may give it another watch, but so far, and I have seen it at least 3 times, I always thought that it should have become a better film with such a cast, director and story. Treasure could never live up to its reputation for me.

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« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2010, 10:03:50 AM »

I saw it again and yes, it fares beeter in the original language, a decent master and a big screen. Still there are problems, the main being the Bogart character. Bogart doesn't manage to make him credible and all the plot turning points hang on him. He's credible only in the first scenes, expecially that of buying the lottery ticket. Then one wonders what kind of a character is one who can dedicate 1 year of toil to earn some money  and then becoming crazy for no reason. He cannot of course simply reveal his inner self because that wouldn't square with his previous behaviour. And Bogart ios at his worst enhancing all the character's inconsistencies, opning wide his eyes, grimaces all over his face (the same mistake he made in High Sierra and Petrified Forest: I should rewatch it, but he finally understood the way to play a psychotic character only in Mutiny of Caine). And then some other inconsistencies like why Holt does give him back his gun or doen't tie him to a tree at night, like anybody else would do. And again, why Bogart, so taken up with money fever, just doesn't shoot  the three mexicans.
Again, more than an homosexual subtext, there's an evident zoophilism attributable to all three characters (all those night visits to the burros with the excuse of checking their gold troves...).

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« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2010, 12:39:04 PM »

Rating?

Again, more than an homosexual subtext, there's an evident zoophilism attributable to all three characters (all those night visits to the burros with the excuse of checking their gold troves...).

lol Evil

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« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2010, 01:08:55 PM »

Rating?

7\10

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