The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1947)

Greed is the undoing of a party of gold prospectors led by Fred C. Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart) in John Huston’s acclaimed south-of-the-border adventure film.

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Film details

Alternative titles

  • The Treasure of Sierra Madre Alternative

Cast & Credits


“Treasure is an examination of characters under pressure, who fall apart when least expected to and rise to noble reactions when no reason is given to believe they will.”
Stuart M. Kamisnky, International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 1990

Based on a 1927 novel by the reclusive author B. Traven, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre reteamed John Huston with Humphrey Bogart, whom the director had helped make into a star with 1941’s The Maltese Falcon. The film is a parable on a theme that preoccupied Huston throughout his long career: greed.

Bogart’s role as conniving gold prospector Fred Dobbs, searching for his fortune in the mountains of Mexico and reduced to a gibbering wreck by paranoia, was a daring u-turn for an actor from whom audiences expected heroism. Most of this darkly disturbing film was shot on location, then a rarity for Hollywood productions but henceforth a penchant for its adventure-loving director. Huston was rewarded with Oscars for best director and best adapted screenplay.

Huston returned to Mexico for two subsequent literary adaptations: The Night of the Iguana (1964) by Tennessee Williams, and Under the Volcano (1984) by Malcolm Lowry.

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