Jump to content
JulyDiaz

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  

9 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Does The Treasure of the Sierra Madre belong on the AFI list?

    • Yes
      8
    • No
      1

  • Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.
  • Poll closed on 04/26/19 at 07:00 AM

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Amy & Paul excavate 1948's Humphrey Bogart thriller The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre! They ask if Fred C. Dobbs qualifies as an antihero, look at the wild career of director John Huston, and explore how Treasure inspired everything from Breaking Bad to There Will Be Blood. Plus: film critic extraordinaire Leonard Matin explains how he became a Bogart fan.

 

For Chinatown week, complete the famous line "Forget it Jake, it's ___" with the town of your choice! Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your answer.Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Photo credit: Kim Troxall

Edited by DanEngler

Share this post


Link to post

I might not chime in too much on this film since I'm probably going to be more down on it than everyone else, but I'm halfway through the podcast and Amy and Paul's interpretation of parts of it baffles me.

For one thing, they're talking about how the movie is about greed, and about how Dobbs not taking all of McCormick's money doesn't seem to make sense.  Well, the answer is that the film isn't really about greed.  Amy and Paul mentioned how Howard very heavy-handedly spells out the plot of the movie early on in the saloon, but they've missed when Howard very heavy-handedly spells out the theme of the movie later on: honesty vs trustworthiness.  Dobbs is an honest man, and Howard is not (or so he says).  But Howard is a trustworthy man, and Dobbs is not.  Dobbs only takes the money he's owed because of his honesty, and he never schemes to screw the others out of their money.  He does what he does because he's incapable of trusting the others, and therefore unable to be trusted himself.  But he remains honest, telling Curtin exactly what was going to happen if he fell asleep.

Finally, the bandits are neither honest nor trustworthy, and the film posits that Dobbs is closer in character to them than to Howard.  I would argue that greed is only manifested in the idea of not wanting to lose what one has worked for, which is not greed so much as a lack of charity, or a warped sense of Ayn Randian justice.  (Okay, okay, maybe "Ayn Randian justice" does count as greed, but hopefully you can see my point.)

Again, part of why I don't like the film is that this is so heavy-handed and overly simplistic, so I was shocked that Amy and Paul seemed to read it differently.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, bleary said:

I might not chime in too much on this film since I'm probably going to be more down on it than everyone else, but I'm halfway through the podcast and Amy and Paul's interpretation of parts of it baffles me.

For one thing, they're talking about how the movie is about greed, and about how Dobbs not taking all of McCormick's money doesn't seem to make sense.  Well, the answer is that the film isn't really about greed.  Amy and Paul mentioned how Howard very heavy-handedly spells out the plot of the movie early on in the saloon, but they've missed when Howard very heavy-handedly spells out the theme of the movie later on: honesty vs trustworthiness.  Dobbs is an honest man, and Howard is not (or so he says).  But Howard is a trustworthy man, and Dobbs is not.  Dobbs only takes the money he's owed because of his honesty, and he never schemes to screw the others out of their money.  He does what he does because he's incapable of trusting the others, and therefore unable to be trusted himself.  But he remains honest, telling Curtin exactly what was going to happen if he fell asleep.

Finally, the bandits are neither honest nor trustworthy, and the film posits that Dobbs is closer in character to them than to Howard.  I would argue that greed is only manifested in the idea of not wanting to lose what one has worked for, which is not greed so much as a lack of charity, or a warped sense of Ayn Randian justice.  (Okay, okay, maybe "Ayn Randian justice" does count as greed, but hopefully you can see my point.)

Again, part of why I don't like the film is that this is so heavy-handed and overly simplistic, so I was shocked that Amy and Paul seemed to read it differently.

I haven't listened to the ep yet, but I might be with you on this. And I'm totally with you on the honesty/trustworthiness bit. Dobbs goes mad, not because he's greedy, but because his inability to trust leads to mad conspiracy theories about what the others are up to, likely based on his own ideas of what he'd do if he were greedy. 

I didn't not enjoy this one, but I don't think I find it that great. Everything is so blatantly explained and foreshadowed, that it feels a bit empty to me. But I do see its influence. And I liked the performances in it, generally.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, bleary said:

For one thing, they're talking about how the movie is about greed, and about how Dobbs not taking all of McCormick's money doesn't seem to make sense.  Well, the answer is that the film isn't really about greed.

I don't know, I think there's another way to read this. He doesn't take all of the money then because the guy is still alive and people are watching, but when he's alone in the jungle he feels freer to just murder his companion and take all the gold. If anything, this scene serves as a misdirect to make us think Dobbs might be kind of a good guy at heart, but really he's just barely maintaining a civilized face while still surrounded by society. His darker instincts come to the fore when he's removed from that.

I find the filmmaking in this kind of surface-simple (the dialogue and the filmmaking style are very straightforward and obvious), but the more you think about the story and where the characters go the more complex it seems. Did Dobbs go mad because of his nature or because of the influence of having all that gold at hand? Little of both? How much? Did the others maintain their moral stances because of their natures, or because they are reacting to Dobbs? I'm not sure the film actually gives you an easy answer on that.

Share this post


Link to post

I’m listening to the episode right now, and I’m trying to word this carefully as I can as I don’t want to come off as too critical. Please understand, I’m not trying to be an asshole. Just something I wanted to get off my chest.

So, I love the show. I love the hosts. But what kind of disappoints me is that when they choose quotes from listeners, whether it be from here, Facebook, or Twitter, it feels like lately they’ve only been choosing from people that agree with them. I’m not saying that shouldn't ever pick posts that agree with them, nor am I suggesting that they should only pick posts that disagree. And I really don’t feel they should have to relitigate their position at the top of every episode. I guess I just feel like if you say, “Most people disagreed with us” then it’s a bit lame to go out and pick out posts that agree with you. We’ve already heard you speak for over an hour about why you think such and such movie deserves or doesn’t deserve to be on the list. And that’s great, that’s why we’re here, but in order for people to grow they sometimes need to have their assumptions challenged. In my experience, Unspooled listeners tend to be an intelligent lot and it would be nice to hear other points of view rather than the just the same points of view reiterated.

Of course, this is just my opinion. Others may feel differently.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I feel like there have been times where they have read off quotes from people who disagree, though I'd have to go back through to come up with a specific example.

But yeah, there was such a significant disagreement in both the Facebook and Earwolf Board polls that it was a little weird to not read off any of that.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

I feel like there have been times where they have read off quotes from people who disagree, though I'd have to go back through to come up with a specific example.

But yeah, there was such a significant disagreement in both the Facebook and Earwolf Board polls that it was a little weird to not read off any of that.

Oh yeah, they definitely have. It just feels like it’s been awhile. I could be wrong. I’d just like to hear multiple opinions/viewpoints and at least get their brief take on that, rather than them just repeat what they’ve already said.

Share this post


Link to post

I have to admit, I’m kind of sad they’re doing away with the Zocchihedron. I get why they’re doing it, but I really enjoyed the randomness of the picks. 

It also means that we probably won’t get Star Wars out of the way until Rise of Skywalker - which bums me out. I love Star Wars, but I am sick to death of talking about Star Wars - for good or ill. I was really hoping to get it out of the way sooner rather than later. Oh well...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×