Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Hill and Wang, 1984)

Saturday, June 21, 2008



John Huston's 1948 movie adaptation is much better known than the original novel upon which it is based (which came twenty years before the film). The movie is mostly faithful to the novel, but even though it is a great work of film, what cannot come through is Traven's sharp social commentary or dark comedy in his writing. The book is a definite must-read, even if you think the movie can't be topped.

Posted by St. Drogo at 2:56 PM  

4 comments:

P. 103 - "The gold worn around the finger of an elegant lady or as a crown on the head of a king has more often than not passed through the hands of creatures who would make that king or that elegant lady shudder. There is little doubt that gold is oftener bathed in human blood than in hot suds. A noble king who wished to show his high-mindedness could do no better than to have his crown made of iron. Gold is for thieves and swindlers. For this reason they own most of it. The rest is owned by those who do not care where the gold comes from or in what sort of hands it has been."

St. Drogo said...
July 1, 2008 at 2:10 PM  

P. 162-163 "... Their churches are filled with paintings and statues representing every possible torture white men, Christians, inquisitors and bishops could think of. These are the proper paintings and statues for churches in a country in which the most powerful church on earth wanted to demonstrate how deep in subjection all human beings can be kept for centuries if there exists no other aim but the enlargement of the splendor and the riches of the rulers ... No follower of this same church in civilized countries ever seems to question the true origin of it's grandeur or the way in which the riches of the church were obtained. So it is not the bandits who were to blame. They were doing and thinking only what they had been taught. Instead of being shown the beauty of this religion, they had been shown only the cruelest and bloodiest and most repulsive parts of it ... so as to make it feared and respected no t through faith or love, but through sheer terror and the most abominable superstitions."

St. Drogo said...
July 1, 2008 at 2:10 PM  

P. 180-181 "I figure we should be thankful to the mountain which has rewarded our labor so generously. So we shouldn't leave this place as careless picnic parties and dirty motorists so often do. We have wounded this mountain and I think it is our duty to close its wounds. The silent beauty of this place deserves our respect. Besides, I want to think of this place the way we found it and not as it has been while we were taking away its treasures, which this same mountain has guarded for millions of years. I couldn't sleep well thinking I had left the mountain looking like a junk-yard."

St. Drogo said...
July 1, 2008 at 2:10 PM  

P. 194-195 "The chief laughed 'I do not need gold nor do I want silver. I have plenty to eat always. I have a young and beautiful wife, whom I love dearly and who loves and honors me. I have also a strong and healthy boy ... I have my acres and fields, and I have my fine cattle. I am the chief and judge, and I may say I am a true and honest friend of my tribe ... The soil bears rich fruit every year ... I have a golden sun above me, a silver moon at night, and there is peace in the land. So what could gold mean to me?'"

St. Drogo said...
July 1, 2008 at 2:10 PM  

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