Gold itself ain’t good for nothing except making jewelry with and gold teeth.
Overview: Does money and wealth corrupt? When you don’t have it, you feel incorrigible by it, but the more you get, the more it sinks its teeth into you. This movie is among the great “fall from grace via corruption” stories (eg. Scarface, Blow, Casino) which reiterates a social more that’s been around for ages — wealth and power corrupt. The more you have the more you want. Fred C. Dobbs (Bogart) says gold would never change him — can he make good with his promise after striking it rich?
Noteworthy Actors/Actresses: Humphrey Bogart (Fred C. Dobbs)
Verdict: This movie was really cool — the emphasis on the movie was obviously not so much the striking it rich (since they found about 35,000 dollars worth of gold apiece, which is far from being an arbitrarily large number, even by standards back then), and more so about how when you get a taste of wealth, you whet your appetite for more. Bogart does a great job of playing a bad guy in this film, and I particularly liked the “old guy”, Howard (Walter Huston. According to IMDB, he had an uncredited role in Maltese Falcon as Capt. Jacobi). Howard has seen it all, been there, done that. He just wants his small fortune and to go home.
One thing I found especially interesting about the film was how they played up the idea that if you rise above riches, you’ll live a better life — kind of a metaphysical statement, really. Overall, definitely worth watching!
From IMDB: (1948) Dobbs and Curtin meet up in Mexico, and go to work for a contractor, Pat McCormick, who takes them away to remote site and tells them they will be paid when the job is finished. When they are finished, they return to town to find McCormick to get their wages. McCormick gives them a few dollars, and says he’ll just go to the bank and pick up the payroll for them. Dobbs and Curtin then meet up with an old prospector, who claims the hills are still full of gold, and if they can get the cash, he’ll go with them. They eventually get the cash from McCormick after a little “persuasion”, and all three set off for the hills as good friends, but will they return that way ?