The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre

The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (1947)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Tim Holt, Walter Huston
Extras: Night At The Movies, Documentaries, Radioplay, Photo Galleries, and much more

In their effort to release some of the most acclaimed classic movies from their film vaults, for years now Warner Home Video has constantly been going to great lengths to restore these films to their original glory and present them as feature-rich special editions. The latest entry in the impressive line-up is the 1947 John Huston-directed adventure "The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre, " starring Humphrey Bogart. Once again the studio does not disappoint serving up an incredible offering here that is sure to please fans.

"The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre" tells the story of two burned-out Americans in Mexico, Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart) and Curtin (Tim Holt), trying to make a living as day laborers – though with little success as they are constantly cheated out of their pay. They meet Howard (John Huston's father Walter Huston) one day, a former gold digger, who lost his riches but is eager to stake another claim if someone is willing to fork up some money. The three team up and with their hard-earned cash they set out into the Mexican mountains on the search for gold. Dreaming of riches and a life in luxury, Curtin and Dobbs don't really understand what is lying ahead of them, and least of all do they understand the demon of gold that all-too-often changes people into greedy psychotics. But they will learn about it… the hard way.

Masterfully crafted under the direction of John Huston, "The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre" is an incredibly gripping adventure movie full of twists, thrills and a lot of character drama. The cast is spectacular as they make their way through the story, adapting to the events around them. Especially Humphrey Bogart is undeniably chilling in his portrayal of Dobbs, a man who gradually loses grip on reality and falls victim to his bottomless greed. But everyone in this film delivers a standout performance, including Alfonso Bedoya, who plays Mexican bandit "Gold Hat" with incredible conviction.

The settings, the cast, the plot and the cinematography all mesh together so neatly that the resulting film is shoulders above other films of its time, and can easily measure up with today's greatest adventure movies, as it pulls you in its grip from the first to the last minute.

Warner Home Video is presenting the film in a 1080p high definition transfer here that is virtually pristine, once again. With the exception of one scene, no blemishes or defects are evident during the presentation and the black and white image is always carefully balanced. The level of detail and definition evident is truly striking, showing that despite their age, classic black and white movie can definitely shine in the high definition format.
Blacks are deep and perfectly counterbalance the highlights, allowing the image to run the entire gamut of grays to create a rich picture without harshness and without ever appearing to be over-exposed. In a word, you will love what you see here.

The Blu-Ray Disc contains the original monaural audio track that has been cleaned up, presented here in a DTS HD 1.0 Master Audio format. No pops, hisses or background noise are audible, giving the track a clean bed. Though the narrow frequency response clearly dates the movie, its accuracy is impressive, leaving every bit of ambiance intact.

If you remember the Special Edition DVD Warner Home Video put out years ago, you know what you are getting here. The entire "Warner Night At The Movies" presentation is back here, recreating a night at the movie theater in 1947. It includes newsreels, comedy shorts, cartoons, etc. you can no experience what it was like to see these movies theatrically over 50 years ago. I wish they had done away with Leonard Maltin's introductory segment, as it adds absolutely nothing to the release, but I guess the studio simply carried over the presentation as a whole.

Also included is the 2-hour documentary about John Huston, giving you an in-depth look at the director's career and films. It is a loving tribute to one of Hollywood's legendary directors, hosted by Robert Mitchum,that is well worth watching. Countless things are captured in this documentary and it is spiced up with many interviews, private photos and footage and much more, making a great addition to this release.

Also on the disc is the 50-minute "Discovering Treasure" documentary about the making of the movie. Filled with many interviews, filmmakers, actors and historians talk about the importance and achievements of the film, how they have it has influenced other filmmakers and the industry in general, while also discussing certain production issues that surrounded the film.

The release is rounded out by a 1949 radio play version of "The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre," also starring Humphrey Bogart and Walter Huston.

While this may seem like simply a rehash of the DVD Version, I feel that Warner Home Video did a great job nonetheless, because the feature presentation of the film is simply stellar and well worth the upgrade in my opinion.