September 25, 2003

The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (1947)
Warner Home Video

126 mins. · Not Rated
Fullframe

Format
DVD

Audio
English - DD Mono

Subtitles
English, French, Spanish

Extras
Night At The Movies, Documentaries, Cartoons, Radioplay, Photo Galleries, and much more

Starring
Humphrey Bogart

Review by
Guido Henkel


Rating



(1947)

In their effort to release some of the most acclaimed classic movies from their film vaults, Warner Home Video is constantly going to great lengths to restore these films to their original glory and present them as 2-disc 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 form the first to the last minute.

Warner Home Video is presenting the film in a transfer 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 balanced and well defined. 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. No edge-enhancement is visible and the compression has been handled very well, making sure the presentation is free of artifacts.

The DVD contains the original monaural audio track that has been cleaned up. 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.

As a bonus, Warner has prepared a full "Warner Night At The Movies" presentation disc 1, recreating a night at the movie theater in 1947. Featuring newsreels, comedy shorts, cartoons, etc. you can no experience what it was like to see these movies theatrically over 50 years ago.

On the second disc of the set contains a documentary about John Huston. This 2-hour look at John Huston's career and films is a loving tribute to one of Hollywood's legendary directors, hosted by Robert Mitchum. 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 a 50-minute documentary about the making of the film. 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.

"* Ball Bunny," a classic Bugs Bunny cartoon is also included as well as a "Treasure Trove" Gallery, featuring countless photos of the set, the cast and crew, storyboards and publicity materials related to "The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre."

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

Warner Home Video did it again. Trumping their previous classic restored releases, "The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre" is a true treasure trove for fans of classic films. Spectacularly presented, filled to the rim with meaningful and exciting extras, this is what DVD Special Editions are supposed to look like - though I personally don't care much for Maltin's quibbling.

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