Reelviews #5: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Burros for sale

These burros have a long road ahead of them.

“The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” (dir. John Huston, 1948, from a novel by B. Traven) examines the lives of the burro rustlers of Northwestern Mexico in the 1920’s. Chief among these is Gold Hat (Alfonso Bedoya), whose single-minded pursuit of burros leads him on a slow, sad decline. The film’s closing shots, in which a group of burros return to the city from which they set out, are justly famous as a representation of the futility of human striving the face of indifferent fate. Cameos by Humphrey Bogart and Walter Huston add interest to the proceedings.

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