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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

1948 The Story of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre [English] Transcripts

(1) Ten years ago, I think we were talking to Elia Kazan in New York
(2) We'd shown one of his films and he just sat back afterwards
(3) I think we had screened his film Wild River, and he was criticizing
(4) and he says, "You know what
(5) It's just one of those things Isn't it great
(6) we're in the business that made The Treasure of Sierra Madre
(7) Isn't that exciting
(8) John Huston's The Treasure of Sierra Madre
(9) is today regarded as a genuine classic
(10) perpetually ranked on critics'best rosters
(11) including the American Film Institute's revered 100 list
(12) But the story really begins in Mexico shortly after the American Civil War
(13) An elite group of American financiers and industrialists
(14) seized the untapped potential of Mexico's natural resources in oil and mining
(15) and developed the country's infrastructure to support their lucrative operations there
(16) Foreigners of every stripe arrived in Mexico
(17) to escape their native countries
(18) for reasons legitimate and criminal self-evident and enigmatic
(19) to work for these wealthy corporations
(20) One of these foreigners is a reclusive writer
(21) known as B. Traven
(22) The Treasure of the Sierra Madre was first published in Europe in the 1920s
(23) Its author, at first, refused its publication in any capitalist societies
(24) The original novel was published in German
(25) first in the mid '20s
(26) And the story actually goes back
(27) to The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer the 14th century
(28) It's not quite the same, but the same idea
(29) The novel is a brutal indictment of materialism
(30) and teems with anti-capitalist sentiment
(31) He felt that if people didn't have possessions
(32) didn't feel they had to dress up
(33) that there would be no wars
(34) and capitalism would be shot down in effect
(35) In addition The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
(36) challenges the Spanish oppression of the Native Indians
(37) and it's highly critical of the Church's role in this injustice
(38) Its author's identity wasn't even known to his publisher
(39) And over the years, various theories abounded as to his identity
(40) Jack London, Ambrose Bierce
(41) the illegitimate son of Kaiser Wilhelm II
(42) a Chicagoan, a German
(43) He may have been an anarchist and revolutionary who had to flee Europe
(44) And every once in a while somebody says, "I've found the clue
(45) to the mystery of B. Traven
(46) And then two more years pass by trying to
(47) Wait a minute, no
(48) Listen, this story is very complicated
(49) I am warning you right now
(50) nobody will ever know the answer to Who was B. Traven
(51) It's called, "The Riddle of B. Traven
(52) Whatever the identity of the mysterious author
(53) The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
(54) was published in the United States in 1935
(55) where it came to the attention of a young writer and sometime actor
(56) working in Hollywood: John Huston
(57) Huston had written dialogue for his first film in 1930
(58) and became a staff writer at Warner Brothers
(59) But John wrote
(60) He was a writer first
(61) He grew up in a dramatic family
(62) His mother crossed the Mississippi on horseback
(63) I think his grandfather gambled
(64) and won a western city and then lost it at the table
(65) I don't know that there are any stories about John Huston that are exaggerated
(66) He really was a world-class character
(67) and his own man
(68) Maybe not the nicest man at all times
(69) maybe not the best husband or the best father
(70) but when it came to writing and directing he was damn good
(71) John Huston established himself as a writer
(72) Warner Brothers was known as "The Writer's Studio
(73) because they had so many good writers there
(74) Already middle-aged, Humphrey Bogart was not yet a big star
(75) although he'd been acting consistently since the age of 19
(76) Bogart's such a big star such an icon to us now
(77) we forget that he spent so many years
(78) coming up through the ranks playing small parts
(79) Bogart started off in the theater just as a stage manager
(80) So he learned a lot about his craft
(81) What was interesting about him in his earlier time on Broadway
(82) is that he always played the male ing�nue
(83) He was the attractive guy And one of the critics from Chicago
(84) said that he was as handsome as Valentino
(85) And you think of Bogart as this really tough guy
(86) It's hard to imagine he had a 9-year stage career
(87) in which he was this young, attractive player
(88) But we also have to
(89) remember that there was nothing about him
(90) particularly his physical look
(91) that would conjure up the idea of a star at that era
(92) Stars in those days were like Clark Gable
(93) and Tyrone Power and Robert Taylor They looked like movie stars
(94) And, here, Bogart looked like this street guy
(95) He had come to Hollywood in the '30s
(96) in the very early '30s and had done half a dozen or more films
(97) without any success Went back, tried to resurrect his career
(98) He was really saved by Robert Sherwood's Petrified Forest
(99) where he plays the killer, Duke Mantee

(100) Just keep in mind that I am the boy who's candidate for hanging
(101) The first time any of you makes a wrong move
(102) I'm gonna kill the whole lot of you
(103) He came out from the New York company of The Petrified Forest
(104) in which he was a big hit
(105) and in which Leslie Howard starred
(106) In fact, Warners didn't want Humphrey Bogart
(107) but Leslie Howard said If you want me, you'll take Bogart
(108) For which Bogart was always extremely grateful
(109) From the first day that he's shooting Petrified Forest
(110) he really electrifies the company
(111) And rumor goes out around the studio
(112) that something really special is happening
(113) What's the matter? Do something
(114) Shut up! Give me time to think
(115) And when he finished he was offered a contract
(116) for less than he had been making
(117) He was guaranteed 26 weeks at $550 a week
(118) But he was never the star, unless it was the leading man in a B movie
(119) And he played a lot of gangsters
(120) in support of the other gangsters at Warner Brothers
(121) You'd take a chance on ruining a $200 million gold mine to satisfy a grudge
(122) That's a fine way to pay me back for all I've done for you
(123) I wouldn't pay you back that way, Al
(124) He was the expendable guy who could be killed in the ninth reel
(125) And then he got a big break with High Sierra
(126) which was scripted by John Huston
(127) And it gave him more dimension and more shading
(128) playing this particular gangster character
(129) I'm giving you a chance to blow If you stick
(130) I'll shoot the first one that don't do as I tell him
(131) Bogart is the first person
(132) I ever remember being called an anti-hero
(133) There was a huge Bogart revival in the late '60s
(134) which was the era of anti-establishment
(135) and anti-heroism, if you will
(136) And he became kind of a poster boy
(137) for a young generation who just discovered him then
(138) And I was one of those people
(139) The success ofHigh Sierra
(140) gave a career boost both to Bogart and Huston
(141) who was rewarded with an almost unprecedented power
(142) to both write and direct his next film
(143) Come closer
(144) I want to talk to you
(145) I'm gonna tell you an astounding story
(146) The story of The Maltese Falcon
(147) It was The Maltese Falcon which was a great success
(148) and proved that he was
(149) what they hoped he would be. A natural
(150) Have you ever given me any of your confidence, any truth
(151) Haven't you tried to buy my loyalty with only money
(152) What else is there I can buy you with
(153) Dashiell Hammett's hardboiled detective thriller
(154) had failed to win an appreciative audience
(155) in two previous screen adaptations
(156) Huston's version, however brought him acclaim
(157) and finally catapulted Bogart to stardom
(158) Huston wanted The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
(159) as his follow-up to The Maltese Falcon
(160) and pressed his agent, Paul Kohner to secure the rights
(161) John Huston apparently, had read the novel
(162) when it came out in the mid '30s
(163) and was always intrigued by it
(164) And he suggested that they purchase
(165) The Treasure of the Sierra Madre novel
(166) The novel, actually, had been brought to Warner's story department twice
(167) but was rejected as too downbeat
(168) There's no love interest, it ends badly
(169) there's a lot of unhappiness everywhere along the line
(170) One confounded story reader suggested
(171) that Warner Brothers turn Traven's gritty drama
(172) into a South American comedy melodrama
(173) Kohner and Huston prevailed and convinced Jack Warner
(174) that The Treasure of the Sierra Madre would make a terrific movie
(175) But, of course, negotiating with the mysterious B. Traven
(176) and trying to work out the copyright details
(177) and find out from the publishers and so on and so forth
(178) World War II was getting underway but then
(179) John Huston is called into the service
(180) Huston spent the next several years
(181) creating a number of acclaimed documentaries
(182) for the army's Signal Corps
(183) As the war waged on Bogart's star continued to rise
(184) with a string of classics like Casablanca
(185) I was willing to shoot Capt. Renault and I'll shoot you
(186) All right, Major, you asked for it
(187) To Have and Have Not
(188) What did you do that for I've been wondering whether I'd like it
(189) What's the decision
(190) I don't know yet
(191) then The Big Sleep
(192) I like that
(193) I'd like more
(194) After years of struggle he was now Hollywood's biggest star
(195) In late 1946, Bogart signed a lucrative contract with Warner
(196) He was guaranteed at least one picture a year and $200,000 per picture
(197) And approval of writer and director
(198) from a shortlist that included John Huston
(199) Within the closing pages of that contract
(200) Treasure of Sierra Madre was specified
(201) Jack Warner signed Henry Blanke to produce The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
(202) Henry Blanke was a real force at Warner Brothers
(203) He was very valuable because he was an excellent producer
(204) He had great taste
(205) Considered one of the best of Warner's staff producers
(206) Blanke had produced such films as The Adventures of Robin Hood
(207) The Sea Hawk andThe Maltese Falcon
(208) He was a favorite both with the studio bosses and the employees as well
(209) But he was afraid that they were going to take that film
(210) and do it without him
(211) While Huston was away in the service
(212) other directors were attached to the project
(213) at one time or another
(214) And other actors including Edward G. Robinson
(215) were announced to star
(216) At least four writers wrote a variety of treatments and scripts
(217) based on the novel
(218) All vary in fidelity to the book
(219) One partial script was set in LA after World War II
(220) At one point, director Vincent Sherman was ready to go into production
(221) But the plug was pulled when it was alleged
(222) the Breen Office objected that the script was derogatory to Mexico
(223) There are many who maintain
(224) that all of these machinations were a ruse
(225) Blanke's way of keeping The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
(226) apparently active, while actually spinning the project's wheels
(227) as the producer waited for John Huston's return
(228) And then when Huston came back
(229) that was to be his first film in 1946
(230) I get the impression that working for the movie moguls, as they were called
(231) the people who succeeded
(232) in getting their way most often were the tough guys
(233) They had a passion to make their movie a certain way
(234) And I think those moguls respected that
(235) I have a feeling that's how it worked
(236) It certainly worked well for John Huston
(237) The Treasure of the Sierra Madre was really
(238) a major Hollywood comeback for him
(239) and it kind of revived his glory that he had had
(240) with The Maltese Falcon
(241) So when Huston came back from the war
(242) and wanted to make The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
(243) Bogart was on board
(244) And, of course, Huston started afresh with the screenplay
(245) and then had correspondence with the mysterious B. Traven
(246) and there were some wonderful letters back and forth between the two of them
(247) Huston completed his draft in less than two months
(248) with a number of interesting changes
(249) that make it more suitable to the screen
(250) He softened the character of Curtin
(251) to make him more of a counterpoint to Dobbs
(252) while making the bandito, Gold Hat into Dobbs'alter ego
(253) To celebrate the completion of the script
(254) Huston entered into a steeplechase and was almost killed
(255) After which he left for New York to direct No Exit on Broadway
(256) Huston returned to Burbank on December 16, 1946
(257) to resume work on the film
(258) Traven, apparently, was extremely pleased that Huston
(259) whose sensibilities he admired
(260) was going to direct this
(261) And Huston was hoping to meet him
(262) when he went location scouting down in Mexico
(263) Huston wanted to shoot it in Mexico
(264) That's where it took place that's where he wanted to be
(265) Huston took a small crew with him to scout locations in Mexico
(266) and he covered more than 8,000 miles
(267) before settling on Jungapeo in San Jose Purua
(268) in the state of Michoac�n
(269) In Mexico City, Huston was to meet the mysterious Traven
(270) but the author never showed up
(271) Huston claims to have woken one day in his hotel
(272) to see a mysterious man standing over his bed
(273) He met a gentleman by the name of Hal Croves
(274) who introduced himself to Huston as
(275) Traven's translator and assistant and so forth
(276) And it was suspected that Hal Croves was B. Traven
(277) Some of them would rashly say Are you B. Traven
(278) He would just get angry
(279) Now, Hal Croves stayed on the picture when it was down in Mexico
(280) as a technical advisor
(281) Treasure of the Sierra Madre was a film
(282) that both Bogart and Huston had been interested in for some time
(283) It was an ideal film for both of them It played to their strengths
(284) It's the kind of character Huston could write and direct very well
(285) and it was obviously the kind of character Bogart could play
(286) So in this case, it was a wonderful combination and pairing
(287) made fortunate by a terrific story to begin with
(288) Timing played such a crucial role in so many careers
(289) I think for Bogart, the timing was good because of World War II
(290) Because the world was becoming a little tougher
(291) A little more cynical
(292) This of course gave birth to film noir
(293) which flourished in the years immediately following World War II
(294) And that suited Bogart very well
(295) because he wasn't a conventional leading man
(296) nor did he want to be
(297) For the role of Dobbs Walter Huston had been considered
(298) with Traven's approval
(299) But he fortuitously wound up as the old prospector, Howard
(300) Walter Huston had been an actor for ages
(301) and was John Huston's father
(302) And Walter had started out in vaudeville
(303) and was highly regarded and had been in films for many years
(304) and had done some terrific pictures such as Dodsworth
(305) the Sinclair Lewis novel adapted for the stage
(306) And one of the things that B. Traven was concerned about
(307) was, "Walter Huston, gee he's not old enough
(308) He saw Lewis Stone in the part
(309) who was an MGM player And that he'd be better
(310) as this Howard character
(311) How about yourself What plans have you, if any
(312) I figure on buying some land and growing fruit. Peaches, maybe
(313) How did you come to settle on peaches
(314) One summer, when I was a kid
(315) I worked as a picker in a peach harvest
(316) Huston wanted to have a contrast
(317) between the Dobbs character portrayed by Bogart
(318) and the Curtin character
(319) And he thought of a younger man and a more naive person
(320) At one time Ronald Reagan was considered
(321) And finally Tim Holt was decided upon
(322) Tim Holt had one of the most interesting and unusual careers
(323) in all of Hollywood history
(324) His father, Jack Holt, was a very popular square-jawed leading man
(325) and Tim grew up in and around the movies
(326) He made his debut as a young man in the 1930s
(327) and did a lot of work in Westerns
(328) often Grade-B Westerns
(329) But at the same time he was appearing in
(330) The Magnificent Ambersons for Orson Welles
(331) And he'd show up in John Huston's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
(332) and these great prestigious films at the same time
(333) He was just right for the part
(334) because he did project a certain naivet
(335) and it was a good contrast to the Bogart character
(336) and certainly a good contrast to the Walter Huston character
(337) He's too old to take along We'd have to pack him on our backs
(338) You can't tell about some of those old guys
(339) It's surprising sometimes how tough they are
(340) I'll come with you, put your nose in it
(341) There's indications in the valley lots of indications
(342) By tracing the rocks I find they come from a ridge
(343) washed down by the tropical rains
(344) You don't say so Yes, I say so
(345) So much for those bandits
(346) Bruce Bennett was born Herman Brix B- R-I-X
(347) Under that name he competed in the 1932 Olympic games as a shot-putter
(348) And like so many good-looking athletes of that time
(349) he went from Olympic fame to movies
(350) Bruce Bennett was decided upon late in the game
(351) for the part of Cody
(352) And he gave a certain amount of strength to that role
(353) without it being overpowering
(354) And it was, once again a good part of the orchestration
(355) where you had this balance of characters
(356) John Huston didn't direct his actors a lot
(357) But when actors needed help
(358) he had a way of giving them just a phrase or a thought
(359) that would unlock the secret of playing that character
(360) When I interviewed Bruce Bennett many years ago, he told me
(361) that he was having trouble getting a fix on his character in this key scene
(362) and Huston said to him
(363) You're smarter than these guys
(364) He said, "Oh... " That was all he needed
(365) Poor ground, you say
(366) Depends on what you're looking for
(367) For game, yes
(368) Mighty good ground for something else
(369) What might that be
(370) Gold
(371) One inspired piece of casting that Huston did
(372) was Alfonso Bedoya, who played Gold Hat
(373) Alfonso Bedoya he found in Mexico
(374) Apparently, he was an actor down there
(375) What was interesting about Alfonso Bedoya was his smile
(376) and his charm
(377) And you knew he was a monster, you know
(378) You can't think of the name Alfonso Bedoya without thinking
(379) of the phrase "stinking badges
(380) If you are the police where are your badges
(381) Badges? We ain't got no badges
(382) We don't need no badges
(383) I don't have to show you any stinking badges
(384) Local Mexican actors stunt riders, townspeople
(385) and possibly a real bandit
(386) were cast as extras and in other small parts
(387) There were also walk-ons by more recognizable performers
(388) John Huston liked to have his little jokes He could be playful
(389) He had his dad appear with a knife in his back
(390) in a little gag cameo in his first movie as a director
(391) The Maltese Falcon
(392) Remember, this was long before the thought of television
(393) rerunning films over and over again or home video
(394) making it possible to eyeball a film frame by frame
(395) So it was easier to get away with some of these little in-jokes
(396) and keep it on the inside
(397) Some of them were revealed by the fan magazines
(398) and they'd get a little publicity out of them
(399) And some were just for the fun and amusement
(400) of the people making the movie
(401) There were a number of players
(402) who weren't really billed much in the picture
(403) Of course, it's amusing to see young Bobby Blake
(404) in that pivotal role in the opening scenes of the film
(405) State lottery, se�or Beat it. I ain't buying no lottery tickets
(406) 4,000 pesos is the big prize
(407) Get away from me, you little beggar
(408) One curious thing Before the company went to Mexico
(409) they were shooting scenes at the studio and on the back lot
(410) and there's one scene where the Bogart character comes out of the barber shop
(411) and this prostitute walks in the foreground
(412) and then walks out of the frame
(413) And Bogart looks and turns and when the camera pans over
(414) she's walking in this rooming house
(415) down the way, on a very long shot
(416) But there's a photograph of Ann Sheridan
(417) who at that time was a big Warner Brothers star
(418) dressed as the prostitute
(419) with Bogart and with Huston
(420) In the report it says that as a good luck piece
(421) Ann Sheridan has agreed to do this Just for fun, and be the passing prostitute
(422) Tim Holt, who was the son of another actor, Jack Holt
(423) who makes a kind of a brief appearance
(424) in the Oso Negro, the flophouse
(425) Then what are you doing in here a down-and-outer
(426) That's gold. That's what it makes us
(427) And, again, it's one of those touches
(428) that's in there that most people wouldn't know
(429) Huston himself played the man in the white suit
(430) that Bogart accosts on a city street
(431) Hey, mister, will you stake a fellow American to a meal
(432) This was apparently at the behest of B. Traven
(433) Because he had observed him
(434) when they went down for the location scouting, apparently
(435) So, there's Ann Sheridan Warner Brothers' own
(436) doing a cameo appearance
(437) There's Jack Holt, Tim's father
(438) grizzled, not unlike Walter Huston for his cameo in this movie
(439) That was nice because it made it multigenerational in many different ways
(440) Shooting began in Burbank on March 17, 1947
(441) on a back lot set made to look remarkably like Tampico
(442) Huston wasn't above using some sleight of hand
(443) So while the film was shot principally in Mexico
(444) some of it was done on a sound stage in Burbank
(445) The Tampico stuff was recreated to a large degree on the studio lot
(446) And the early scenes in the flophouse
(447) and the hair cut, and the what-have-yous were all done here
(448) before they decide to leave on the trek
(449) One of the really significant changes
(450) in Hollywood filmmaking in the days following World War II
(451) was the fact that filmmakers suddenly
(452) were allowed to go out on real locations
(453) You may say, "What's the big deal
(454) Well, at that time there weren't a lot of pictures being shot
(455) Now, Captain from Castile
(456) the Twentieth Century Fox epic was shooting down there
(457) so it wasn't that they were the first to go down there
(458) but they were among the first to go down and it was a long location trip
(459) Now, this was almost unheard of before then
(460) The studios with their resources and their standing sets
(461) and their back lots and their ranches
(462) expected the filmmakers
(463) to make use of all those facilities
(464) Then they went down to a place about 140 miles outside of Mexico City
(465) They found a wonderful spa where they all stayed
(466) A rather luxurious place But the settings around there
(467) and the village that was nearby and the mountains
(468) So the flavor was all there
(469) And they used the Mexican village
(470) So the things that had to be shot in Mexico
(471) for the maximum flavor were shot there
(472) Once work in Burbank was finished Huston moved the production south
(473) On April 6, 1947, the cast flew to Mexico
(474) But their flight was a disaster with many getting sick en route
(475) It was hoped this wasn't an omen
(476) Once cast and crew were assembled in Mexico, location shooting commenced
(477) Home, for the next two months would be a fashionable resort
(478) And it was a luxury spa
(479) But the surrounding terrain where they were shooting
(480) they'd go off and shoot at the villages and what-have-you
(481) was, of course, another story So they had this amazing contrast
(482) not only in their wardrobe and in the location set
(483) but going back to this spa at night They did have a lot of cooperation
(484) because they had to go through the authorities, of course
(485) and they had people who were helping them down there
(486) But it was difficult. It was difficult to take an entire company down there
(487) The shoot required difficult days in the sweltering sun
(488) The adventuresome Huston loved every minute if it
(489) The metropolitan Bogart, not so much
(490) Bennett arrived halfway through the shooting
(491) and found an easy-going set with Huston leading
(492) almost daily pranks and practical jokes
(493) Evenings were spent in the resort bowling and drinking
(494) Apparently Bogart could not speak any Spanish
(495) But he did learn two words: Dos Equis
(496) which, of course, is a Mexican beer
(497) Mexican stunt riders were paid 40 pesos a day
(498) and told Huston they could certainly be shot at
(499) but just arms and legs, no killing
(500) If Huston couldn't find just the right location
(501) he had to construct it even out in the wilderness
(502) Back home, Jack Warner was increasingly nervous when he saw the dailies
(503) and how grimy his big star looked
(504) He kept seeing the footage coming in
(505) and they were down there much longer than they anticipated
(506) So, there was one point apparently
(507) where Jack L. Warner is watching the dailies and thinking
(508) He keeps looking for water and he says
(509) If that... doesn't find water pretty soon we're gonna go broke
(510) Walter Huston once said to his son, John
(511) When you get to be a big-shot picture maker out there in Hollywood
(512) I want you to write a script for me something I can really get my teeth into
(513) So along came The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
(514) John's one request of his father was
(515) I want you to take out your teeth and play this with your gums
(516) So he played it without his false teeth
(517) Walter Huston is one of the great American actors
(518) of the 20th century
(519) He was never a big movie star
(520) even though he starred in a number of movies
(521) Dodsworth. The Devil and Daniel Webster where he plays Mr. Scratch
(522) He was one of those actors who had the same kind of innate
(523) honesty that Spencer Tracy did
(524) I don't think anyone had ever seen Walter Huston quite like this before
(525) Of course, the most memorable scene is when Walter Huston
(526) discovers that they have found the mother lode, so called
(527) To create this moment Walter Huston drew from past experience
(528) He was doing Shakespeare's Othello on the stage
(529) And apparently it was a colossal misjudgment and a flop
(530) As he read several brutal reviews of his performance
(531) Huston began to laugh maniacally
(532) So he imparted this laugh this amazing laugh
(533) as part of his characterization
(534) And he also took something from a play he'd once done
(535) A Eugene O'Neill play Desire under the Elms
(536) in which O'Neill apparently had taught him this little jig, this little dance
(537) You're so dumb
(538) you don't even see the riches you're treading on with your own feet
(539) John Huston thought that his father's performance
(540) in Treasure of Sierra Madre was his finest
(541) Because he had seen him do a lot of things over the years
(542) He was a great admirer of his father as an actor
(543) in addition to as a person
(544) They loved each other
(545) It was a lovely relationship
(546) The grueling location work went on The food was terrible
(547) But Lauren Bacall pitched in to cook familiar fare from home
(548) Bacall's domesticity irked actress Evelyn Keyes, John Huston's wife
(549) Huston took this as an opportunity to humiliate her in front of everyone
(550) their young marriage already on the rocks
(551) Keyes was relieved when she left to shoot a film in Hollywood
(552) little realizing the surprise her husband would be bringing home
(553) There was a young boy by the name of Pablo who was hanging around
(554) and watched them shooting and so forth
(555) Huston gave him little errands to do and things to keep him occupied
(556) Then Pablo, you know, he was like glue
(557) Huston couldn't get rid of him
(558) And he became very fond of this Pablo
(559) who apparently did not have a mother and father anymore
(560) When the picture wrapped up in Mexico he had
(561) what he thought was a brilliant idea
(562) He decided he wanted to adopt Pablo
(563) But he didn't tell Evelyn Keyes, his wife
(564) And Evelyn Keyes had already gone home you know, a little early from the shoot
(565) so he announces that he's bringing Pablo back and adopting him
(566) Meanwhile the location shooting continued
(567) So, time is going on
(568) and we're falling further and further behind down in Mexico
(569) and there was still stuff to be shot at the studio and on location up here
(570) And Bogart was getting increasingly worried because he was a yachtsman
(571) He had his yacht, the Santana
(572) and there was this annual race
(573) from Catalina to Hawaii
(574) And they kept telling him, "Don't worry
(575) We'll be finished with this picture in plenty of time for you to go on your race
(576) And as the weeks go by and it's clearly not going to be fine
(577) Bogart becomes more and more insistent in asking him
(578) One night over dinner
(579) he apparently is being fairly loud about this to Huston
(580) And, apparently, John Huston
(581) twisted his nose
(582) and it hurt. Lauren Bacall said You're hurting him, John
(583) and he stopped
(584) And Bogart never complained again
(585) He missed the race because they definitely went way over schedule
(586) But that was the end of that So he missed the race
(587) Huston was the director and the writer
(588) That sensibility always carried over into his relationships with people
(589) He liked to make fun of his actors
(590) and punish them even though he was an actor himself
(591) and certainly came from a long line of actors
(592) That was pure Huston. That's how he dealt with his children and everybody
(593) And here was Bogart. He'd just had enough of this questioning of
(594) Daddy, are we there yet Or "Am I gonna get to go
(595) The answer was, "If we finish, you will and if we don't finish, you won't
(596) Of course, they didn't. What's interesting is that after it was over
(597) Bogart went up and said, "Gee, John can't we be like we always were
(598) Huston would say, "Yes, of course and they were
(599) But it's interesting that it was Bogart who was the one
(600) who made the overture to do that
(601) And still, the location shooting went on
(602) When a film's off on location, it must be very hard for the people at home base
(603) to really have a handle on what's going on
(604) I think all they knew, in Burbank
(605) in the executive offices at Warner Brothers is that the film
(606) was costing them more than it was supposed to, taking longer to shoot
(607) They liked what they saw but it was costing them more and more
(608) And Huston kept saying But I still wanna shoot this
(609) The waterhole sequence, for example where the three bandits discover Bogart
(610) The producer said, "We can do that back here. " Huston said, "No
(611) So they did that there, and finally wrapped and came to Los Angeles
(612) and the Warner Burbank studio shot some stuff on the back lot
(613) And then went to Kernville
(614) which is about 150 miles north of Los Angeles
(615) where the terrain matches pretty much where the mining was being done
(616) and the camp site, and so forth
(617) But that's not to denigrate the industry behind that Mexican shooting
(618) because that was extraordinarily important and gave a great flavor
(619) John Huston stayed behind to make arrangements for Pablo
(620) while the cast and crew finally departed for home
(621) Pablo came home on the plane with him
(622) and Keyes greeted him at the airport
(623) and looked at this little kid and said, "Who's that
(624) And Huston said That's our new son, Pablo
(625) Hal Croves came to Burbank for the final weeks of filming
(626) But his stipend was reduced to $150 a week
(627) on the studio's orders
(628) After five-and-a-half months in production and 29 days of reschedule
(629) filming was completed on the sound stages at Warner Brothers
(630) on July 22, 1947
(631) Bogart and Bacall planned a leisurely second honeymoon
(632) before beginning work on their next project, Huston's Key Largo
(633) Bogart was still stinging from having missed the Honolulu Classic
(634) When the film was over, he joked with reporters that he was going to have
(635) a kind of a shadow race called "Bogart Also Ran
(636) But, I think, more sensibly
(637) just he and Bacall sailed down to Baja and had a good time there
(638) After all was said and done and the picture was finished
(639) Jack Warner cabled the big honcho in New York, saying
(640) This is the best picture we've ever made It is remarkable
(641) Of course, the reviews on The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
(642) were marvelous You couldn't ask for any better reviews
(643) A few people carped about the Max Steiner score
(644) It's a very powerful score and apparently was criticized
(645) for being melodramatic and heavy-handed at the time of the film's release
(646) I beg to differ
(647) Bogart's performance was considered by most to be his best to date
(648) I'm doing it to save my life that you'd take from me when I wasn't looking at you
(649) The old man'll catch up with you He will, will he
(650) I got an answer for that one, too Know what I'll tell him
(651) I'll tell him you tied me to a tree and made your getaway taking all our goods
(652) He'll be looking for you and not me
(653) Bogart's performance was different from anything he had done
(654) and his fan base was not particularly thrilled
(655) because they wanted to see him with a trench coat
(656) and doing Sam Spade or Marlowe
(657) or romantically involved such as he was in Casablanca
(658) But this was not the Bogart they wanted because he was an unsavory character
(659) Hal Croves wrote an angry letter to Life magazine
(660) apparently feeling snubbed by his reduction in pay
(661) and angered at Huston
(662) for speculating in print that he was really B. Traven
(663) When the film came out, John Huston
(664) felt that, in person he was a ridiculous little man
(665) whereas the books by Traven
(666) were books by someone with a strong personality
(667) And I think he was very offended by that
(668) He said he would never let John Huston make another film
(669) based on one of his books
(670) The Warner Brothers marketing department was confused
(671) with how to promote this unusual film
(672) How do you sell, in a persuasive
(673) and upbeat way a movie that's about greed
(674) and deception and murder
(675) Not easy
(676) They tried to come up with something so that you got a hint of Western
(677) You even had a woman in the background
(678) like a saloon singer or something in some of the ads
(679) And it was stressing the treasure
(680) and the Western aspect and the open spaces
(681) so that you could imply something other than what it was
(682) The marketing department even had Bogart endorse a line of men's clothes
(683) as a movie tie-in
(684) but the clothes had nothing to do with the film
(685) You know, we talk about how the audience didn't respond to this
(686) but, of course, a great percentage of the audience loved it
(687) But for the mass audience who were looking for entertainment
(688) it was just too downbeat
(689) and the Bogart character was something that they could not identify with
(690) or wanted to identify with or have any empathy for
(691) People often deride the studio system and talk about how impersonal it was
(692) and how it stifled the creative freedom
(693) of so many filmmakers
(694) If so, how does a film like this exist How do you explain it
(695) This film was made with complete integrity
(696) This film bore
(697) few, if any, signs of compromise
(698) Yes, Jack Warner would have liked a happy ending
(699) He asked John Huston to think about making a happy ending
(700) Huston refused and then Warner backed him up
(701) Even he recognized what a great movie it was, and he was proud of the movie
(702) I think the public does have to be forgiven in this case
(703) because of the time of not particularly warming to that movie
(704) It was also a time right around that era
(705) when a lot of films from Europe were coming in
(706) like Open City, the Rossellini one and all of that
(707) People liked that kind of thing
(708) The art-house crowd liked that kind of thing
(709) Paisan, Bicycle Thief and everything Or they liked the Hollywood film
(710) There was kind of a mix
(711) People still wanted to see Fred Astaire dancing with Cyd Charisse
(712) Jane Powell singing arias and things like that
(713) They weren't ready to buy Hollywood at that point
(714) doing things that were so European like The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
(715) I think it's a miracle that it got made in the first place
(716) The icing on the cake for this movie
(717) especially since it had not been a box-office success
(718) was getting the recognition it did from the Academy
(719) In those days, it was done in a theater at Pantages
(720) So, I was sitting with my then husband John Huston
(721) and his name was called
(722) You had to leave, walk up there and get the award
(723) Then you'd come back down somehow
(724) I mean, time passed
(725) And he came and sat down again in his seat with his Oscar
(726) We're sitting there watching the rest of them
(727) Lo and behold! Again for direction
(728) Off he goes. And he said, "Here, hold this
(729) He plopped this golden Oscar in my lap
(730) I want you to know for the rest of the evening
(731) this Oscar evening, I held the Oscar
(732) When it was over and people were moving back and around stage
(733) and were taking pictures of John and the other winners
(734) His father had won, too
(735) I'm over here with my own Oscar holding it
(736) loving every minute of it. I feel like I won
(737) I did win, in a way
(738) Here you have John Huston winning an Academy Award for his screenplay
(739) and also for his direction
(740) You have Walter Huston, his father
(741) winning the Best Supporting Actor
(742) This was the first time
(743) perhaps the only time that a father and son
(744) two family members, won awards for the same picture in the same year
(745) It's a big part of Academy history
(746) that there was this historic night when father and son
(747) both won Oscars
(748) The son having directed his father having written the part for his father
(749) and being there to receive the approbation of his father at the same time
(750) Best Picture passed them by
(751) It went to Laurence Olivier's Hamlet
(752) which, of course was the time of the British invasion
(753) and doing all those prestige films with The Red Shoes
(754) Great Expectations, so forth and so on
(755) One of the many mysteries of the Academy Awards
(756) when you look back, is how certain films
(757) certain performances, certain achievements could have been ignored
(758) It doesn't seem possible
(759) that Bogart would not have been nominated
(760) for that performance as Fred C. Dobbs and yet he wasn't
(761) You don't know the final tally He may have lost by one vote
(762) But it was a long time coming for him
(763) And he had every other success
(764) But, of course, you want to have the one where everyone says
(765) Now you have the gold statuette This is it. Your fame is assured
(766) It's one of the great disintegrations of a character
(767) in a way, the downfall of a character that Bogart portrays in this movie
(768) One of the great ones to chart that downfall
(769) To see where he goes wrong and also know
(770) It's about human nature That's what the film's about
(771) But it was a great performance
(772) One that I think really established him further up the ladder
(773) in everybody's mind as a great actor
(774) Fortunately, right after that he did Key Largo with Huston
(775) which was very popular
(776) Bacall was in it Edward G. Robinson was in it
(777) and it was a crowd pleaser as well as being a critical success
(778) Then The African Queen was also a crowd pleaser
(779) and a critical success
(780) Here, once again you had a different Bogart
(781) but there were elements that you loved about the character
(782) and the interplay between he and the Katharine Hepburn character
(783) It was a different story all the way around
(784) And it was a unique treatment of a love story
(785) against this exotic African background
(786) His performance in The African Queen won Bogart his Oscar
(787) John Huston made and appeared in dozens more movies
(788) some classic and some not until his death in 1987
(789) The Treasure of the Sierra Madre was a triumph for Walter Huston
(790) He made three more films before he passed away in 1950
(791) Tim Holt was hoping that his role in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
(792) would lift him out of the B movies but it didn't
(793) He continued to work as an actor until the early 1970s
(794) and was a radio station manager in Oklahoma City when he died in 1973
(795) After a dozen more films and several television appearances
(796) Bruce Bennett retired from acting in 1972
(797) Bogart made a half-dozen more films
(798) before he died of throat cancer in 1957
(799) He remains, arguably, the most popular star of Hollywood's golden age
(800) Though audiences didn't respond at the time
(801) The Treasure of the Sierra Madre built a following over the decades
(802) and is now one of the treasures of the American cinema
(803) considered by many to be Huston's crowning achievement
(804) and Bogart's finest performance
(805) Some people who don't like so-called "old" movies
(806) because they find them too corny
(807) or too sentimental
(808) are caught up short by The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
(809) Because, of course, it's not corny
(810) it's not sentimental, and it's great
(811) And it holds up extremely well
(812) I think, in part, because it does
(813) have a certain cynicism to it
(814) and, in part because it's such a great movie
(815) that it transcends the years
(816) It's never dated
(817) I think it's the vibrance of the performances and the vision of Huston
(818) working the script, working the actors
(819) and placing that camera in the right position
(820) and the universality of the story
(821) Huston was never convinced as others were
(822) that Hal Croves was B. Traven
(823) Shortly before his death in 1969
(824) Croves admitted he was B. Traven
(825) Huston was still not convinced for a variety of reasons
(826) He really doubted it
(827) because he just didn't seem to fit with what he read in the books
(828) He was a very quiet man
(829) I mean, the man I met was really very quiet
(830) And he was a gentle guy
(831) And it's really never been solved
(832) although on many occasions it is presumed to have been solved
(833) No, we haven't solved the mystery Nobody will ever solve the mystery
(834) His identity is as elusive as the gold of the Sierra Madre
(835) blowing back into the dust that men had labored to sift it from
(836) Who knows Anybody out there know anything
(837) English

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