The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, June 22-28

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
Directed by John Huston
After the Mexican Revolution, three vagrants scamper around Tampico, an oil town, trying to keep themselves afloat in a world where an American can’t survive unless he’s a prospector. After scrounging enough cash, the three men pool their resources and set out for gold in the nearby desolate hills. In an unmerciful vérité style, director John Huston channels tactics he used for his early documentaries; his father, Walter (in an Oscar-winning performance), Humphrey Bogart, and Tim Holt are the players. The film transgresses against the typical conventions of the era: it exposes big movie stars, specifically Bogart, in the unlikeable light of malicious greed and despicable cupidity. The men, who start out as decent human beings, descend to rapacity (again, most notably Bogart), fending off bandits and other treasure-seekers willing to trade their humanity for a few nuggets of metal. Samantha Vacca (June 26, 1:30pm at the Museum of the Moving Image as part of a series in conjunction with David Bordwell’s new book The Rhapsodes: How 1940s Critics Changed American Film Culture)


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