For once, Bogart plays a really vicious bastard, Fred C Dobbs, in this, the first of two movies he made in 1948 with Huston. It's a sort of lifeboat drama for three, with Holt the young innocent and director's dad Walter as the wise old buzzard, flanking Bogart's bravura paranoia. Director Huston tries to yank the basic elements - gold lust in a Mexican wilderness - into the spare eloquence of a fable, and tends to look pretentious rather than profound. In any case, outrageously Oscar-seeking performances like actor Huston's, coupled with director Huston's comparative conviction with action sequences, work against any yearning for significance. There's a quite enjoyable yarn buried under the hollow laughter.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||John Huston, Robert Rossen|