Sunday, March 04, 2007

It's A Wonderful Movie

People who know me know that I love the movie It's a Wonderful Life (1946), and like to quote from it from time to time, much to the annoyance of my friend Missy.

But what they may not know is that my favorite film of the 1940s is The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), featuring two of the great film performances of all time: Humphrey Bogart as Fred C. Dobbs and Walter Huston as the old prospector.

One of the main actors in Treasure, a competing prospector played well by Bruce Bennett (whose real name was Herman Brix), died yesterday at the age of 100. He beat out Ronald Reagan to win the role as Bogart's nemesis.

In a long career Brix also played many others roles, including Tarzan in 1935. (He was the favorite to originally play the part, instead of Johnny Weissmuller, but was sidelined with a sports-related injury.) Brix himself was an athlete: He won a silver medal at the 1928 Olympics, played in the Rose Bowl and set world shot-put records. Here's a nicely written obit.

Had he been born a little later, say seven decades later, a man as handsome and multi-talented as Brix/Bennett would probably be a household name, showing up regularly in The Star magazine and on Perez Hilton's blog, and probably shirtless a lot of the time, giving Matthew McConaughey a run for his money.

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Mexican Bandit: We are Federales ... you know, the mounted police.
Dobbs: If you're the police, where are your badges?
Mexican Bandit: Badges!? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!

This is a classic piece of dialogue from the film, and often misquoted. It also proves that Fred C. Dobbs distrusts and fears Mexicans as much as Lou Dobbs does. Both also show similar levels of paranoia and have a keen interest in sharing their views on treasure and treasury securities with all who will listen.

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TRIVIA: Can you name the young actor at right who plays the kid selling the lottery ticket near the beginning of the film? This child actor himself would wind up with a life almost as tragic as Dobbs himself.

***
Below is the trailer for The Treasure of Sierra Madre. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Bobby M. said...

That kid is none other than Bobby Blake! Wahdda Acta!

We Bobby's gotta stick together.