Treasure of Sierra Madre--Unfaithfully Blood On My Hands
Bogart " (very big type) " with Walter Huston " (thinner and smaller type), runs the billing of Treasure of Sierra Madre (WARNERS). But it is Walter Huston who crashes through with the "star" performance. Indeed, he has done nothing better since that cunningly clever bit of work in the title role of The Devil to Pay.
This is really a grand, virile. consistent picture. It never loses sight of the main idea of B. Traven's novel un which it is based-that man's nature is corrupted by greed. The scene is Tampico, Mexico, in 1920. A couple of American hobos (Mr, Bogart and Tim Holt) spending the night in a doss house, get talking to a tough old timer (Mr. Huston) about gold prospecting. Quite overcome with the vision of a life of the case and luxury that will be theirs after a brief, sojourn in the Sierra Madre, the two hobos decide to go on a digging trip. At first they think they should go alone -hut grudgingly agree it might be wiser to take the old man alongthey could use his experience, even though he might not be able to stand up to the rigours as they could themselves.
THE COURTLY BANDITS
But the old man out-runs, outclimbs, out-strips them, shinning up the slopes of Sierra Madre like a mountain goat. And what is more, his doleful prophecy that all will be sunny and friendly until the first gold is struck, is only too literally fulfilled. Hobo One (Bogart) who has cringed and fawned on his fellow-Americans in the city, develops into a mean, suspicious and ruthless specimen, and when the old man's back is turned, he doesn't stick at murder of his young partner.
The smooth-tongued Mexican bandits who have the deportment of courtiers, the blistering dustladen winds, the easy-going Village folk against whose normality the greed-driven men are measuredall have been used with skilful hand by Director John Huston.
The film ends in laughter-loud, ironic laughter it could be the mountain laughing at human folly -and it sums up the whole fantastic expedition. I'm afraid it will be quite a time before we get a picture of this stature again.
Unfaithfully Yours (NEW GALLERY AND TIVof 0 although it has its quota
of laughs, is a feverish, restless affair written, produced and directed by one of Hollywood's ace comedy men, Preston Sturges. There arc not a few errors of taste. The central figure is a British conductor -a baronet whose family has made money out of a commodity the nature of whichis left in no doubt. (Does any name suggest itself ?) There is a reference (spoken by British actor Rex Harrison) about " The Royal Family christening something "; a petulant remark made by the lavishly-wardrobed wife of the conductor-" send all the frocks to the women of England." An embarrassing kissing and canoodling opening shot could also be dispensed with.
Story on which this feverish comedy is hung is the conductor's suspicion that his wife has been unfaithful to him and his imagined reactions dictated by the mood of the music which he is conducting. The camera leads you into his brain by way of his eye-a trick that palls after the first two shots,
Hollywood takes a long time to tire of the great, husky, bullying type of fellow whose only reaction to opposition of any description is to hit out with his fists. Sooner or later he hits too hard and finds himself a murderer. Which is just what happens in Blood on my Hands (GAUMONT AND MARBLE ARCH PAvir.roN). Burt Lancaster is a " natural " for this type of part and as Bill Saunders, the tough, he snakes in and out of Hollywood's version of London's Dockland, companioned by Joan Fontaine as a " Health Centre" attendant. What lovely English this girl speaks-and she even has a book of Shelley's " Selected Poems " to establish the fact that she has been educated.
A terrifically exciting opening delays irritation at geographical and other errors.
CROSSWORD SOLUTION.-No. 3].
ACROSS: (1) Pilgrimage, (5) Spur, (8) Spin, (9) Broomstick, (12) of Grace, (13) Galleys, (14) Right of Asylum, (17) Gracelessness, (22) Precept, (23) Stamper, (25) Rain Doctor, (26) Care, (27) Duet, (28), Astringent.
DOWN : Pastor, (2) Lying, (3) Morse, (4) Georgians, (6) Prime Cuts, (7) Rakish, (10) Sully, (It) Wash, (15) Israelite, (16) Oil • Stocks, (18) Creed, (19) Noun, (20) Spared, (21) Priest, (23) Scour, (24) Peace.