Two down at heel Americans stranded in the backwaters of Mexico use the last of their money to go searching for gold in the company of grizzled old prospector Walter Huston.
John Huston’s classic story of greed is based upon literary classic The Pardoner’s Tale from Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. It’s basically a morality story warning of the dangers of greed and how the promise of wealth can blacken a man’s heart; in this case Humphrey Bogart in quite possibly his finest performance. Walter Huston is also marvellous as the pragmatic and worldly-wise old geezer who predicted everything that occurs to the disbelief of his initially wide-eyed and enthusiastic partners. The suspense builds tangibly as the former friends become more and more suspicious of each other, all three at one point or another tempted to stab each other in the back for their share of the goods. It’s a brilliant story, expertly told by some of the best in the business and one of the true cinematic greats.
One of those films anyone who calls themselves a movie buff must surely have on their list.