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"treasure of the Sierra Madre" Case

Essay by   •  November 7, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,978 Words (8 Pages)  •  925 Views

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The movie "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" can teach us how easily humans can be corrupted by power or money. I believe a little bit of greed lies within all of us, and whether or not we let it control us is up to us. The movie illustrates this lesson with a man named Frank C. Dobbs, who could be considered the tragic hero of the story. Dobbs character changes more and more as the story goes on until he is so driven by greed he kills his partner. This story can be taken and applied nowadays, statistics show families that aren't doing well financial stay together because they need to in order to make it through. But families that are doing well and can make it easily have a higher chance of divorce.

The movie begins with a homeless man named Frank C. Dobbs, checking a losing lottery ticket. Right off the bat the audience understands that Frank is man who wants to strike it rich, and change his life. This explains why he went out looking for gold later on in the story, and why he went insane in the end. Later we have a tracking shot behind Dobbs of him asking a man who appears to be doing well for money to which he gets a no. The tracking shot gives the viewer a feeling of rejection, humiliation and maybe a bit of anger because we feel a though we were rejected just like Dobbs. Then we cut to a worm eye shot of people walking by and we see a rich man in a white suit walking by. This creates a feeling that this man is above us and more powerful than the audience. We then cut to see Dobbs approaching this man asking "Can you stake a fellow American to a meal?" which he asks with his head down which shows he is ashamed to ask him from money. The man gives Dobbs money and the camera cut to a close up on the money given to Dobbs which shows us that Dobbs is very focused on the money and once again is very greedy. The picture fades out and we see a close up on a box of cigarettes that Dobbs is holding. This is a little peculiar because typically when we give money to someone who is homeless and hungry they spend money on food or save for a house but Dobbs spent money on cigarettes which tells the viewer that he is someone who wants to have the finer things in life, which creates a better understanding of why he thinks he needs so much gold later in the story. While Dobbs is smoking the cigarettes a young boy come up asking for money to buy a lottery ticket. Instead of Dobbs understanding the boy, being polite, and sharing his good fortune, he treats him badly as if he is the scum of the world. This shows the viewer how greedy Dobbs is, and how easily greed and power controls him, which allows the viewer to better understand why Dobbs killed his partner near the end. After Dobbs had asked the rich man in the white suit for money a third time he says he didn't pay attention to his face just his hand and the money he gave him. This once again develops the character Dobbs as a character who only focuses on his power or wealth because he strictly focused on the money, which develops the viewer's understanding of why Dobbs went insane, and killed his partner at the end of the movie. So at the beginning of the story we are painted a picture of a man who has lost his way and has a lot of problems with greed.

At the beginning of the story we see a negative side of Dobbs however we also see the good in him. Once his money has run out the viewers see Dobbs sitting across from his future partner put partner name here and he shares his cigarettes with him, which shows that Dobbs is a good person when he isn't being controlled by power and greed, this makes the viewer feel more respect towards the character Dobbs, and also a little sympathy because of the internal struggle of his thirst for power vs. what he knows is right. After Frank and Curtin had work for a few weeks for McCormick and had realized he was ripping them off the duo beat McCormick up, but instead of taking all his money in his wallet, they only took what they earned. This once again shows the good in both frank and his partner. Again we see a positive side in Dobbs when the trio needs money to continue with the plans to go mining for gold and he decides to give his winnings rather than keep them himself. So by the writer and directors creating a positive character Dobbs tells the viewer that the side of Dobbs you see later in the film is not the true Dobbs, but rather a man who has been corrupted by greed and a thirst for power. This allows the audience to feel some sympathy for the character Dobbs later on in the story, which is critical for the main idea because if the audience just thought Dobbs was a bad guy they would never put themselves in his shoes.

As made evident in the beginning of the movie with power or in this case money, Dobbs goes mad, however Dobbs had never had more than a few buck on him, therefore thousands of dollars will drive him absolutely insane! We see the first change in Dobbs character when the group is diving up the gold. The camera zooms into a close up on Dobbs face as the gold is being poured out as the viewer sees a look on his face similar to love. This foreshadows Dobbs going so far as to killing his partner for the gold once

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