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Bogart Vs. Cagney Vs. Robinson

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Thanks for posting all of this neat stuff about one of my favorite movies. (hey, and I think your right about the use of Mexican after all).


Since you are aware of the book, I have a few questions; Does the book indicate that Mexican bandits didn't know what gold dust was? I just found that part strange. Ok, I can understand why bandits wouldn't take the time to prospect for gold, but to not steal it because they didn't understand it's value?


I ask since the final scene with Gold Tooth and Dobbs was added by Huston (well at least the addition of Gold Tooth as stated in your prior post). How much of that scene was true to the book or made up by Huston?

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Sorry, James, I haven't read the novel so I can't answer your question. As stated earlier, that quote of Huston's about screenplay changes to the novel came from some CD notes.


Much to my exasperation now, I can't find a paperback copy of the novel that I found in a second hand bookshop years ago. That is, I think I had a copy of B. Traven's book but it's been so many years since I saw it, now I'm not so certain.

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Some time ago I created a thread on these boards called "Treasure of Sierra Madre's Ending" in which I seriously questioned the reality of the film's famous last scene. I didn't believe that two gold prospectors, faced with the reality that their treasure had been blown away by the wind, would suddenly burst into laughter about it. Some readers agreed with me, while others disagreed and thought it could happen.


Now I'm not so certain about my earlier conviction that it ran against human nature because of one of the very actors in that scene. I stated a few posts earlier that one time Walter Huston, when faced by some horrendous theatrical reviews of his performance as Othello, responded to them by bursting into laughter.


I have never, when faced with some kind of disaster, responded to a situation in that manner, but that's just me. Perhaps, at that, some others would. Certainly it appeared that Huston did, so at that moment when he played Howard breaking up over the irony of the gold being blown back to the mountain, I assume the actor really could identity with his character then.


On the other hand, I still don't quite understand why all those Mexican villagers on horseback, not a sign of an understanding of English to be found among them, also all burst into uproarious laughter along with Howard and Curtain, in that same scene. There must have been one quick English to Spanish translator nearby that I didn't see.


One thing, though. The film turns decidedly grim towards the end in its final scenes. Not a lot of happiness there. It was obviously an attempt on the part of the filmmakers to end the film on a somewhat upbeat note. I seriously wonder if the Traven novel ends in that fashion.


It sure is a classic ending to a classic film, though. I love it.



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mrroberts, I know Cagney didn't like that Bogart passed a remark about him looking like a mushroom with a cowboy hat on in the movie OKLAHOMA KID. Cagney responded by writing a poem about Bogart picking his nose because he saw him do it in his car. It is well known. I can post it here if you like next time I'm online. Right now I have to get off.

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Tom, if my memory is right here, early in the film Howard (the experienced prospector among the three) remarks about finding and eventually losing several fortunes in his life. It seems for him, the search is now the real thrill in life, he has a nonchalant attitude about finding another fortune. Notice how trusting he is with his partners, in contrast to Dobbs, who gets increasingly suspicious of everything. Curtain, the young guy of the three, is sort of on the fence here. Of course he learns the hard way about what gold fever does to Dobbs. At the end, Howard just laughs off the irony of their plight (losing all of the gold) and after a few seconds, Curt sees things the same way. Que, sera, sera.

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Yes, mrroberts, I agree. The flophouse scene indications are clearly that Howard has already been through a few fortunes, and he has a great adrenalin rush on going for another hunt, if he can find the right partners. I wouldn't go so far as to say he is nonchalant about finding a fortune (after all, he was reluctantly ready, along with the others, to murder Cody!).


However, Howard has a more life-experienced philosophical attitude about losing that fortune. And when it is then taken away from him, not by a bandit or greedy partner, but by nature itself (the wind) he has the maturity to see the irony of it and find it funny. Curtain, perhaps a little surprisingly because he's such a young man, catches on to the humour of it, too. And perhaps he's more than a little influenced by Howard, too, a man for whom he has obvious affection and respect.


Treasure's brilliant screenplay, as written by Huston, places a great emphasis upon fate and irony.


Speaking of Curtain, the DVD special said that Tim Holt had hoped that Treasure would free him from all the "B" movie projects in which he had appeared. It didn't happen, and he would be back to the minor league westerns, as well as the star of The Monster That Challenged the World. Still, I can't feel entirely sorry for someone who has a film like Treasure on his resume (not to mention Magnificent Ambersons).


Falling into the "what if" category, John Garfield had been under consideration for the role of Curtain. That could have been inspired casting, in my opinion. It's true that Garfield had a built-in cynicism as opposed to the innocence of Holt, which was a wonderful contrast to Bogart and Huston. However, I think Garfield was such a great actor that he might have made the character more interesting than did Holt.

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*jamesjazzguitar wrote: I ask since the final scene with Gold Tooth and Dobbs was added by Huston*


No offense, James, but the name by which the bandit was known in Treasure was Gold Hat, not Gold Tooth. Having said that, though, if you actually had a gold tooth I'm sure that Gold Hat and his men would have been more than pleased to make your acquaintance - particularly out of a mountain trail.




Ah, my very nervous friend, can you not open your mouth just a little bit wider so we can all see that very pretty tooth?



Quick, Pancho, the pliers!

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"The Odd Couple", with James "Oscar" Cagney and Humphrey "Felix" Bogart. And for the card games, Eddie Robinson the cop and, George Raft as the buddy who just got out of the slammer. And Ann Sheridan and Joan Blondell as the gals next door.

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So you would have Cagney play the prissy uptight Felix? Nah, I think Bogie (like he did in the bookstore in *The Big Sleep* ) could pull it off better. Even though Cagney wasn't a slob in real life, I think he could be the rough, bad mannered Oscar.

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This Saturday, get up bright and early, or set the recording machine. At 6AM est, its Eddie G vs Bogie in *Kid Galahad* . For years this film was shown as "The Battling Bellhop" because one of those 60's Elvis flicks was a remake and used the "Kid Galahad" title. Its good to see the Robinson/Bogart film has the proper title back. And following at 8AM est is one of Eddie's very, very best movies, *The Sea Wolf* . I love this film, probably in my personal top 10 of all time (if I ever try to actually compile such a list). Robinson is incredible (another snub from Oscar) and he has a top notch supporting cast to work with. All are very good, but its Eddie's film 100% .

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Thanks, mrroberts, for the notification of this Saturday morning's Edward G. Robinson double bill which, includes, for my money, possibly the film of his career, The Sea Wolf.


Kid Galahad is an okay gangster melodrama, with a boxing backdrop, primarily to be viewed because of the cast. Not only does it include Robinson and Bogart, but Bette Davis, as well, as Eddie G.'s girlfriend (this being the same year she would make Marked Woman, also with Bogart).


It's apparent in watching Kid Galahad, as well, that Warners was trying to promote Wayne Morris, featured in the title role, into future stardom. The studio would soon lose interest in Morris and he'd be relegated to being the lead in some of the studio's "B"s.


Also of interest, Bogart would appear as the lead in a Kid Galahad remake with circus trappings in 1941 called The Wagons Roll at Night. It's a pretty tired melodrama, squeezed in between Bogie's two breakthrough roles in High Sierra and Maltese Falcon. Bogie plays a jealous type, resorting to letting a lion loose to get vengeance on a rival, if I remember correctly. Hardly the iconic image of the "cool" Bogart that he would very soon come to be on screen.


And for Cagney fans, while its scheduled in a terrible timeslot (4:15am EST Friday) TCM is showing LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME, with the actor featured in one of his best roles of the '50s.


He plays Marty Snyder, known as Marty the Gimp, a smalltime gangster who becomes the benefactor of an ambitious singer, based on the life of '20s songtress, Ruth Etting. Doris Day plays Etting in the performance of her career. Her scenes of conflict with Cagney have great dramatic impact in this film. Cagney, a generous actor, I'm sure had something to do with the fact that Day rises so magnificently to the occasion in this film.


Cagney plays his part as that of a mean, small minded, bull headed individual. He still reveals the Gimp's emotional vulnerability, however, particularly in the film's last scene. It's an honest portrayal, without any cheap attempt by Cagney to resort to a fake sentimentality. Cagney later wrote that Love Me Or Leave Me had a perfect script.




Love Me Or Leave Me - Friday 4:15am EST




Kid Galahad - Saturday 6am EST




Sea Wolf - Saturday, 8am EST

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That's right, Jim. Tomorrow is prison film day on TCM and at 1:15pm EST they're showing a Cagney-George Raft effort, Each Dawn I Die.


While I would not rank this film as one of Cagney's better efforts, it's still not without interest. Raft plays a hardened career criminal while Cagney is a newspaper man railroaded into prison.


One of the more interesting scenes in the film is one in which Cagney appears before a parole board to plead his case to be released from prison. And Cagney has the courage as an actor to do something in this scene that few other tough guy actors would dare to do.


In his desperation to get a release from prison from a parole board that is prejudiced against him, Cagney's character, after an initial outburst of anger with them, almost immediately expresses regret and breaks down and cries, pleading with them to give him a chance at freedom. Cagney sobs for fifteen or so screen seconds, almost uncontrollably.


The actor had the confidence to be able to do a scene like this without the concerns that it would compromise his image as a screen tough guy. There are a handful of films in Cagney's career in which his character cries (Taxi comes to mind, The Crowd Roars, I believe, as well as Yankee Doodle Dandy). But he also does it in this film, Each Dawn I Die, a fairly conventional prison melodrama in which everyone is strutting macho.


Bogart shed a couple of tears that you don't really see in Casablanca while drinking alone in his club afterhours. Eddie Robinson had that marvelous scene in Little Caesar in which he couldn't bring himself to shoot best pal Doug Fairbanks Jr., backing away from him, with tears in his eyes.


But of those three tough guy actors, it seems to me, no one shed tears quite so uncontrollably at times as did Cagney. In Taxi he virtually breaks down and weeps on Loretta Young's shoulder. That was in 1932, it didn't hurt the film's box office performance, and Warner obviously decided that, on occasion, Cagney could get away with it in his film roles.



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