The Treasure of the Sierra Madre as Influenced by John Huston
Director John Huston is able to grasp the depths of feelings the themes and characters in “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” because of his life’s experiences. He was a product of divorce so as a child he never had stability. An accident early in his life caused him a huge amount of depression and he would go to Europe where he learned a great deal about art. His early writing career also had a great influence on his talent.
John’s parents divorced when he was a young age, so he spent the majority of his childhood in boarding schools alternating summer vacations with either parent. His mother was a writer before he was born and was a major influence on his love for literature. John respects writers for being able to portray so much emotion in words. However, he got his love for acting from his father Walter Huston, a famous Broadway actor. Watching his father rehearse his lines strongly influenced his creativity. He was fascinated with the mechanics of acting, John said, “What I learned there would serve me for the rest of my life”. When he was twenty-five he moved to L.A. in the hopes of writing for the film industry. Believing that literature was becoming a lost art, he tried to faithfully capture the themes and emotions of the original story and characters in his screen adaptations. Another key aspect to his genius is the type of stories he chose to portray. Popular Hollywood writers at the time chose stories where the message is easy to understand; this is not the case for John. For example, John chose important novels that involve some of the major issues of life. He obtained a job as a screenplay writer for Warner Brothers where he wrote such things as Dr. Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet and Sergeant York. They were both movies with huge underlying messages and were nominated for academy awards. In Treasure of the Sierra Madre the underlying message is about greed and how it can drive a man to do...
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