The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre quotes

64 total quotes (ID: 593)

Bob Curtin
Fred C. Dobbs
Howard
James Cody
Multiple Characters


Dobbs: [about Howard] He's too old to take along with us, of course. We'd have to pack him on our backs.
Curtin: You can't tell about some of those old guys. It's surprising sometimes how tough they are. I don't know what gold looks like in the ground. I've only seen it in jewelry store windows and people's mouths. Do you know anything about prospectin'?
Dobbs: Eh, not much, when you come right down to it.
Curtin: We might have real use for an experienced guy like that old-timer.
Dobbs: Let's go hunt him up right away.


Howard: Gold in Mexico? Why sure there is. Not ten days from here by rail and pack train, there's a mountain waiting for the right guy to come along, discover a treasure, and then tickle her until she lets him have it. The question is, are you the right guy?...Aw, real bonanzas are few and far between that take a lot of finding. Say, answer me this one, will ya? Why's gold worth some twenty bucks an ounce?
Man: I don't know. 'Cause it's scarce.
Howard: A thousand men, say, go searching for gold. After six months, one of 'em is lucky - one out of the thousand. His find represents not only his own labor but that of nine hundred and ninety-nine others to boot. That's uh, six thousand months or five hundred years scrabbling over mountains, going hungry and thirsty. An ounce of gold, mister, is worth what it is because of the human labor that went into the finding and the getting of it.
Man: Never thought of it just like that...
Howard: Well, there's no other explanation, mister. Gold itself ain't good for nothin' except makin' jewelry with and gold teeth. Aw, gold's a devilish sort of a thing anyway. You start out to tell yourself you'll be satisfied with twenty-five thousand handsome smackers worth of it, 'so help me Lord and cross my heart.' Fine resolution. After months of sweatin' yourself dizzy and growing short on provisions and findin' nothin', you finally come down to fifteen thousand and then ten, finally you say, 'Lord, let me just find five thousand dollars worth and never ask for anything more the rest of my life.'...Here in this joint, it seems like a lot, but I tell you, if you was to make a real strike, you couldn't be dragged away. Not even the threat of miserable death'd keep you from trying to add ten thousand more. Ten you want to get twenty-five. Twenty-five you want to get fifty. Fifty, a hundred. Like roulette. One more turn, you know, always one more.
Dobbs: It wouldn't be that way with me. I swear it wouldn't. I'd take only what I set out to get, even if there was still a half a million dollars worth lying around waitin' to be picked up.
Howard: I've dug in Alaska and in Canada and Colorado. I was with the crowd in British Honduras where I made my fare back home and almost enough over to cure me of the fever I'd caught. I've dug in California and Australia, all over the world practically. Yeah, I know what gold does to men's souls.
Man: You talk as though you struck it rich sometime or other, Pop. How about it? Then what are you doin' in here, a down-and-outer?
Howard: That's gold, that's what it makes of us. Never knew a prospector yet that died rich. Make one fortune, you're sure to blow it in trying to find another. I'm no exception to the rule. Aw sure, I'm an odd old bone now, but say, don't you guys think the spirit's gone. I'm all set to shoulder a pickax and a shovel any time anybody's willing to share expenses. I'd rather go by myself. Going it alone's the best way. But you got to have a stomach for loneliness. Some guys go nutty with it. On the other hand, going with a partner or two is dangerous. Murder's always lurkin' about. Partners accusin' each other of all sorts of crimes. Aw, as long as there's no find, the noble brotherhood will last, but when the piles of gold begin to grow, that's when the trouble starts.
Curtin: Me, now, I wouldn't mind a little of that kind of trouble.
Dobbs: I think I'll go to sleep and dream about piles of gold gettin' bigger and bigger and bigger...

[about Dobbs and Curtin's "find"] This stuff wouldn't pay you dinner for a carload. Next time you fellas strike it rich, holler for me, will ya, before you start splashing water around. Water's precious. Sometimes it can be more precious than gold.

Dobbs: The cards are dealt the other way now and for the last time no more shuffling...I'm gonna finish this right now. No more takin' orders from you like I had to do today. Get me?
Curtin: You mean you're gonna murder me?
Dobbs: No brother, not murder. No. Your mistake. I'm doing this to save my life that you'd be taking from me the minute I wasn't lookin' at ya.
Curtin: The old man will catch up with ya.
Dobbs: Oh he will, will he? Well, I got an answer for that one too. You know what I want to tell him? I want to tell him you tied me to a tree and made your getaway taking all the goods - yours, mine, and his. So they'll be looking for you and not me. Up. March. Today I had to march to your music - now you march to mine.
Curtin: Where?
Dobbs: To your funeral. Come on, keep going. Get up. Sleepy huh? You'll be asleep soon enough. Sound asleep.

[about his winning lottery ticket] Just look at that fat, rich, printed number! That's the kind of sugar Papa likes. Oh, two hundred pesos! Welcome, sweet little smackeroos.

Dobbs: You know what I'm thinkin'. I'm thinkin' we ought to give up. Leave the whole outfit - everything behind and go back to civilization.
Howard: What's that you say? Go back? Ha, ha. Well, tell my old grandmother! I've got two very elegant bedfellows who kick at the first drop of rain and hide in the closet when thunder rumbles. My, my, my, what great prospectors, two shoe clerks readin' a magazine about prospectin' for gold in the land of the midnight sun, south of the border, or west of the Rockies, ha, ha, ha...
Dobbs: [picking up a rock] Shut your trap! Shut up or I'll smash your head flat.
Howard: Go ahead, go ahead, throw it. If you did, you'd never leave this wilderness alive. Without me, you two would die here more miserable than rats.
Curtin: [to Dobbs] Aw, leave him alone. Can't you see the old man's nuts?
Howard: Let me tell you something, my two fine bedfellows, you're so dumb, there's nothin' to compare ya with, you're dumber than the dumbest jackass. Look at each other, will ya? Did you ever see anything like yourself for bein' dumb specimens. You're so dumb, you don't even see the riches you're treadin' on with your own feet. Yeah, don't expect to find nuggets of molten gold. It's rich but not that rich. And here ain't the place to dig. It comes from someplace further up. Up there, up there's where we've got to go. UP THERE!

Howard: I reckon I'll settle down in some quiet place. Get me a little business...a hardware or grocery store, and spend the better part of my time readin' comic strips and adventure stories. Ha. One thing's for sure. I'm not gonna go prospectin' again and waste my time and money trying to find another gold mine.
Curtin: I figure on buying some land and growing fruit - peaches maybe...One summer when I was a kid, I worked as a picker in a peach harvest in the San Joaquin Valley. Boy, it sure was something. Hundreds of people, old and young, whole families workin' together. At night, after a day's work, we used to build big bonfires and sit around and sing to guitar music, till morning sometimes. You'd go to sleep and wake up and sing, and go to sleep again. Everybody had a wonderful time. Ever since then, I've had a hankering to be a fruit grower. Must be grand watching your own trees put on leaves, come into blossom and bear...watching the fruit get big and ripe on the boughs, ready for pickin'...
Dobbs: Well, first off, I'm goin' to a Turkish bath and I'm gonna sweat and soak till I get all the grime and dirt out of my system. Then I'm goin' to a haberdasher's and I'm gonna get myself a brand new set of duds...a dozen of everything. Then, I'm goin' to a swell cafe - order everything on the bill of fare, and if it ain't just right, or maybe even if it is, I'm gonna bawl the waiter out and make him take the whole thing back...
Curtin: The next thing on the program would be dames.
Dobbs: Yeah.
Howard: If I were you boys, I wouldn't talk or even think about women. It ain't good for your health.

Howard: After we save and got a couple of hundred ounces, it'll be a nuisance carryin' little bags hangin' from our necks, and each of us will have to hide his share of the treasure from the other two - and having done so will be forever on the watch that his hiding place is not discovered.
Dobbs: What a dirty filthy mind you've got.
Howard: Oh no, not dirty, not dirty baby. Only I know what kind of ideas even supposedly decent people get when gold's at stake.

Howard: It'll take another week to break down the mine and put the mountain back in shape...Make 'er appear like she was before we came...We've wounded this mountain and it's our duty to close her wounds. It's the least we can do to show our gratitude for all the wealth she's given us. If you guys don't want to help me, I'll do it alone.
Curtin: You talk about that mountain like it was a real woman!
Dobbs: She's been a lot better to me than any woman I ever knew!

[about their gold dust being scattered by the wind] Oh laugh, Curtin, old boy. It's a great joke played on us by the Lord, or fate, or nature, whatever you prefer. But whoever or whatever played it certainly had a sense of humor! Ha! The gold has gone back to where we found it!... This is worth ten months of suffering and labor - this joke is!

Dobbs: We'll be lonesome without you, but you know my Sunday school teacher used to say, 'You've got to learn to swallow disappointments in this sad life.'
Howard: Pick me out a good-looking squaw and marry her. They're easy to dress and feed and entertain. They don't nag at you either. Well, so long partners.

Here's a sight if there ever was one. Federales, look at 'em. I could kiss every one of 'em...Oh, go get 'em. Sic 'em Tiger! Chew 'em up and don't spit 'em out - swallow 'em. Oh am I happy. To tell you the truth, I was already eatin' dirt.

Oh, I know very well you guys could bump me off any minute you wish, but that's a risk worth running, considering the stakes. Let's lay all our cards on the table. As I see it, you guys have got to do one of three things: kill me, run me off, or take me in with you as a partner. Let's consider the first. Another guy may come along tomorrow or maybe a dozen other guys. You start bumping people off, just how far are you prepared to go with it? Ask yourselves that. Also, don't forget, the one actually to do the bumping off would forever be in the power of the other two. The only safe way would be for all three of you to drag out your cannons and bang away at the same instant like a firing squad...As for choice number two, if you run me off, I might very well inform on you...Twenty-five percent of the value of your find is the reward I'd get paid and that would be tempting, mighty tempting...Let's see what number three has to offer. If you take me in with you as a partner, you don't stand to lose anything. I will not ask to share in what you've made so far, only in the profits to come. Well, what do you say?

Dobbs: When are we gonna start dividing it up?
Curtin: What the use of dividing it at all? I don't see any point. We're all going back together when the time comes. Why don't we wait until we get paid for the stuff and then just divide up the money?
Dobbs: I'm for dividing it up as we go along. Make each guy responsible for his own goods.
...
Howard: Suppose you were charged with takin' care of the goods. One day I'm deep in the bush and Curtin's on his way to the village to get provisions. That'd be your big chance to pack up and leave us in the cold.
Dobbs: Only a guy that's a thief at heart would think me likely to do a thing like that!

[about Curtin] Maybe I'd better leave him like he is. Ain't very likely anybody will find him. In a week's time, the buzzards and the ants will have done away with him anyway. [A tiger's cry startles him.] I don't know what's getting into me. Was that really a tiger? No. What if his eyes are open, looking at me? Best thing to do is to get to the railroad in a hurry. It's better not to have buried him. I did right, yeah! What I should have done, maybe, bury his clothes and leave him to the ants and the buzzards...Buzzards! If somebody saw them circling, they'd know something was dead. Buzzards ain't spotted him yet. Lucky for me. [He runs back, but cannot find Curtin's body.] Curtin! Curtin! Curtin! Where are you? Curtin! I gotta get ahold of myself! Mustn't lose my head. There's one thing certain, he ain't here. I got it. The tiger. Yeah, yeah that's it. The tiger must have dragged him off to his lair, that's what. Yeah, pretty soon, not even the bones will be left to tell the story. Done as if by order.