Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains. (IMDb)
Flawless turns and a snappy script bring forth a captivating character dynamic: Three men down on their luck, brought into tenuous partnership by their common pursuit of gold. Howard foretells the greed and paranoia early on, and the plot doesn’t disappoint as it expertly builds the tension with calculated conversations (see the debate about dividing the wealth), heated stand-offs, and a suspicious 4th party. The bandit action interrupts the flow a bit, but it adds another element of excitement.