Daily Dialogue — February 18, 2013

February 18th, 2013 by

[HOWARD laughs about the gold dust being scattered by the wind]

HOWARD: 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!

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), screenplay by John Huston, novel by B. Traven

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week is last laugh suggested by Vic Tional. Today’s suggestion by JasperLamarCrab.

Trivia: John Huston was fascinated by mysterious author B. Traven, who was a recluse living in Mexico. Traven approved of the director and his screenplay (by letter, obviously), and sent his intimate friend Hal Croves to the location to be a technical advisor and translator for $150 a week. The general consensus is that Croves was in fact Traven, though he always denied this. Huston was happy not to query him on the subject but his then-wife Evelyn Keyes was certain Croves was the mysterious author, believing that he was continually giving himself away, saying “I” when it should have been “he”, and using phrases that were exactly the same as those to be found in Traven’s letters to Huston. All very ironic, especially considering that Traven was offered $1000 a week to act as technical advisor on the film.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary from Jasper: “Howard is quite a philosopher, but his teachings are always couched in pithy dialogue and wry humor. He’s actually giving Curtin a fairly important life lesson here, and it’s much more effective than if he’d said something like ‘Son, you have to realize that the joke is always on you.’”