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Treasure of the Sierra Madre Monologue

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre by John Huston
Character: Howard
Gender: Male
Age (range): 18 - 55
Style: Drama
Length: 3 minutes

 

Howard: Gold in Mexico? Why sure there is! Not ten days from here, by Rayo Catclavin is a mountain waitin' for the right guy to come along discover a treasure then tickle it if it lets him have. The question is, is he the right guy? Ah, real bonanzas are few and far between. They take a lot finding. Say, answer me this one will ya? Why is gold worth some twenty bucks an ounce? A thousand men, say, go searching for gold, after six months one of 'em's lucky. One out of a thousand -- his find represents not only his own labor, but that of 999 others to boot. That's uh, 6000 months, uh, five hundred years. Scrabblin' over a mountain, 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 getting of it.
There's no other explanation mister, gold itself ain't good for nothing except for making jewelry with ... or gold teeth. Ahh, gold is a devilish sort of thing anyway. You start out, you tell yourself you'd be satisfied at 25,000, "so help me lord, and cross my heart." Fine resolution. After months of sweating yourself dizzy, and growing short of provisions, and finding nothing, you finally come down to fifteen thousand. Then ten. Finally you say "Lord, let me just find five thousand dollars, I'll never ask for anything more for the rest of my life!"
Yeah, here in this joint it seems like a lot but I'll tell you, if you was to make a real strike, you couldn't be dragged away. Not even the threat of miserable death would keep you from trying to add ten thousand more. Ten, you'd wanna get twenty-five, twenty-five you'd wanna get fifty, fifty, a hundred. Like roulette. One more turn, y'know, always one more.