Great Characters Wiki
Great Characters Wiki

Fred C. Dobbs is a central protagonist in the 1927 adventure novel, ''The Treasure of the Sierra Madre'' and its 1948 film adaptation of the same name. He was a poor American who went to Mexico and find out about gold on the Sierra Madre Mountains which drove him to become paranoid, vicious, and murderous trying to protect his gold.

He was portrayed by Humphrey Bogart.

Why He Rocks

  1. Humphrey Bogart (who was at the time known as a smooth, but well-meaning typecasted role) is incredible as the pathetic yet dangerous bully-like character. There's one point where his conscience was eating away at Dobbs, like a tormented soul. You truly feel what he's going through.
  2. Like the other two central characters, he's meant to represent a different aspect of human nature. In his case, he's the nasty and ruthless aspect, whereas Curtin's the flawed but well-intentioned one, and Howard's the good-hearted, responsible one.
  3. In fact, he's arguably the most complex character in the trio. There were also some scenes where he genuinely tried to be decent. After he along the other workers beat up Pat McCormick over not getting paid, there's a brief scene where he counts the money and only takes the amount he's paid. This shows he's a decent person and he was still poor man trying to make a living.
  4. He also has a turn to corruption that doesn't feel forced. Signs were present in the opening where he refused to help a child out and splashed water on him, and when he constantly panhandled specifically rich people for money (such as that man in white played by the director John Huston).
  5. Another notable trait is the fact that his will is defined by exhorting minimum effort to achieve the greatest gain.
  6. As Dobbs started to get increasingly paranoid, at least his defensive skills were pretty strong and notable.
  7. The fact that he gets is reduced to drinking water with the burros, then eventually is killed in that same ditch only makes the film's message even stronger.