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Fred C. Dobbs
Fred C. Dobbs
Played by: Humphrey Bogart
- Alas, Poor Villain: Though it's more pitiful than anything.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Naturally tries this once Gold Hat and his surviving bandits catch up to him. Doesn't work.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: With "Gold Hat."
- Death by Materialism: Is killed after trying to murder Curtin and get away with all the gold.
- FaceHeel Turn: Dobbs goes from a down on his luck guy trying to make a living to a desperate murderer over the course of the film.
- The Friend Nobody Likes:
- From Nobody to Nightmare
- Hypocritical Humor: Chides a Mexican boy for begging when he's out panhandling.
- Karmic Death:
- Lack of Empathy: Any decency he appears to show later in the film is just him being sarcastic or fastidious.
- Laser-Guided Karma
- Mysterious Middle Initial: Fred C. Dobbs.
- Nice Mean And Inbetween: The Mean.
- Off with His Head!: He is eventually decapitated by the bandidos, but we never see it onscreen.
- Protagonist Journey to Villain
- Sanity Slippage: Dobbs gets increasingly more unhinged and paranoid as the movie goes on.
- Third-Person Person: Starts talking like this as his paranoia sets in.
- Token Evil Teammate: At first neither he nor Curtin are any better than each other. But over time he starts getting more greedy and selfish, while Curtin reveals humility and shows a bit more of a conscience.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Regardless of how much the other two stick their necks out for him, he will always slip back into his cynical, greedy mindset.
- Villain Protagonist
Played by: Tim Holt
- Anti-Hero: Makes some questionable decisions, such as considering leaving Dobbs to be buried alive in a collapsed mine shaft, and deciding to kill Cody despite knowing so little about him, but he always gains a conscience about both afterwards; he saves Dobbs in the former situation, and regrets letting Cody die in the latter.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: More or less. He goes through a lot during the film, finally escaping from a crazed Dobbs with his life. Though all the gold is lost in the process, he can still move on with his life.
- Foil: Becomes this to Dobbs.
- Gold Fever: Though not nearly as bad as Dobbs.
- Nice Mean And Inbetween: The Inbetween. Not much better than Dobbs at first, but grows to have more of a consciense later on.
Played by: Walter Huston
- Ambiguously Evil: Seems to take on novice prospectors more as a challenge to see if they can resist Gold Fever than anything.
- Motor Mouth: All the characters talk a mile a minute, but he's the fastest talker of them all.
- Nice Mean And Inbetween: The Nice. He seems to be fascinated with challenging people's morality, yet he's by far the most charitable of the three.
- Only Sane Man: Proves himself to be this.
- Stronger Than They Look: Dobbs and Curtin take him for an old man they'd have to carry on their backs, but when they're trekking through the mountains he's more durable and energetic than the two combined.
- Token Good Teammate
Played by: Bruce Bennett
Played by: Alfonso Bedoya
- Bad Liar: Can't pass himself off as a mountain policeman if he tried, even if he didn't need to show anybody "any stinking badges".
- Bandito: Leader of a whole bunch of them.
- Face Death with Dignity: But he won't face his death by a firing squad without his hat.
- Fat Bastard: Portly and malevolent.
- Famous Last Words: "Permission, Lieutenant, to grab my hat?"
- Faux Affably Evil: Acts friendly and personable until you don't give him what he wants.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Is caught, arrested and executed after stealing donkeys after a young police informant finds the donkeys' distinctive brand on them.
- Laughably Evil: Alfonso Bedoya gives him sort of a sense of humor.