Remembering Ann Sheridan

Putting the "oomph" back in "The Oomph Girl"

Did Ann Sheridan really appear in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre?

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a great movie.

Both Humphrey Bogart and Walter Houston turn in stellar performances. 

The Internert Movie Database ( rates it at 8.5 out of 10 and places it at number 70 on their list of the greatest movies of all time.

If you go to Ann Sheridan's profile on and sort her movies by ratings, it's ranked as her number one movie.

In the casting credits for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Ann Sheridan is listed as "Pretty woman walking past barbershop (uncredited)"

But did Ann Sheridan actually appear in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre? 

Here is something to consider from Wikipedia:

"However, the most controversial cameo is the rumored one by Ann Sheridan. Sheridan allegedly did a cameo as a streetwalker.

After Dobbs leaves the barbershop in Tampico (actually a set on a studio soundstage), he spies a passing prostitute who returns his look. Seconds later, the woman is picked up again by the camera, but this time in the distance.

Some filmgoers and critics feel the woman looks nothing like Sheridan, but the DVD commentary for the film contains a statement that it is she.

A photograph included in the documentary accompanying the DVD release shows Sheridan in streetwalker costume, with Bogart and Huston on the set.

However, single frames of the film show a different woman in a different dress and different hairstyle, raising the possibility that Sheridan filmed the sequence but that it was reshot with another woman for indeterminate reasons.  Many film-history sources credit Sheridan for the part."

I watched the DVD and found the woman in question to look nothing like Ann Sheridan. 

Here are three print screens I took from the DVD for your perusal:

Ann Sheridan in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre?  Ann Sheridan in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre?  Ann Sheridan in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre?

Doesn't really look like Ann does it?

Yet in Ann's interview with Ray Hagen from Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames, Ann says this:

Oh that--my Crusades black wig!  And what was that delightful thing--oh, Treasure of the Sierra Madre.  I had a good black wig in that.  I played a hooker.

Ray Hagen:  You did?

Ann Sheridan: I walked down the street in a big fat disguise to see if Bogart would recognize me.  There's a shot where he comes out of a bar -- I guess he had the toothpick, he always did, and the hat turned up -- and he passes me and then turns and looks back.  And you see a girl twitching down the street in a black satin dress.  That's me.  A bit.  John Huston whipped that one up.  Now where were we?

In my interview with Ray Hagen I asked Ray about the "Annie/The Treasure of the Sierra Madre question."  Here is what he said:

Ray:  - the girl, the Mexican girl who approaches Bogart is obviously not Ann.  But pay attention to the cutting.  First she approaches and Bogart glances at her.  And then there's a cut and you see her walking away.  It was the walking away shot, you just see her from the back. That was Annie wearing that girl's wig and costume.

John:  So even though it was a small bit part, she was definitely in that.

It was a joke.  No billing or anything like that.  And I thought "oh my gosh, a scoop!" because I'd never read that before. Since the magazine was published I've seen it in a lot of her bios, in a lot of things written about her.  Not a huge amount, but it's been repeated in a lot of different places.  Nothing had ever been said about that before. A lot of quotes from that interview have been lifted verbatim in lot of different books, and sometimes I'm credited and sometimes I'm not, but that's the way it goes.  It always happens.


Afterwards I took another look at the scene to try to determine if there was any way Ann could have been cut into the brief streetwalker scene.  From looking at it again, I confirmed what I had suspected all along -- there was no way Ann Sheridan was in that scene.

I followed up with Ray yesterday wanting to come to a definite conclusion one way or the other. 

As it turns out, Ray had since seen the movie and had this to say about it:

"Know what? You could be totally right about Annie & Sierra Madre. She only said she did the shot as a joke to surprise Bogie. What she didn't say, and what I didn't ask, was whether that's the shot they used in the final edit.  Scenes were shot and re-shot all the time in those days."

Which is precisely what I think happened.  Ann shot the scene, but unfortunately, for whatever reason, it wasn't used in the final cut of the film.

So I think I can say with almost 100% certainty that...

Ann Sheridan did not appear in The Treasure of the Sierre Madre.

- 07/19/11

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