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The Petrified Forest (1936)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance | 8 February 1936 (USA)
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A waitress, a hobo and a bank robber get mixed up at a lonely diner in the desert.

Director:

Archie Mayo (as Archie L. Mayo)

Writers:

Charles Kenyon (screen play), Delmer Daves (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Leslie Howard ... Alan Squier
Bette Davis ... Gabrielle Maple
Genevieve Tobin ... Mrs. Chisholm
Dick Foran ... Boze Hertzlinger
Humphrey Bogart ... Duke Mantee
Joe Sawyer ... Jackie (as Joseph Sawyer)
Porter Hall ... Jason Maple
Charley Grapewin ... Gramp Maple
Paul Harvey ... Mr. Chisholm
Eddie Acuff ... Lineman
Adrian Morris Adrian Morris ... Ruby
Nina Campana Nina Campana ... Paula
Slim Thompson Slim Thompson ... Slim
John Alexander John Alexander ... Joseph
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Storyline

Gabby lives and works at her dads small diner out in the desert. She can't stand it and wants to go and live with her mother in France. Along comes Alan, a broke man with no will to live, who is traveling to see the pacific, and maybe to drown in it. Meanwhile Duke Mantee a notorious killer and his gang is heading towards the diner where Mantee plan on meeting up with his girl. Written by MarlicOne {imdb@motechnet.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

AGAIN THEY TRIUMPH!...The stars of 'Human Bondage' in a picture greater than the play!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 February 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Petrified Forest See more »

Filming Locations:

Lancaster, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Duke Mantee was mainly inspired by bank robber John Dillinger. Humphrey Bogart happened to closely resemble the gangster, and he studied film footage of Dillinger to perfect his mannerisms. See more »

Goofs

When the Bette Davis character exits her room, the door swings in one direction (with the hinge to her left). When the shot shifts, the hinge is on the opposite side of the door (to her right). See more »

Quotes

Alan Squier: You've got to die.Then die for freedom. That's worth it. Don't give up your life for anything so cheap as revenge.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Ghost Busters: The Maltese Monkey (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

I'd Rather Listen to Your Eyes
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren Lyrics by Al Dubin
Played on the radio
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Petrified Forest (1936) ***1/2
7 February 2005 | by JoeKarlosiSee all my reviews

Here is one of the reasons I love old movies so much - intriguing writing, great acting, and interesting characters hold our attention throughout the movie without needing to resort to desperate all-out action, explosions, and computer effects.

Leslie Howard is a gentle intellectual roaming the Arizona desert who happens upon a quaint little cafe/gas station in the middle of nowhere, amidst sand and cactus. He immediately stirs the emotions of big-eyed waitress, Gabby (played by an adorably youthful Bette Davis), who holds a dream of going to France and finding herself in the world. But despite their quick and mutual adoration for one another there is impending tension hovering around their introduction, as news continually escalates about a killer named Duke Mantee (Humphrey Bogart) who's on the run and not far from the diner. Eventually, the infamous gangster shows up with some thugs and takes over the cafe, holding an array of wonderfully colorful characters hostage.

This was originally a play with Leslie Howard and Humphrey Bogart, and leading man Howard reportedly refused to do the picture without Bogie being in it. As a result, this is noteworthy also as Bogart's big breakout movie, and it would only be a few more years before he would hit super-stardom all on his own. Humphrey seems to put a lot into his gangster character, investing Duke with the necessary evil demeanor, yet also with a hint of heart and soul. Leslie Howard and Bette Davis make a wonderful pair, and both give fine performances; which makes the potentially talky twenty minute scene where they first get acquainted actually completely captivating. Charley Grapewin is delightful and funny as Davis' chattering grandpa. Dick Foran, playing a strapping and comical football star who pumps gas while always trying to woo Gabby, was very good in this film and it's probably the best work I've seen him do in movies, before he wound up as a "B" player for Universal. His character here is in complete contrast from the heroes and "singing cowboys" I've been used to seeing him play.

At first watch I wasn't completely satisfied with the ending (which I will not reveal) but after thinking about it I came to the decision that it really fit the story well after all, and is actually very poetic. ***1/2 out of ****


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