Lou is a small time gangster, who thinks he used to be something big. He meets up with a younger girl, Sally, who is learning to be a croupier. Her husband turns up with drugs he has stolen... See full summary »
A young woman is on trial for murder. In flashback, we learn of her struggles to overcome poverty as a teenager -- a mistaken arrest and prison term for shoplifting and lack of employment ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
Five members of a teen-age gang, including leader Jimmy Smith, are sent to the State Reformatory, presided over by the melodramatically callous Thompson. Soon, Patsy Gargan, a former ... See full summary »
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
The original Broadway version also featured John Alexander and Slim Thompson, who recreate their roles in this film. The stage production opened Jan. 7, 1935 at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York and ran for 197 performances. See more »
Near the beginning of the film where Boze is flirting with Gabrielle while she reads poetry by the gas-pumps, he tells her that he has never been married. He is clearly wearing a wedding ring on his left hand. See more »
But let me tell you one thing, Mr. Squier. The woman don't live or ever did live that's worth five thousand dollars!
Well, let me tell you something. You're a forgetful old fool. Any woman's worth everything that any man has to give: anguish, ecstasy, faith, jealousy, love, hatred, life or death. Don't you see that's the whole excuse for our existence? It's what makes the whole thing possible and tolerable.
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I may have seen this film many, many years ago but I have no such recollection. I rented it last night and was amazed at the issues handled by a fine cast in a pre-World War II gangster film. A black chauffeur for a rich couple is not typically stereotyped but has a say as to how he does his job. A second black character is an equal member of the gang of fleeing desperadoes with no reference to his race and he engages in conduct no different than his cronies. A quick interchange between the two black characters is fascinating. The Rich Wife spills out her anger and frustration about a loveless marriage in terms as realistic for many today as it was when the film was made.
The love story is dramatic; it is also unreal. Leslie Howard, who was to die in World War II when the plane on which he was a passenger was shot down by the Luftwaffe (there's a strange story about THAT interception), relates his failed marital history with a genteel but real frankness not usually found in pre-war cinema.
Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart shine in their roles. Bogart was starting off on his long career as a bad guy and does his promise come across. Davis is appealing with a naivete absent from most of her later films.
This is definitely a film with an agenda. Comments on patriotism seem suspended between caricature and seriousness. A sign, "Tipping Isn't American-Keep Your Change," hangs prominently in the desert cafe. Tipping isn't American? During the Depression? Methinks not.
One of the best films from a long-ago Hollywood that had its too often underappreciated cohort of serious thinkers.
"Petrified Forest" is both a fine film and a reminder of a Hollywood that occasionally showed its ability to address sensitive issues when even discussion of some of them was largely infra dig for most cinema moguls and their claques.
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