Producers' Showcase: Season 1, Episode 9

The Petrified Forest (30 May 1955)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama, Musical, Comedy
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 36 users  
Reviews: 4 user

Gabrielle Maple works in a dusty desert gas station-café, but yearns for the life of an artist in France, knowing there must be something finer than the provincial dead-end she is trapped ... See full summary »



(adaptation), (play)
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Title: The Petrified Forest (30 May 1955)

The Petrified Forest (30 May 1955) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Episode cast overview:
Paul Hartman ...
Joseph Sweeney ...
Richard Gaines ...
Dick Elliott ...
The commander
Steven Ritch ...
The workman (as Steve Ritch)
Julia Montoya ...
Frank London ...
Radio announcer (voice)


Gabrielle Maple works in a dusty desert gas station-café, but yearns for the life of an artist in France, knowing there must be something finer than the provincial dead-end she is trapped in. A hitch-hiking writer, the disillusioned Alan Squier, appears and revitalizes her dreams of a better place, and finds his own sense of worth refreshed by this vital young girl. When Duke Mantee and his gang, wanted killers, show up and take hostages, Gabrielle falls in love with the poetic Alan, and Squier begins to see a way to give Gabby the life she deserves. Written by Jim Beaver <>

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Release Date:

30 May 1955 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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One of the very first television programs to use helicopter shots. See more »

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User Reviews

31 January 2006 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

Gosh, I saw this together with "Key Largo," and it made that wooden project look good.

There's some history here. The 1936 movie was of a play that featured Bogart and Howard. Edward G Robinson was cast in the film for Bogart's role, but he bowed out -- giving Bogart his first chance in movies.

Twelve years later, a reshuffling of the thing was made as "Key Largo" but with Bogart as the good guy and Robinson as the creepy gangster. Bacall was the nice girl. It would be the last joint movie appearance for the two.

But wait! Along comes this, a simplified remake of "Petrified Forest" for TeeVee. Bogart is back as the gangster, and Bacall the nice girl. This would be their actual last joint appearance. Henry Fonda was the good guy this time.

It gives the impression of being a taped live performance, staged as the original play must have been. Bogart is tired, so tired. He may have already known he was dying. The rest of the players are stilted. Clearly, there was scant rehearsal and poor or no direction. So the actors all just run through their lines with the minimum of emotion and total lack of collaboration.

Its a sad, sad disaster. All the intended power of the original play (and some of the movie), those metaphors that played up communism and hit at moneyed privilege, were muted into oblivion because of the red-baiting of the time. The performance is much like the lives of the play. Wasted.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

7 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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