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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

Humphrey Bogart would reprise his role of Duke Mantee nearly 20 years later in Producers' Showcase: The Petrified Forest (1955). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mrs. Chisholm: I was married to this pillar of the mortage loan and trust... he took my soul and stenciled on a card and filed. And that's where I've been ever since, in an odd metal cabinet.
See more »

Connections

Version of Celanese Theatre: The Petrified Forest (1952) 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

Allegorical Depression-era drama is stagy but effective
27 November 1998 | by Bryan HoSee all my reviews

The Petrified Forest is a social allegory that's the product of the Great Depression. Although not as brutal and seemingly spontaneous as its later noir cousin, John Huston's Key Largo (1948), there's something romantic about a group of characters, plucked from the various facets of American society, who, by some inexplicable fate, come to meet in a greasy spoon in the middle of the Arizona desert where their destinies are played out.

The diner is almost another dimension, separated from the America of the Great Depression. The social obligations, classes and morality of the characters are forgotten, leaving only the base substance of the human being, who yearns for love, loyalty, truth and freedom. Howard's intellectual pauper, Davis' waitress dreamer and Tobin's upper-crust snob are put on the same human level as Bogart's cold-blooded killer, and the result is the drawing out of the true personality of the individual, not the group whom the individual represents.

Written for the stage, the material is naturally stagy, taking place, for the most part, in the eating area of the diner. But director Archie Mayo uses the layered staging of actors and the camera frame to create instant relationships between the various characters, as well as dimensions on the dialogue being spoken. Unfortunately in his search cinematic quality, at times he is almost forcing the lines down the our throat through the use of POV.

Still, the material holds up well in spite of the dated quality, and The Petrified Forest ranks as a top-notch and literate crime drama with an eclectic cast of characters and dramatic tension that holds your attention.


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