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The Petrified Forest (1936)

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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 movie is satirized in the same studio's, Warner Bros.', Merrie Melodies short She Was an Acrobat's Daughter (1937). See more »

Goofs

When Allan examines Gabrielle's paintings on the roof, the position of his hands changes, from hooked around the top edge of the stack of paintings to resting on them about two-thirds of the way down, between shots. See more »

Quotes

Alan Squier: So tell us Duke, what has your life been like?
Duke Mantee: You know the story.
Duke Mantee: Since I've been a grown up, I've spent most of my life in prison... I'll probably spend the rest of it dead.
See more »

Connections

Version of Escape in the Desert (1945) 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

 
Danger in the Desert
11 October 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Robert Sherwood's The Petrified Forest had a run in 1935 on Broadway for the first half of that year. Warner Brothers bought the film rights and shot it the following year. Leslie Howard and at his insistence, Humphrey Bogart, came west to repeat their stage roles.

For Bogart it was a return to bigger acclaim than he had gotten in his first trip to Hollywood in the early Thirties. He hadn't made much of an impression then, but he was in Tinseltown to stay after The Petrified Forest and his frightening characterization of criminal on the run, Duke Mantee.

The Petrified Forest takes place in a filling station/greasy spoon truck stop on the edge of the Arizona desert. About as desolate a place as you'll find. Three generations of the Maple family own and operate the place. Grandpa Charley Grapewin, Father Porter Hall, and daughter Bette Davis who dreams about the fact there's more to life than this nowhere place. Bette also has to contend with former college football star Dick Foran and his clumsy efforts at courtship.

Along comes Alan Squier played by Leslie Howard who's a blase world weary vagabond who's seen better days. He and Davis hit it off and she comes to realize that there is a great big world out there.

The first third of the movie involves the two of them and I have to say that in the mouths of players less skilled than these two, Robert Sherwood's dialog would have sounded like so much romantic drivel.

For Davis, Gabrielle Maple is a unique part and not one she'd play later on as her features hardened. An intelligent and romantic young girl is not a typical Bette Davis part, but she does bring it off.

As for Howard, Alan Squier is a typical part for him. Not too much different than Ashley Wilkes or Philip Scott from The 49th Parallel.

The remainder of the film is when Duke Mantee and his gang take refuge at the filling station and hold captive anyone who's there or wanders in. A lot of souls are bared under Mantee's guns and the climax is spectacular.

Two other actors who repeated their Broadway roles are Joseph Alexander who's the chauffeur of a rich couple who stop at the filling station and Slim Thompson a member of Mantee's gang. Both of these players are black.

Joseph Alexander is a menial and Slim Thompson really rubs it in to him, telling him the day of liberation has come for some time now. In 1936 that was practically revolutionary.

Alexander had a substantial career, but I have no idea what happened to Thompson. He had no other film credits and only one other stage appearance on Broadway in the original production of Anna Lucasta.

Moviegoers of all generations should thank Leslie Howard for insisting on Humphrey Bogart being in this film and helping to create a screen legend.


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