The Petrified Forest (1936) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Petrified Forest (1936)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Petrified Forest Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Burned-out British intellectual Alan Squier (Leslie Howard) wanders into the desert service station/restaurant owned by Jason Maple (Porter Hall). Alan finds himself an object of fascination for Jason's starry-eyed daughter, Gabrielle Bette Davis, who dreams of moving to France and establishing herself. Boze Hertzlinger (Dick Foran), Gabrielle's gas-jockey boyfriend, grows jealous of Alan, but the penniless, dissipated Briton has no intention of settling down; in fact, as soon as he mooches a ride from wealthy tourists Mr. and Mrs. Chisholm (Paul Harvey and Genevieve Tobin), he's on his way out of Gabrielle's life...or so everyone thinks. Later that same day, Alan, Gabrielle, Jason, Boze, and Mr. and Mrs. Chisholm are huddled together in the selfsame restaurant, held at gunpoint by Dillinger-like desperado Duke Mantee (Humphrey Bogart) and his gang. Alan seems indifferent to the danger, toasting Duke as "the last great apostle of rugged individualism." Sensing an opportunity to give his life meaning, Alan takes Duke aside, begging the outlaw to kill him so that Gabrielle can travel to Paris on the money provided by Alan's insurance policy. When the police converge on the restaurant, Duke announces that he intends to use Mr. and Mrs. Chisholm as a shield in order to make his escape. Alan tries to stop him, receiving a bullet in the belly for his troubles. "So long, pal," growls Duke fatalistically, moments before his own death, "I'll be seein' ya soon." Alan dies in Gabrielle's arms, secure in the knowledge that, alone among the film's principals, she will be able to escape the trap of her existence. When originally presented on Broadway, Robert E. Sherwood's The Petrified Forest starred Leslie Howard and Humphrey Bogart. Warner Bros. intended to cast Edward G. Robinson in Duke's role, only to be thwarted by Howard, who told the studio that he himself would drop out of the project if Bogart wasn't retained. The film proved to be just the break that Bogart needed; years later, he expressed his undying gratitude to Howard by naming his daughter Leslie Bogart. One year after The Petrified Forest, Humphrey Bogart and Leslie Howard co-starred in The Stand-In. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Charles Kenyon, Delmer Daves
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 25, 2005


Leslie Howard
as Alan Squier
Bette Davis
as Gabrielle Maple
Humphrey Bogart
as Duke Mantee
Dick Foran
as Boze Hertzlinger
Genevieve Tobin
as Mrs. Chisholm
Joe Sawyer
as Jackie
Porter Hall
as Jason Maple
Charley Grapewin
as Gramp Maple
Paul Harvey
as Mr. Chisholm
Eddie Acuff
as Lineman
John Alexander
as Joseph the Chauffeur
Arthur Ayleswofth
as Commander of Black H...
George Guhl
as Trooper
Constance Bergen
as Mantee's Girl
Francis Shide
as 2nd Lineman
Gus Leonard
as Postman
Jim Farley
as Sheriff
Addison Richards
as Radio Announcer
Charles Grapewin
as Gramp Maple
James Farley
as Sheriff
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Petrified Forest

Critic Reviews for The Petrified Forest

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Bogart's breakout, and for good reason.

Full Review… | October 13, 2013

The screen version is still a play, but it's aturning point in the movie career of Humphrey Bogart, who had played the gangster's role on stage and then in a TV version with his wife (in Bette davis role)

Full Review… | July 5, 2011

Audience Reviews for The Petrified Forest

a "classic" that really doesn't hold up. pretty bad, actually.

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer


An interesting love story wrapped up in a crime thriller story. A bit long and talky, though, but pretty good.

Aj V

Super Reviewer


a very diologue driven gangster picture that delivers. the acting was very good and the story well told despite the fact that it was incredibly simple. the entire film essentially takes place on a single set and no "event" really takes place throughout the film, but the diologue was poetic. i just had a really good time watching people talk for 80 minutes, and the fate of these well planned characters really mattered to me. great movie.

danny d

Super Reviewer

The Petrified Forest Quotes

– Submitted by Christopher B (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Christopher B (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Christopher B (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Christopher B (2 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Petrified Forest on our Movie forum!