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The best movie character ever portrayed: Humphrey Bogart as Duke Mantee!
The Petrified Forest is at the mercy of its limited confines, but the performances combined with the dialogue make it a worthwhile adaptation.
Such a beautiful movie; shamelessly romantic, with lovely moments from a pair of kindred spirits who cross paths (Bette Davis and Leslie Howard), and yet with artistry and depth as well. Despite being in different places in life, they have an instant connection, one that's based on the higher things in life, art and intellect. The setting is a deserted place in the middle of nowhere, Arizona during a sandstorm, which creates a wonderful atmosphere. While it's a little stilted at times, it allows all of the characters to speak from the heart. I loved listening to Howard waxing poetic while drinking whiskey, with Humphrey Bogart glowering over the group menacingly. The dialogue throughout the movie is interesting, and includes pointed commentary about America during the depression. Director Archie Mayo tells the story well, without a wasted scene, even if we can see where it's going a little too early.
The film is a must for Bogart fans, it was his first big movie, and though he was 37, he looks youthful, raw, and lean. I loved the little moment early on when he grinds his jaws in anger while listening to someone. He's the antithesis of Howard's character, and yet both have a fatalistic sense about them. Genevieve Tobin adds depth to the film in the supporting role of the wife of a rich man. At first she appears shrewish and overly critical of her husband (Paul Harvey), but gradually we find that she too, had more fanciful dreams in life. Of course, the film really belongs to Davis and Howard, and they're wonderful. The kisses they share towards the end are very sweet too.
What if college educated types ruminated on the soullessness of society and chose to broadcast those thoughts to the world at large? Boring, right? How to "get 'er done" then? By making those ruminations palatable, even poetic, and hiding them in the story of a gangster-on-the-run! So Leslie Howard spouts poetic musings left and right, college professorial pipe thoughtfully in the side of his mouth. A young Bette Davis gazes at him soulfully, her eyes never so big (and yet there is zero heat between them). Bogie is on hand simply as the heavy, the Angel of Death, only present to promise a cessation of Howard's character's unending poetic ramble, and (by my reckoning) he takes too long. High-end drama, decently presented, if obviously.
Dated acting, and not even a whiff of the Petrified Forest!
The Petrified Forest is an excellent film. It is about a waitress, a hobo and a bank robber get mixed up at a lonely diner in the desert. Leslie Howard and Bette Davis give incredible performances. The screenplay is well written. Archie Mayo did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama and romance. The Petrified Forest is a must see.
a fantastic movie that has such heart to it! 10/10
A decent classic movie, but it takes somewhat of a bizarre twist. I thought it could have ended a lot better personally. Much is being said of this being a breakout role for Humphrey Bogart. I don't necessarily disagree with that, but Leslie Howard is the star here who carries the film. (First and only viewing - 4/2/2017)
Early (1935) Humphrey Bogart with all his calling cards in order for an extraordinary career to come with the scintillating and stimulating company of Bette Davis and Leslie Howard (much better than either of them was in 1934's "Of Human Bondage" by Somerset Maugham.
Performances elevate the frequently stereotypical script. Still there are definite gems in the script and it conveys the character's predicaments and how one event will be the tipping point in their lives, good and bad. Howard's character of a man out of step with current times is reminiscent of Ashley Wilkes in Gone With the Wind.