The Petrified Forest (1936)
Alan Squier, a failed, world-weary British writer, hikes into an isolated, weather-beaten desert café in Arizona owned by Jason Marple... (imdb)
Cast and Information
Directed By: Archie Mayo
Where to Stream
The Petrified Forest belongs to 16 collections
1. Features under 91 minutes (collaborative: moderated by epiphany - 56 stars)
2. 24 hour (or less) timeframe (collaborative: moderated by djross - 24 stars)
3. Women+ (collaborative: moderated by paulofilmo - 18 stars)
4. Films available in HD (collaborative: moderated by kubricksucks - 13 stars)
5. Road Trip (collaborative: moderated by td888 - 12 stars)
6. 1,000 Noir Films: They Shot Dark Pictures, Didn't They? (collaborative: moderated by lisa- - 9 stars)
7. David Thomson's 1000 Films (collaborative: moderated by MMAlpha - 7 stars)
8. They Shoot Pictures: Noir Precursors (Pre-1940) (public: afx237vi - 2 stars)
9. criticker's underrated (collaborative: moderated by avgcrtckr - 1 star)
10. The Overlook Film Encyclopedia: The Gangster Film (collaborative: moderated by RoyalB)
11. 1: Must-see (public: KasperL)
12. AA - Reserved: Far (boblere) (public: KasperL)
13. Filmspotting Ratings Project: Week 6 (public: PeaceAnarchy)
14. Cyclops Project (public: peyez)
15. Forrest Watch List (public: ForrestQ)
16. Leaving Criterion Channel 2/29/20 (public: owen1218)
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Canned Theatre that does nothing to hide the fact, but Bogart's performance is mind-blowing.
Well, it worked for me. I don't really see how Bogart had that good a performance, though. I mean, "breakout?" He basically just uttered a few grunty lines and pointed a gun around. If I was just joe shmoe watching this in the theater in 1936, I wouldn't have said that Bogart was anything special in this. On the other hand, Leslie Howard, and I'll admit he certainly was not portraying an original archetype, at least gave us something to watch. Otherwise it was short and sweet. I dug it.
Why is it that pre-60's romance movies always remind me of the song "Hello, I Love You", people going around falling in love with someone as soon as they sneeze. This movie may have it's shortcomings, but oddly enough this is one of the first stage adaptations where it's roots are easily observed and that fact is not a deficit.
I liked it but it isn't "great." Bogart showed why he would go on to be such a big start in a rugged performance but it's not really the breakout role that it is seen as now. Howard is the star here. The script is fine and snappy enough to keep me interested, but the movie lacks depth in a visual sense. The direction is just bog standard in all ways, never offering up compelling shots. It's also predictable, though it may not have been so long ago... but I'm not bothered by that. A good time.
Humphrey Bogart might have made his mark here, but the true star of this desert stage play was without a doubt Leslie Howard! He was nothing short of amazing as the drifting writer who'd given up on life. One of the strength of this movie is the depths of it's characters and we almost got too deep into the soul of Howard. The chemistry between him and Bette Davis brings out the best in them both. Davis works as the dreaming waitress is the sole ray of light in a story filled with wasted lives.
While the dialogue is engaging, the production's stage roots show through a little unforgivingly, especially in the overwrought finale, and this significantly limits its dramatic impact. Leslie Howard still ably commands the screen as doomed hero Alan Squier, whereas Bogart injects very little personality into his villainous breakout role.
Somewhat overrated but solid drama is well acted and written, and the characters generally represent different moral positions like in a play. It is frequently criticised for its stage bound style, but it seems designed to allow viewers to pay attention to character interaction and dialogue, which are its key strengths. Bogart makes a strong impression in an early breakout role, and Mayo creates some tension between the conflicting personalities within a restricted setting.
|Average Percentile 60.35% from 349 Ratings|