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The Petrified Forest

The Petrified Forest

1936
Romance
Drama
1h 22m
Alan Squier, a failed, world-weary British writer, hikes into an isolated, weather-beaten desert café in Arizona owned by Jason Marple... (imdb)
Your probable score
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The Petrified Forest

1936
Romance
Drama
1h 22m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 60.17% from 364 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(364)
Compact view
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Rated 02 Apr 2008
60
41st
Canned Theatre that does nothing to hide the fact, but Bogart's performance is mind-blowing.
Rated 29 Jan 2016
75
53rd
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.
Rated 10 Apr 2019
70
71st
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.
Rated 12 Oct 2011
74
48th
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.
Rated 24 May 2020
65
51st
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.
Rated 20 Jun 2013
80
99th
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.
Rated 29 May 2008
76
74th
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.
Rated 22 Feb 2009
3
31st
Bogart gives one hell of a performance for a movie not worth a damn.
Rated 12 Nov 2014
87
87th
This was great. The kind of snappy dialogue and strong performances I really enjoy. Bogart was a little rawer than usual, but it fits the role well and everyone else was fun to watch. Not quite noir visually, but it has the atmosphere and tone.
Rated 09 Dec 2019
70
44th
Didn't care for its nihilism, but there was a lot I liked about this film. Leslie Howard and Bette Davis were a great pair. The acting across the board was first rate. Not as stagey as I expected - in fact, I kind of enjoyed the setting.
Rated 01 Jan 2016
60
51st
As a play I'd give this a 70, as a film a 50, so I guess it gets a 60.
Rated 19 Nov 2007
60
33rd
This "play" features a good interplay among accomplished actors but it's lost its punch over time and now seems wordy. Bogart later starred in a similar style drama, "Key Largo" which was better done.
Rated 01 Feb 2010
80
42nd
Bogart's first great role. A lot of good acting here, but it is too stagy and Mayo's direction is too stodgy for this to be considered a success.
Rated 11 Apr 2014
52
16th
Heavy on dialogue and schmaltzy romance, light on things that would actually make this a good film. Howard, Davis, and Bogart are all ok, but the film is just kind of slow and uneventful.
Rated 04 Jul 2010
79
81st
Very stage-y--it looks like a play with extra-fancy sets. Pauline Kael: "Archie Mayo gives you the feeling that he has even retained the stage blocking...the Sherwood play loses its stage vitality without losing its talkiness." Still, quite enjoyable. Kael: "Davis, surprisingly, plays her part very simply and doesn't overdo it. She's very appealing, and she says her lines as if for the first time--she's almost the only one in the cast (except for Grapewin) who does."
Rated 03 Mar 2010
50
9th
The petrified movie. Dull and stagebound, even Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart (normally sure things) can't save this one. Belatedly, I realized that Pee-Wee's Big Adventure spoofed this movie (with the whole waitress who wants to get away to France who encounters a drifter, and who has a big doofus boyfriend).
Rated 08 Jan 2017
85
85th
Well-acted movie, and a good stage play adaptation. I just love this breakout role of Bogart's, and still occasionally sing his song: Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke Mantee ...
Rated 08 Sep 2021
5
33rd
Rated 13 Jan 2022
60
35th
Weirdly dull and fascinating all at the same time. Howard's effete intellectual seems so out of place with most of the country folk. I do like stuck-in-the-same-room dramas (even when they dip into melodrama, like here) and the odd combination of characters felt like it was going to give more than it did.
Rated 21 Dec 2006
52
9th
I hate these stage adaptations where you can immediately tell it's a stage adaptation. The actors are projecting too much, the timing is strange, and it's so distractingly obvious that it's all being shot on a set. And it's a lousy play to begin with. Full of stereotypical stock characters and awful, clichéd dialogue. Even Bogart can't save this mess.
Rated 28 Oct 2009
59
55th
Interesting movie based on a play by Robert E. Sherwood. As in his more famous play/film Waterloo Bridge, he continues exploring the theme of sacrifice. More precisely the sacrifices of men for the good of the women. This film really feels like a stage-play, even clouds are fake. But characters are interesting and well acted. Over-melodramatic movie from the golden age of Hollywood.
Rated 21 Aug 2011
55
8th
This was clearly a product of the stage.The film is largely set in one location and with little to break up the long dialogue sequences.The only character I enjoyed watching was the guy who played the Grandpa, he really is the highlight of this picture.Humphrey Bogart looked and acted very stiff and didn't seem all that comfortable in his role.
Rated 22 Dec 2013
66
46th
Key Largo lite.
Rated 24 Oct 2010
35
90th
"Much of what's on display here evokes a society on the decline." - Dan Callahan
Rated 31 May 2017
70
82nd
Bogart steals the show.
Rated 13 Aug 2012
77
64th
This movie has a few slow moments early on but it really picks up when Humphrey Bogart's character enters the picture. Bogart gives a great performance and Bette Davis is also really good here. The script has a good ending and some interesting dialogue.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
78
26th
Typical of the "art of licking" that Hollywood used at the time, this is clearly a stage oriented performance with the camera operating at a some what auxilliary role. Great Bogie before he made it big with Leslie Howard anchoring the stitchings of this potentially uninspired storyline.
Rated 01 Dec 2015
8
79th
Feels not entirely fleshed out, depths are not probed, but there's a knack for smart writing not unlike the reading of a good book, and it's very immersive. But doesn't that come from the source?
Rated 04 Dec 2009
71
50th
Certainly, Sherwood's play's conceits about individuality seem a bit threadbare, but the film's ability to view life through its characters' poetry-colored glasses remains gripping.
Rated 10 Oct 2010
80
75th
great stuff, a simple stage play that has clearly withstood the test of time. leslie's nihilistic, romantic character was certainly interesting to watch. bogart played his part to perfection; in particular, i loved the twitch when the door behind him blew open.
Rated 25 May 2009
83
73rd
Davis reunites with her Of Human Bondage costar Howard, the two playing off each other beautifully, Davis's strident exactitude the perfect counter to Howard's droll ease. Even so, they're both somewhat overshadowed when Bogart arrives as a gunman on the lam. He commands the screen in this early role, locking in with the sort of dark-eyed, steely ruffian performance that would long stand as the most dominant facet of his onscreen persona. The potency of his presence is undeniable.
Rated 24 Dec 2008
55
15th
It looks way too much like a play, and is very dated, which is natural of course. Bogart snarls very well, but I find Leslie Howard a little too soft in his role.

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