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A GANGSTER ON THE RUN TAKES PEOPLE HOSTAGE IN A ROADSIDE DINER.
Adapted from a hit Broadway play by Robert Sherwood and starring original cast members Leslie Howard and Humphrey Bogart, this 1936 suspense drama is set in an aging desert roadhouse café, where a young woman (Bette Davis) dreams of escaping a dead-end existence spent with her father and a lunkheaded, would-be suitor. Along comes a penniless poet (Howard), a wanderer who has made a mess of his life and crossed the hot sands as a symbolic act of meaningful futility. Davis's waitress is instantly enchanted, and in short order they begin talking about heading out to the world together. Then a twist: the world comes to them--in the form of escaped convicts, led by the monosyllabic Duke Mantee (Bogart), who secretly agrees to the poet's request that the fugitive gangster kill him. Directed by Archie Mayo (The Great American Broadcast), much of the film, perhaps inevitably, looks set-bound. Most of the action occurs in the café, and the script's tension sadly dissipates a bit as villains and hostages stay glued to their seats. The film's enduring appeal has everything to do with the leading performances: the fascinating alchemy of Howard's ethereal air, Davis's sexy urgency, and Bogart's bemused menace. If the story feels a trifle dated and perhaps a bit smug, the actors make it compelling nonetheless. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
These are spectacular films and this collection is well worth the investment. You can never see movies like this too many times, they never really get old. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Keith Little
The quality of this DVD was exceptional -- the picture is crystal clear and the audio is great. Some of the scenes filmed out of the diner were a bit fuzzy - but noticeable only... Read morePublished on Jan. 9 2011 by emuller
Leslie Howard and Humphrey Bogart were in the original Broadway play. And this was made again into a film called "Escape in the Desert. Read morePublished on July 5 2007 by bernie
Based on Robert E. Sherwood's Broadway blockbuster, "The Petrified Forest" (1936) is basically two acts of melodrama with a crime thriller finish. Read morePublished on March 5 2005 by Nix Pix
I taped The Petrified Forest a couple of years ago when it was shown on TCM and I thought it was a very good movie! Read morePublished on March 18 2004 by Thebookwoman
Actually, this was not quite Bogart's debut. He had been in a few utterly forgettable films in tiny roles in the early 1930s before returning to Broadway, but this is his "real"... Read morePublished on Aug. 8 2002 by Robert Moore
I could sum this up in a very brief paragraph, and I will, because it simply did not thrill me to the depths of my soul, leaving me appropriately petrified. Read morePublished on July 13 2002 by J B
Humphrey Bogart and Leslie Howard reprise their stage roles as "bad guy/good guy" in this ever timely tale of greed and ruthlessness vs. selfless and compassionate courage. Read morePublished on June 27 2002 by Michael Mathena
There are probably many reasons why THE PETRIFIED FOREST is as watchable today as it was in the 1930's. Read morePublished on June 9 2002 by Martin Asiner