Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Petrified Forest (Archie Mayo, 1936)

***
USA



A creaky stage adaptation based around a metaphorical showdown between impotent intellectualism and brute, virile force. As a suicidal writer, Leslie Howard is swallowed up by his florid monologues, while Bette Davis - who very possibly hasn't experienced humility, naivety or selflessness in her life - is cast as a humble, naive truckstop barmaid sacrificing her dreams for the sake of others. Only Humphrey Bogart, in his breakout role as the gangster who holds them hostage, seems to be breathing.

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