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Theatrical Thursday: 'The Petrified Forest' (1936)

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This Thursday's pick for the new feature Theatrical Thursday is "The Petrified Forest." "The Petrified Forest" is a 1936 crime drama that was directed by Archie Mayo. The film starred a great cast, Bette Davis, Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, and Dick Foran. It's about a young penniless British writer, who is travels to Arizona, there he meets a family that owns a roadside diner. He falls for the daughter (played by Davis), who also falls for him because she longs to go to Europe and become an artist. Well the drifter (Howard) leaves, he gets a ride from a wealthy couple. The couple and him gets hijacked by the gangster, Duke (Bogart). Duke takes the group back to the diner, and kidnaps them.

"The Petrified Forest," is based off Robert E. Sherwood's play of the same name. Sherwood was one of the original members of the famous Algonquin Round Table. He also wrote the play "Abe Lincoln in Illinois," which was made into a 1940 film that starred Raymond Massey.

It's a good movie that is quite dramatic. Leslie Howard, Davis, and Bogart have good chemistry together. Definitely one crime film from the 30s that everyone should see once (even more!). The movie itself has it's own philosophical overtones because of Howard's character. Besides the crime aspect of the movie, it does deal with never giving up on your dreams, and the other theme is, Davis, her character is tired of the 'boring' small town life. She gets excitement when the smart stranger who speaks poetry comes. She herself can't find anyone who is a reader like her. The movie shows the longing of someone that is like us.

So "The Petrified Forest," is this week's pick for Theatrical Thursday. If you rent movies online, you can rent the movie on Amazon for $3.99, it's a 24 hour rental.


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