BrianRxm Coins in Movies 75/109
The Petrified Forest (1936)
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The 1936 Warner Brothers film "The Petrified Forest" features Bette Davis handing drifter
Leslie Howard a silver dollar.
 
The film was based on a popular stage play which was set in the early 1930's, when groups of
desperados, including John Dillinger and Bonnie and Clyde, roamed the American Midwest
committing robberies and murders.
 
The film is about a group of residents and travellers of an Arizona desert restaurant being held hostage
by one such group of desperados led by Humphrey Bogart and a romance that develops between
drifter Leslie Howard and waitress Bette Davis.
Petrified Forest
1. Title
 
Petrified Forest
2. In the desert
 
Alan Squier is hitchhiking in the Arizona desert when he arrives at a small restaurant.
 
Petrified Forest
3. The Petrified Forest BAR-B-Q
 
The building design is based on the Southwestern Pueblo designs.
 
Alan has spent the past several years in Europe married to a wealthy woman.
She has let him go, and he has returned to America, broke.
 
Gabrielle Maple works at the restaurant which is owned by her father and grandfather.
 
Petrified Forest
4. Gabrielle
 
Gabrielle's father was in the service during World War I and married a French woman who spent a
short time in America and then went back to France, leaving Gabrielle, who wants more than anything
to go to France and live there.
 
She is reading a book of poetry by Medieval French poet François Villon.
 
Petrified Forest
5. Alan and Gabrielle
 
Alan stops for a meal and meets Gabrielle.
 
Gramp is Gabrielle's grandfather who has lived in the area since the 1880's.
 
Petrified Forest
6. Gramp reading newspaper
 
The headline is about a gunfight between the police and a criminal gang led by Duke Mantee,
who is based on John Dillinger.
 
Gramp likes to tell stories of the "old west" and Billy the Kid.
Gramp states that the desperados of the 1930's are the modern version of the old western outlaws.
He reads out loud that Duke and his gang are in the area and hopes to witness a real gunfight.
 
Alan tells his life story to Gabrielle and his mention of living in France gets her attention
and admiration.
Alan is broke and Gabrielle hands him a silver dollar.
 
Petrified Forest
7. Gabrielle hands silver dollar to Alan
 
The coin is too small to identify the type of silver dollar, Morgan or Peace.
 
Petrified Forest
8. Alan wonders if it is for him
 
Another view of the silver dollar.
 
Petrified Forest
9. Closeups of the silver dollar
 
Closeups of the silver dollar which appears to be some kind of token or prop coin
with a man's face on it.
 
Alan and Gabrielle fall in love but their relationship is interrupted by the arrival of
Duke Mantee and his gang.
 
Petrified Forest
10. Duke and two members of his gang
 
Duke's group are waiting for another car carrying other members of his gang.
 
Petrified Forest
11. Hostages
 
The customer hostages include Alan, a wealthy couple, their uniformed chauffeur, and Gramp.
Behind Gramp is Slim, a member of Duke's gang.
 
Alan is carrying a $5000 life insurance policy, and while Gabrielle is out of the room,
he signs the policy over to her and then makes a strange request from Duke.
 
Petrified Forest
12. Alan signs the policy and makes his request
 
Deputies arrive and begin a gun battle with the gang.
 
Petrified Forest
13. Duke in gun battle
 
Duke appears to be holding a Winchester rifle which is right out of the "old west".
 
Petrified Forest
14. Deputies firing
 
The deputies are wearing cowboy hats and western outfits.
 
The deputy on the left resembles Hopalong Cassidy, a popular Western film star.
 
Alan is shot during the battle, tells Gabrielle about the insurance policy, and dies in her arms.
 
Petrified Forest
15. Finale
 
Notes:
 
Cast:
Leslie Howard as Alan Squier
Bette Davis as Gabrielle Maple
Humphrey Bogart as Duke Mantee
Charley Grapewin as Gramp Maple
 
Director: Archie L. Mayo
Writers: Charles Kenyon, Delmer Daves, Robert E. Sherwood
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