The Petrified Forest (1936) is an English major's delight. For those of use who use literature and poetry as a filter through which we see the world. Sometimes we feel isolated when everyone around us takes life as is and doesn't try to see some other type of meaning. So I can sympathize with Gabrielle (Bette Davis) and her plight. She stuck in the middle of the desert working at a Gas Station/Bar-B-Que Joint. She reads the poetry of Francois Villon and dreams of going to Bourges, France where her like-minded mother is from and currently resides. Gabrielle is surrounded by people who are perfectly content with what fills their lives, even if it is clouds of dust from a sandstorm. It's just her luck that a wandering novelist, Alan (Leslie Howard), stumbles upon Gabrielle's oasis, hungry for food and intellectual stimulation. They find themselves in each other and in the poetry and literature they love, while everyone else around them is pretty oblivious to what they share. After Alan goes on his way, criminal on the lam, Duke Mantee (Humphrey Bogart) brings the couple back together in a way that only a true literature-phile could appreciate. Oh this is a film I can watch over and over again. Anyone who has big dreams but is stuck in their situation due to whatever circumstances can see themselves in Gabrielle. What a way to kick off this marathon!
Doesn't Bogie look a little Ben Affleck here?