The Petrified Forest


1h 23m 1936
The Petrified Forest

Brief Synopsis

An escaped convict holds the customers at a remote desert cantina hostage.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Crime
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Feb 8, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
The Vitaphone Corp.; Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play The Petrified Forest by Robert Sherwood (New York, 7 Jan 1935).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 23m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

Alan Squire, a disillusioned and destitute intellectual, is hitch-hiking across the Arizona desert. He arrives at the desolate Black Mesa Bar-B-Q, where he meets the naively idealistic Gabby Maple, whose internal struggle reflects her mixed heritage. Half romantic French, half practical American, Gabby dreams of escaping her dull life to live in France. She is immediately attracted to Alan's lofty philosophies, but their short-lived, innocent romance is shattered by the sudden arrival of Duke Mantee and his gang. Mantee, a brutal killer heading for the Mexican border, uses the restaurant as his hide-out, holding a small group captive while he waits for his girl. Under the strain of captivity, each hostage displays his true nature. The wealthy Edith Chisholm regrets the loss of her goals in exchange for a shallow life with Mr. Chisholm. Boze Hertzlinger, a local football star who is infatuated with Gabby, finds out that brute, physical strength is no match for an outlaw's gun. Finally, Alan admits that he is living in a world of outmoded ideas and strikes a deal with Mantee. Alan will sign his life insurance over to Gabby, if Mantee agrees to shoot him. Gabby, ignorant of Alan's sacrifice, inherits his money to pursue her dream. Duke escapes to meet certain death at the hands of the authorities.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Crime
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Feb 8, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
The Vitaphone Corp.; Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play The Petrified Forest by Robert Sherwood (New York, 7 Jan 1935).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 23m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Articles

The Petrified Forest


Humphrey Bogart's first major screen role - which brought him to prominence both in the movie industry and in the public eye - was one which he had had the opportunity to hone over many months on the stage: gangster Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest (1936). Ironically, he almost didn't get the part. Though Robert Sherwood's play about a disparate group of people held hostage in an Arizona roadside diner had been a smash hit on Broadway, Jack Warner originally signed only two of the stars to reprise their stage roles: Leslie Howard and Bette Davis. For Duke Mantee, Warner wanted contract star Edward G. Robinson.

But Leslie Howard believed that no one else could underplay the role of Mantee to such chilling effect as Bogart. He was so impressed with Bogart's stage performance, in fact, that he promised him he would use his influence to help him win the movie role. Howard kept his word, threatening to drop out of the picture unless Warner signed the actor. The rest is history. Warner gave in, Bogart got the part, and his performance was so electric that Warner signed him to a long-term contract. Bogart never forgot Howard's generosity: years later, he and Lauren Bacall named their daughter Leslie after him. (Howard had died in a plane crash during WWII.)

Sherwood based the character Duke Mantee on public enemy #1 at the time, John Dillinger. Bogart happened to closely resemble the gangster, and he studied film footage of Dillinger to perfect his mannerisms. Fascinated audiences flocked to both the play and the movie to see this version of the infamous gangster.

Filmed entirely on a Warner Bros. soundstage, The Petrified Forest definitely retains a stage-bound feel. The camera rarely leaves the interior of the diner, and the movie is driven by such evocative but stagy dialogue as "you're the last great apostle of rugged individualism" (Howard speaking to Bogart). However, unlike other films for which such qualities are the kiss of death, The Petrified Forest is vital and engaging, partly due to the strength of the play itself and partly due to its first-rate performances. All the actors underplay their roles quite effectively. (Even Bette Davis, as the The New York Times reviewer noted: "Davis demonstrates that she does not have to be hysterical to give a grand portrayal.")

Howard was coming off the film The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934), for which he received superb notices. In The Petrified Forest, he plays Alan Squier, a disillusioned Englishman who has left his rich way of life in Europe to hitch-hike across America in search of meaning and purpose. After wandering into a diner/gas station in Arizona's "Petrified Forest," he meets waitress Gabrielle (Davis), a dreamer and would-be poet who longs to see Paris. Touched by her romantic vision of life, he falls in love with her, at which point Duke Mantee arrives with his gang. The contrasts between Howard (the civilized, highbrow, poetic talker) and Bogart (the rough, uneducated, blunt thug) are a high point of Sherwood's story, and it's easy to see why the two enjoyed working together so much in these roles.

The Petrified Forest was remade in 1945 as Escape in the Desert. In 1955, two years before his death, Bogart again played Duke Mantee in a live television production of the play, directed by Delbert Mann. Lauren Bacall and Henry Fonda played the roles originated by Davis and Howard.

Producer: Henry Blanke
Director: Archie Mayo
Screenplay: Charles Kenyon, Delmer Daves, based on the play by Robert E. Sherwood
Cinematography: Sol Polito
Editing: Owen Marks
Music: Bernhard Kaun
Art direction: John Hughes
Cast: Leslie Howard (Alan Squier), Bette Davis (Gabrielle Maple), Humphrey Bogart (Duke Mantee), Genevieve Tobin (Mrs. Chisholm), Paul Harvey (Mr. Chisholm), Charley Grapewin (Gramp Maple), Porter Hall (Jason Maple), Dick Foran (Boze Hertzlinger).
BW-83m. Closed captioning.

by Jeremy Arnold
The Petrified Forest

The Petrified Forest

Humphrey Bogart's first major screen role - which brought him to prominence both in the movie industry and in the public eye - was one which he had had the opportunity to hone over many months on the stage: gangster Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest (1936). Ironically, he almost didn't get the part. Though Robert Sherwood's play about a disparate group of people held hostage in an Arizona roadside diner had been a smash hit on Broadway, Jack Warner originally signed only two of the stars to reprise their stage roles: Leslie Howard and Bette Davis. For Duke Mantee, Warner wanted contract star Edward G. Robinson. But Leslie Howard believed that no one else could underplay the role of Mantee to such chilling effect as Bogart. He was so impressed with Bogart's stage performance, in fact, that he promised him he would use his influence to help him win the movie role. Howard kept his word, threatening to drop out of the picture unless Warner signed the actor. The rest is history. Warner gave in, Bogart got the part, and his performance was so electric that Warner signed him to a long-term contract. Bogart never forgot Howard's generosity: years later, he and Lauren Bacall named their daughter Leslie after him. (Howard had died in a plane crash during WWII.) Sherwood based the character Duke Mantee on public enemy #1 at the time, John Dillinger. Bogart happened to closely resemble the gangster, and he studied film footage of Dillinger to perfect his mannerisms. Fascinated audiences flocked to both the play and the movie to see this version of the infamous gangster. Filmed entirely on a Warner Bros. soundstage, The Petrified Forest definitely retains a stage-bound feel. The camera rarely leaves the interior of the diner, and the movie is driven by such evocative but stagy dialogue as "you're the last great apostle of rugged individualism" (Howard speaking to Bogart). However, unlike other films for which such qualities are the kiss of death, The Petrified Forest is vital and engaging, partly due to the strength of the play itself and partly due to its first-rate performances. All the actors underplay their roles quite effectively. (Even Bette Davis, as the The New York Times reviewer noted: "Davis demonstrates that she does not have to be hysterical to give a grand portrayal.") Howard was coming off the film The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934), for which he received superb notices. In The Petrified Forest, he plays Alan Squier, a disillusioned Englishman who has left his rich way of life in Europe to hitch-hike across America in search of meaning and purpose. After wandering into a diner/gas station in Arizona's "Petrified Forest," he meets waitress Gabrielle (Davis), a dreamer and would-be poet who longs to see Paris. Touched by her romantic vision of life, he falls in love with her, at which point Duke Mantee arrives with his gang. The contrasts between Howard (the civilized, highbrow, poetic talker) and Bogart (the rough, uneducated, blunt thug) are a high point of Sherwood's story, and it's easy to see why the two enjoyed working together so much in these roles. The Petrified Forest was remade in 1945 as Escape in the Desert. In 1955, two years before his death, Bogart again played Duke Mantee in a live television production of the play, directed by Delbert Mann. Lauren Bacall and Henry Fonda played the roles originated by Davis and Howard. Producer: Henry Blanke Director: Archie Mayo Screenplay: Charles Kenyon, Delmer Daves, based on the play by Robert E. Sherwood Cinematography: Sol Polito Editing: Owen Marks Music: Bernhard Kaun Art direction: John Hughes Cast: Leslie Howard (Alan Squier), Bette Davis (Gabrielle Maple), Humphrey Bogart (Duke Mantee), Genevieve Tobin (Mrs. Chisholm), Paul Harvey (Mr. Chisholm), Charley Grapewin (Gramp Maple), Porter Hall (Jason Maple), Dick Foran (Boze Hertzlinger). BW-83m. Closed captioning. by Jeremy Arnold

The Petrified Forest on DVD


Warner Home Video continues its series of catalog DVD releases with The Pertrified Forest (1936), available both singly and as part of The Warner Bros. Gangsters Collection box set. A glance at the other titles in that set (Little Caesar (1930), The Public Enemy (1931), Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), The Roaring Twenties (1939), White Heat (1949)), raises a fair question: is The Pertrified Forest a gangster movie? Upon consideration, it would seem to be odd-man-out of the group.

First, while the other five movies in the set all retain a classic urban setting and contain numerous scenes of shootouts, drive-bys, and elaborate servings of justice, The Pertrified Forest, by contrast, is adapted from a high-minded stage production (by Robert E. Sherwood) and features outlaws only as part of a larger societal assemblage, meant to serve as a microcosm. Set in a remote desert location, the story features Romantic leads (with a capital "R") who ponder weighty issues of society and humanity. In fact, the movie has more in common with a "social problem" film like William Wyler's Dead End (1937). All that said, can anyone name the gangster that Humphrey Bogart plays in Dead End? In The Pertrified Forest Bogart is Duke Mantee, one of the most unforgettable gangster portrayals of the era, and a famous star-making role for the actor, then struggling to make a name for himself after years of small parts on the stage and screen. All of the characters in the Sherwood story discuss the criminal psychology of Mantee, even when he is offscreen. Bogart's menace is palpable and this aspect of the production alone qualifies The Pertrified Forest as one of the most important Gangster films of the 1930s.

The film opens in the Arizona Desert, as we meet the staff of a combined gas station/diner: WWI veteran Jason Maple (Porter Hall), his daughter Gabby (Bette Davis), her Gramp (Charley Grapewin), and handyman Boze (Dick Foran). As is more than implied, all of the men in this group are, if not "petrified," at least stuck re-living their past glories as war hero, football star, and local settler. Only Gabby looks ahead and wishes to leave the barren desert for a rich and artistic life abroad. Various outsiders come to the diner: Alan Squire (Leslie Howard) is a European intellectual, self-aware to the point of self-parody. He is wandering the country by foot, and while he is quick to label those around him, he exhibits great charm while doing so. Squire admires Gabby's optimism and cultured enthusiasm (she paints and reads poetry). A high society couple named Chisolm (Genevieve Tobin and Paul Harvey), along with their chauffer Joseph (John Alexander), are taken hostage by notorious gangster Duke Mantee and his gang, on the lam from Oklahoma. Everyone ends up back at the Black Mesa Bar-B-Q, where Mantee controls the situation, but not all of the emotions on display.

There is plenty of interesting back story to the production of The Pertrified Forest, which is dealt with at length in the DVD extras. A 15m. featurette called The Petrified Forest: Menace in the Desert and the audio commentary by Bogart biographer Eric Lax both emphasize the crucial part the role of Mantee played in the career of Humphrey Bogart. It seems Warner Bros. signed Howard and Bogart to reprise their roles from Robert E. Sherwood's Broadway play, but while Bogart was en route to California, resident studio tough-guy Edward G. Robinson was given the script to look over. Robinson was being paid for three films a year by Warners whether they were made or not, and he was overdue for a role. Robinson liked the script and was initially enthusiastic. He reconsidered, however, when he realized that the studio planned to tout the Howard-Davis teaming in their publicity. The Robinson angle became a moot point when Howard caught wind of the notion and famously threatened to walk off the project if Bogart was not given the role. Bogart was paid (as a freelancer) $750 a week with a three week guarantee, or about the same as his initial Warner Bros. salary four years earlier. He brought his Broadway wardrobe West to revive his faux-Dillinger look as Duke Mantee. The results, of course, proved to be as sensational as the stage production had been, and resulted in a long-term contract with Warners. The DVD commentary and featurette also highlight the importance of Leslie Howard to the project. Howard wielded power as one of the producers of the Sherwood play, and of course in 1936 he was a major star both in America and Britain. As is not lost on the commentators of this DVD, there is irony in the fact that the type of movie stardom that Bogart would soon represent almost completely supplanted the cultured European leading man image that Howard exemplified. As for Bettie Davis, she had gotten the best notices of her career to that point while teamed with Howard for a prestigious production of W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage (1934). That film was done on loan-out to RKO Pictures, so Warner Bros. was more than happy to capitalize on the re-teaming of the pair for a home-grown project. (They were reunited for the third and final time in the WB romantic comedy It's Love I'm After (1937), also directed by Archie Mayo).

The transfer quality on the main feature is excellent, although there are some problems on the source print, namely slight grain and a few stray lines near what would have been reel changes. The audio contains some crackles but the dialogue is crystal clear, and is a further indication that some of the best restoration being routinely performed today is in this area. Like the other DVDs in the Warner Bros. Gangsters Collection, The Pertrified Forest can be viewed as part of a Leonard Maltin-introduced "Warner Night at the Movies." This entertaining program includes a generous sampling of other 1936 fare, including the trailer for Bullets or Ballots, one of the first films Bogart made under his new post-Petrified Forest contract with Warners (ironically in support of Edward G. Robinson); a Vitaphone musical short called Rhythmitis, featuring lanky hoofer Hal LeRoy; and Friz Freleng's Coo Coo Nut Grove, a spot-gag cartoon with wall-to-wall movie star-as-animal caricatures. An audio-only bonus is a radio adaptation of The Petrified Forest broadcast in January, 1940 on CBS' Screen Guild Players program. It features Bogart and, in the other lead roles, Joan Bennett and Tyrone Power.

For more information about The Petrified Forest, visit Warner Video. To order The Petrified Forest, go to TCM Shopping.

by John M. Miller

The Petrified Forest on DVD

Warner Home Video continues its series of catalog DVD releases with The Pertrified Forest (1936), available both singly and as part of The Warner Bros. Gangsters Collection box set. A glance at the other titles in that set (Little Caesar (1930), The Public Enemy (1931), Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), The Roaring Twenties (1939), White Heat (1949)), raises a fair question: is The Pertrified Forest a gangster movie? Upon consideration, it would seem to be odd-man-out of the group. First, while the other five movies in the set all retain a classic urban setting and contain numerous scenes of shootouts, drive-bys, and elaborate servings of justice, The Pertrified Forest, by contrast, is adapted from a high-minded stage production (by Robert E. Sherwood) and features outlaws only as part of a larger societal assemblage, meant to serve as a microcosm. Set in a remote desert location, the story features Romantic leads (with a capital "R") who ponder weighty issues of society and humanity. In fact, the movie has more in common with a "social problem" film like William Wyler's Dead End (1937). All that said, can anyone name the gangster that Humphrey Bogart plays in Dead End? In The Pertrified Forest Bogart is Duke Mantee, one of the most unforgettable gangster portrayals of the era, and a famous star-making role for the actor, then struggling to make a name for himself after years of small parts on the stage and screen. All of the characters in the Sherwood story discuss the criminal psychology of Mantee, even when he is offscreen. Bogart's menace is palpable and this aspect of the production alone qualifies The Pertrified Forest as one of the most important Gangster films of the 1930s. The film opens in the Arizona Desert, as we meet the staff of a combined gas station/diner: WWI veteran Jason Maple (Porter Hall), his daughter Gabby (Bette Davis), her Gramp (Charley Grapewin), and handyman Boze (Dick Foran). As is more than implied, all of the men in this group are, if not "petrified," at least stuck re-living their past glories as war hero, football star, and local settler. Only Gabby looks ahead and wishes to leave the barren desert for a rich and artistic life abroad. Various outsiders come to the diner: Alan Squire (Leslie Howard) is a European intellectual, self-aware to the point of self-parody. He is wandering the country by foot, and while he is quick to label those around him, he exhibits great charm while doing so. Squire admires Gabby's optimism and cultured enthusiasm (she paints and reads poetry). A high society couple named Chisolm (Genevieve Tobin and Paul Harvey), along with their chauffer Joseph (John Alexander), are taken hostage by notorious gangster Duke Mantee and his gang, on the lam from Oklahoma. Everyone ends up back at the Black Mesa Bar-B-Q, where Mantee controls the situation, but not all of the emotions on display. There is plenty of interesting back story to the production of The Pertrified Forest, which is dealt with at length in the DVD extras. A 15m. featurette called The Petrified Forest: Menace in the Desert and the audio commentary by Bogart biographer Eric Lax both emphasize the crucial part the role of Mantee played in the career of Humphrey Bogart. It seems Warner Bros. signed Howard and Bogart to reprise their roles from Robert E. Sherwood's Broadway play, but while Bogart was en route to California, resident studio tough-guy Edward G. Robinson was given the script to look over. Robinson was being paid for three films a year by Warners whether they were made or not, and he was overdue for a role. Robinson liked the script and was initially enthusiastic. He reconsidered, however, when he realized that the studio planned to tout the Howard-Davis teaming in their publicity. The Robinson angle became a moot point when Howard caught wind of the notion and famously threatened to walk off the project if Bogart was not given the role. Bogart was paid (as a freelancer) $750 a week with a three week guarantee, or about the same as his initial Warner Bros. salary four years earlier. He brought his Broadway wardrobe West to revive his faux-Dillinger look as Duke Mantee. The results, of course, proved to be as sensational as the stage production had been, and resulted in a long-term contract with Warners. The DVD commentary and featurette also highlight the importance of Leslie Howard to the project. Howard wielded power as one of the producers of the Sherwood play, and of course in 1936 he was a major star both in America and Britain. As is not lost on the commentators of this DVD, there is irony in the fact that the type of movie stardom that Bogart would soon represent almost completely supplanted the cultured European leading man image that Howard exemplified. As for Bettie Davis, she had gotten the best notices of her career to that point while teamed with Howard for a prestigious production of W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage (1934). That film was done on loan-out to RKO Pictures, so Warner Bros. was more than happy to capitalize on the re-teaming of the pair for a home-grown project. (They were reunited for the third and final time in the WB romantic comedy It's Love I'm After (1937), also directed by Archie Mayo). The transfer quality on the main feature is excellent, although there are some problems on the source print, namely slight grain and a few stray lines near what would have been reel changes. The audio contains some crackles but the dialogue is crystal clear, and is a further indication that some of the best restoration being routinely performed today is in this area. Like the other DVDs in the Warner Bros. Gangsters Collection, The Pertrified Forest can be viewed as part of a Leonard Maltin-introduced "Warner Night at the Movies." This entertaining program includes a generous sampling of other 1936 fare, including the trailer for Bullets or Ballots, one of the first films Bogart made under his new post-Petrified Forest contract with Warners (ironically in support of Edward G. Robinson); a Vitaphone musical short called Rhythmitis, featuring lanky hoofer Hal LeRoy; and Friz Freleng's Coo Coo Nut Grove, a spot-gag cartoon with wall-to-wall movie star-as-animal caricatures. An audio-only bonus is a radio adaptation of The Petrified Forest broadcast in January, 1940 on CBS' Screen Guild Players program. It features Bogart and, in the other lead roles, Joan Bennett and Tyrone Power. For more information about The Petrified Forest, visit Warner Video. To order The Petrified Forest, go to TCM Shopping. by John M. Miller

The Warner Bros. Pictures Gangsters Collection on DVD


Six of Warner Bros. greatest classic gangster films - starring Hollywood legends Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson -- will be available on DVD January 25 for the very first time as the Warner Bros. Pictures Gangsters Collection. The six-disc set from Warner Home Video (WHV) will include The Public Enemy, White Heat, Angels with Dirty Faces, Little Caesar, The Petrified Forest and The Roaring Twenties. For more information, visit The Official Site.

All six titles have been fully restored and digitally remastered, and are loaded with special features including historian commentaries and new making-of featurettes. Each disc also contains an exclusive "Warner Night at the Movies" segment. Hosted by Leonard Maltin, each bonus feature recreates moviegoer attractions such as newsreels, comedy shorts, cartoons and trailers from the years each film was released. In addition, The Public Enemy DVD contains several minutes of recovered footage not seen in more than 70 years.

Major Hollywood studios in the '30s and '40s were each known for their distinctive styles (MGM for its musicals; Universal for its horror films, etc.). Warner Bros. was best known for firmly establishing the genre of gangster films, which were also noted for their socially conscious themes as well as their simple visual look (low key lighting and sparse sets). Nowhere were these elements more prominent than in the films of the Warner Bros. Pictures Gangsters Collection.

"We are thrilled to be finally releasing these highly-demanded films in an exciting new DVD collection," said George Feltenstein, WHV's Senior Vice President Classic Catalog. "These are the films that defined our studio in its early years, and which in turn defined the gangster genre. One only has to recall Jimmy Cagney squashing his grapefruit into Mae Clarke's face (The Public Enemy); Cagney yelling "Made it, Ma! Top o' the world!" (White Heat); or Robinson barking, "This is Rico speaking. Rico! R-I-C-O! Rico! Little Caesar, that's who!" to know that these signature Warner Bros. titles represent the genre's best of the best. These films are truly timeless in their appeal, and we insisted on waiting until full restorations were completed before we would bring them to the discerning DVD marketplace. I trust that all the fans will agree it will have been well worth the wait."

Details of The Gangsters Collection Films

The Public Enemy (1931)

The Public Enemy showcases James Cagney's powerful 1931 breakthrough performance as streetwise tough guy Tom Powers, but only because production chief Darryl F. Zanuck made a late casting change. When shooting began, Cagney had a secondary role but Zanuck soon spotted Cagney's screen dominance and gave him the star part. From that moment, an indelible genre classic and an enduring star career were both born. Bristling with '20s style, dialogue and desperation under the masterful directorial eye of William A. Wellman, this is a virtual time capsule of the Prohibition era: taut, gritty and hard-hitting. Contains several restored scenes (deleted from subsequent reissue versions due to enforcement of the Production code) from the original release version of the film, unseen since 1931.

Public Enemy DVD special features include:

- Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1931 with Newsreel, Comedy Short "The Eyes Have It," Cartoon "Smile, Darn Ya, Smile" and 1931 Trailer Gallery
- New Featurette "Beer and Blood: Enemies of the Public"
- Commentary by Film Historian Robert Sklar
- 1954 Re-release Foreword

White Heat (1949)

Playing a psychotic thug, Cody Jarrett, devoted to his hard-boiled "ma," James Cagney gives a performance to match his electrifying work in The Public Enemy. Bracingly directed by Raoul Walsh, this fast-paced thriller tracing Jarrett's violent life in and out of jail is among the most vivid screen performances of Cagney's career, and the excitement it generates will put you on top of the world!

White Heat DVD special features include:

- Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1949 with Newsreel, Comedy Short "So You Think You¿re Not Guilty," Cartoon "Homeless Hare" and 1949 Trailer Gallery
- New Featurette "White Heat: Top of the World"
- Commentary by Film Historian Drew Casper

Angels With Dirty Faces (1938)

Off-screen pals James Cagney and Pat O'Brien team up for the sixth time in this enduring gangster classic nominated for three Academy Awards®. Cagney's Rocky Sullivan is a charismatic tough kid from New York's Hell's Kitchen whose underworld rise makes him a hero to a gang of slum punks. O'Brien is Father Connolly, the boyhood chum-turned-priest who vows to end Rocky's influence. Directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca), the film also stars Humphrey Bogart and Ann Sheridan. Cagney's role as Rocky earned him the 1938 New York Film Critics Award for Best Actor along with his first Best Actor Oscar® nomination.

Angels With Dirty Faces DVD special features include:

- Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1938 with Newsreel, Musical Short "Out Where the Stars Begin," Cartoon "Porky and Daffy" and 1938 Trailer Gallery
- New Featurette "Angels with Dirty Faces: Whaddya Hear? Whaddya Say?"
- Commentary by Film Historian Dana Polan
- Audio-Only Bonus: Radio Production with the Film's 2 Stars

Little Caesar (1930)

"R-I-C-O, Little Caesar, that's who!" Edward G. Robinson bellowed into the phone and Hollywood got the message. The 37-year-old Robinson, not gifted with matinee-idol looks, was nonetheless a first-class star. Little Caesar is the tale of pugnacious Caesar Enrico Bandello (Robinson), a hoodlum with a Chicago-sized chip on his shoulder, few attachments, fewer friends and no sense of underworld diplomacy.

Little Caesar DVD special features include:

- Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1930 with Newsreel, Spencer Tracy Short "The Hard Guy," Cartoon "Lady Play Your Mandolin" and 1930/31 Trailer Gallery
- New Featurette "Little Caesar: End of Rico, Beginning of the Antihero"
- Commentary by Film Historian Richard B. Jewell
- 1954 Re-release Foreword

The Petrified Forest (1936)

A rundown diner bakes in the Arizona heat. Inside, fugitive killer Duke Mantee sweats out a manhunt, holding disillusioned writer Alan Squier, young Gabby Maple and a handful of others hostage. The Petrified Forest, Robert E. Sherwood's 1935 Broadway success about survival of the fittest, hit the screen a year later with Leslie Howard and Humphrey Bogart magnificently recreating their stage roles and Bette Davis ably reteaming with her Of Human Bondage co-star Howard. The film presented Bogart with his first major starring role and helped launch his brilliant movie career.

The Petrified Forest DVD special features include:

- Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1936 with Newsreel, Musical Short "Rhythmitis," Cartoon "The Coo Coo Nut Grove" and 1936 Trailer Gallery
- New Featurette "The Petrified Forest: Menace in the Desert"
- Commentary by Bogart Biographer Eric Lax
- Audio-Only Bonus: Radio Adaptation Starring Bogart, Tyrone Power and Joan Bennett

The Roaring Twenties (1939

The speakeasy era never roared louder than in this gangland chronicle directed by Raoul Walsh (White Heat). Against a backdrop of newsreel-like montages and narration, The Roaring Twenties follows the life of jobless war veteran Eddie Bartlett (James Cagney) who turns bootlegger, dealing in "bottles instead of battles." However, battles await Eddie both inside and out of his growing empire. Outside are territorial feuds and gangland bloodlettings and inside is the treachery of his double-dealing associate George Hally (Humphrey Bogart).

The Roaring Twenties DVD special features include:

- Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1939 with Newsreel, Musical Short "All Girl Revue," Comedy Short "The Great Library Misery," Cartoon "Thugs with Dirty Mugs" and 1939 Trailer Gallery
- New Featurette "The Roaring Twenties: The World Moves on" - Commentary by Film Historian Lincoln Hurst

The Warner Bros. Pictures Gangsters Collection on DVD

Six of Warner Bros. greatest classic gangster films - starring Hollywood legends Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson -- will be available on DVD January 25 for the very first time as the Warner Bros. Pictures Gangsters Collection. The six-disc set from Warner Home Video (WHV) will include The Public Enemy, White Heat, Angels with Dirty Faces, Little Caesar, The Petrified Forest and The Roaring Twenties. For more information, visit The Official Site. All six titles have been fully restored and digitally remastered, and are loaded with special features including historian commentaries and new making-of featurettes. Each disc also contains an exclusive "Warner Night at the Movies" segment. Hosted by Leonard Maltin, each bonus feature recreates moviegoer attractions such as newsreels, comedy shorts, cartoons and trailers from the years each film was released. In addition, The Public Enemy DVD contains several minutes of recovered footage not seen in more than 70 years. Major Hollywood studios in the '30s and '40s were each known for their distinctive styles (MGM for its musicals; Universal for its horror films, etc.). Warner Bros. was best known for firmly establishing the genre of gangster films, which were also noted for their socially conscious themes as well as their simple visual look (low key lighting and sparse sets). Nowhere were these elements more prominent than in the films of the Warner Bros. Pictures Gangsters Collection. "We are thrilled to be finally releasing these highly-demanded films in an exciting new DVD collection," said George Feltenstein, WHV's Senior Vice President Classic Catalog. "These are the films that defined our studio in its early years, and which in turn defined the gangster genre. One only has to recall Jimmy Cagney squashing his grapefruit into Mae Clarke's face (The Public Enemy); Cagney yelling "Made it, Ma! Top o' the world!" (White Heat); or Robinson barking, "This is Rico speaking. Rico! R-I-C-O! Rico! Little Caesar, that's who!" to know that these signature Warner Bros. titles represent the genre's best of the best. These films are truly timeless in their appeal, and we insisted on waiting until full restorations were completed before we would bring them to the discerning DVD marketplace. I trust that all the fans will agree it will have been well worth the wait." Details of The Gangsters Collection Films The Public Enemy (1931) The Public Enemy showcases James Cagney's powerful 1931 breakthrough performance as streetwise tough guy Tom Powers, but only because production chief Darryl F. Zanuck made a late casting change. When shooting began, Cagney had a secondary role but Zanuck soon spotted Cagney's screen dominance and gave him the star part. From that moment, an indelible genre classic and an enduring star career were both born. Bristling with '20s style, dialogue and desperation under the masterful directorial eye of William A. Wellman, this is a virtual time capsule of the Prohibition era: taut, gritty and hard-hitting. Contains several restored scenes (deleted from subsequent reissue versions due to enforcement of the Production code) from the original release version of the film, unseen since 1931. Public Enemy DVD special features include: - Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1931 with Newsreel, Comedy Short "The Eyes Have It," Cartoon "Smile, Darn Ya, Smile" and 1931 Trailer Gallery - New Featurette "Beer and Blood: Enemies of the Public" - Commentary by Film Historian Robert Sklar - 1954 Re-release Foreword White Heat (1949) Playing a psychotic thug, Cody Jarrett, devoted to his hard-boiled "ma," James Cagney gives a performance to match his electrifying work in The Public Enemy. Bracingly directed by Raoul Walsh, this fast-paced thriller tracing Jarrett's violent life in and out of jail is among the most vivid screen performances of Cagney's career, and the excitement it generates will put you on top of the world! White Heat DVD special features include: - Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1949 with Newsreel, Comedy Short "So You Think You¿re Not Guilty," Cartoon "Homeless Hare" and 1949 Trailer Gallery - New Featurette "White Heat: Top of the World" - Commentary by Film Historian Drew Casper Angels With Dirty Faces (1938) Off-screen pals James Cagney and Pat O'Brien team up for the sixth time in this enduring gangster classic nominated for three Academy Awards®. Cagney's Rocky Sullivan is a charismatic tough kid from New York's Hell's Kitchen whose underworld rise makes him a hero to a gang of slum punks. O'Brien is Father Connolly, the boyhood chum-turned-priest who vows to end Rocky's influence. Directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca), the film also stars Humphrey Bogart and Ann Sheridan. Cagney's role as Rocky earned him the 1938 New York Film Critics Award for Best Actor along with his first Best Actor Oscar® nomination. Angels With Dirty Faces DVD special features include: - Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1938 with Newsreel, Musical Short "Out Where the Stars Begin," Cartoon "Porky and Daffy" and 1938 Trailer Gallery - New Featurette "Angels with Dirty Faces: Whaddya Hear? Whaddya Say?" - Commentary by Film Historian Dana Polan - Audio-Only Bonus: Radio Production with the Film's 2 Stars Little Caesar (1930) "R-I-C-O, Little Caesar, that's who!" Edward G. Robinson bellowed into the phone and Hollywood got the message. The 37-year-old Robinson, not gifted with matinee-idol looks, was nonetheless a first-class star. Little Caesar is the tale of pugnacious Caesar Enrico Bandello (Robinson), a hoodlum with a Chicago-sized chip on his shoulder, few attachments, fewer friends and no sense of underworld diplomacy. Little Caesar DVD special features include: - Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1930 with Newsreel, Spencer Tracy Short "The Hard Guy," Cartoon "Lady Play Your Mandolin" and 1930/31 Trailer Gallery - New Featurette "Little Caesar: End of Rico, Beginning of the Antihero" - Commentary by Film Historian Richard B. Jewell - 1954 Re-release Foreword The Petrified Forest (1936) A rundown diner bakes in the Arizona heat. Inside, fugitive killer Duke Mantee sweats out a manhunt, holding disillusioned writer Alan Squier, young Gabby Maple and a handful of others hostage. The Petrified Forest, Robert E. Sherwood's 1935 Broadway success about survival of the fittest, hit the screen a year later with Leslie Howard and Humphrey Bogart magnificently recreating their stage roles and Bette Davis ably reteaming with her Of Human Bondage co-star Howard. The film presented Bogart with his first major starring role and helped launch his brilliant movie career. The Petrified Forest DVD special features include: - Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1936 with Newsreel, Musical Short "Rhythmitis," Cartoon "The Coo Coo Nut Grove" and 1936 Trailer Gallery - New Featurette "The Petrified Forest: Menace in the Desert" - Commentary by Bogart Biographer Eric Lax - Audio-Only Bonus: Radio Adaptation Starring Bogart, Tyrone Power and Joan Bennett The Roaring Twenties (1939 The speakeasy era never roared louder than in this gangland chronicle directed by Raoul Walsh (White Heat). Against a backdrop of newsreel-like montages and narration, The Roaring Twenties follows the life of jobless war veteran Eddie Bartlett (James Cagney) who turns bootlegger, dealing in "bottles instead of battles." However, battles await Eddie both inside and out of his growing empire. Outside are territorial feuds and gangland bloodlettings and inside is the treachery of his double-dealing associate George Hally (Humphrey Bogart). The Roaring Twenties DVD special features include: - Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1939 with Newsreel, Musical Short "All Girl Revue," Comedy Short "The Great Library Misery," Cartoon "Thugs with Dirty Mugs" and 1939 Trailer Gallery - New Featurette "The Roaring Twenties: The World Moves on" - Commentary by Film Historian Lincoln Hurst

Quotes

Any woman's worth everything that any man has to give. Anguish, ecstasy, faith, jealousy, love, hatred, life or death. Don't you see that's the whole excuse for our existence? It's what makes the whole thing possible and tolerable.
- Alan Squier
But let me tell you one thing, Mr. Squier. The woman don't live or ever did live that's worth five thousand dollars!
- Gramp Maple
Well, let me tell you something. You're a forgetful old fool. Any woman's worth everything that any man has to give: anguish, ecstasy, faith, jealousy, love, hatred, life or death. Don't you see that's the whole excuse for our existence? It's what makes the whole thing possible and tolerable.
- Alan Squier
Any woman's worth everything that any man has to give. Anguish, ecstasy, faith, jealousy, love, hatred, life or death. Don't you see that's the whole excuse for our existence? It's what makes the whole thing possible and tolerable.
- Alan Squier
The trouble with me, Gabrielle, is I, I belong to a vanishing race. I'm one of the intellectuals.
- Alan Squier
That, that means you've got brains!
- Gabrielle Maple
Hmmm. Yes. Brains without purpose. Noise without sound, shape without substance.
- Alan Squier
Petrified forest is a lot of dead trees in the desert that have turned to stone. Here's a good specimen.
- Gabrielle Maple
So that was once a tree? Hmmm. Petrified forest, eh? Suitable haven for me. Well, perhaps that's what I'm destined to become, an interesting fossil for future study.
- Alan Squier
Let there be killing. All this evening I've had a feeling of destiny closing in.
- Alan Squier
You're in love with her, aren't you?
- Mrs. Edith Chisholm
Yes, I suppose I am. And not unreasonably. She has heroic stuff in her. She may be one of the immortal women of France. Another Joan of Arc, George Sand, Madame Curie, or Du Barry. I want to show her that I believe in her, and how else can I do it? Living, I'm worth nothing to her. Dead, I can buy her the tallest cathedrals, golden vineyards, and dancing in the streets. One well-directed bullet will accomplish all that, and it'll earn a measure of reflected glory for him that fired it and him that stopped it. This document will be my ticket to immortality. It'll inspire people to say of me, "There was an artist who died before his time." Will you do it, Duke?
- Alan Squier
I'll be glad to.
- Duke Mantee

Trivia

Leslie Howard and Humphrey Bogart had played the same roles in the stage version. Warner Brothers wanted to put Howard in the film but replace Bogart with Edward G. Robinson. Howard insisted on Bogart, and Robinson was happy to step aside from yet another gangster role. Humphrey Bogart would later name his first child with Lauren Bacall (qv), Leslie, in honor of Leslie Howard, the man who gave him his first big break.

Notes

Both Leslie Howard and Humphrey Bogart starred in the stage version of Robert Sherwood's play. Contemporary sources note that Howard's acceptance of the role of Squires was contingent on Bogart playing Duke Mantee. Bogart's success resulted in a long term contract with the studio. Warner Bros. files indicate that Arthur Aylesworth replaced Willard Robertson, Chic Sale was considered for "Gramp" and Veree Teasdale was considered for "Mrs. Chisholm." Daily Variety notes that the film was shot on location at Red Rock Canyon, CA. After shooting two different endings, the studio decided to retain the one which ended the play in which the character played by Howard is killed. Modern sources credit Bernhard Kaun with the musical score. Warner Bros. remade the play in 1943 as Escape in the Desert, directed by Edward A. Blatt and starring Philip Horn and Helmut Dantine, and a television version starring Bogart and Lauren Bacall was made in 1955.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1935

Released in USA on video.

Released in United States 1935