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The Crimson Moviegoer

Bette Davis and Leslie Howard Reach Heights in "Petrified Forest"

By S. C. S.

Leslie Howard is recognized as one of the really fine actors in Hollywood and even though he seems to have risen above his normal performance in "The Petrified Forest," we rather expect it of him. The really good news from this picture is that Bette Davis is capable of taking her place in the same top rank with Howard. Their acting alone would make it imperative that the picture be recommended, but even higher praise is due when the rest of the cast is above the usual level of mediocrity among the minors.

This story of the Arizona desert about a man who has last found something worth dying for has all of the deep power of "Berkeley Square" without the aid of costumes. It is one of Anderson's greatest talents that he is able to present the deepest social and psychological problems in a modern setting. In this case Bette Davis is the daughter of a filling station owner and Leslie Howard is a refined hobo.

They meet and the triangle is completed by a football player with a gangster for the foil.

Lily Pons is not an actress and the plot "I Dream Too Much" is impossibly stupid but her voice is so fine that it almost compensates for the poor construction and amateurish acting of the whole cast. The only exception should be made for Eric Blore who is back as the owner of a wonderfully entertaining trained seal. The second time we "saw" the picture we sat in the lobby and enjoyed it much more than while looking at Miss Pous' rather unattractive face.

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