This film is based on a Broadway play written by Robert E. Sherwood and set in the Depression. There is a small diner out in the Arizona dessert and Gabby works there as a waitress. Her dad owns the place and her granddad also helps out. They have gas and water to for the cars coming by. Gabby’s mother was from France and she returned home because she hated living in the desert. Gabby can’t wait to save enough money to go to France and get out of the desert. Alan has been walking plus hitchhiking across America and he stops by for a meal even though he doesn’t have the 30 cents it will cost. He’s a burned-out British intellectual, Alan and Gabby are very attracted to each other. A complication is that an outlaw and notorious killer is in the area and headed their way. Duke Mantee and has hit the road with his gang and they don’t care who they need to kill to escape the law. He has planned to meet his girl near the diner.
I really question the manner that Bogart uses to play the killer. It is more like he is imitating a monkey in King Kong? It’s the way he holds his arms and hands? It seems as if he had been wounded and couldn’t hold them any differently? I did like the setting and the story. 3 ½* (I liked this movie)
82 min, Crime directed by Archie Mayo with Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Genevieve Tobin, Dick Foran, Joe Sawyer, Porter Hall, Charley Grapewin, Paul Harvey, Eddie Acuff, Adrian Morris, Nina Campana.
Note: Imdb 7.6 out of 10, 100% critic 79% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 241 reviews.
Special Note: Warner Brothers originally wanted to cast Edward G. Robinson in the role of Duke Mantee. Leslie Howard said he would quit the picture if Humphrey Bogart didn’t play the role. This was the break that Bogart needed and he thanked Howard by naming his daughter Leslie. Both Howard and Bogart later starred together in The Stand-In.