Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Petrified Forest, Redux



A rare still from The Petrified Forest, done for Producers Showcase on NBC in 1955. Lauren Bacall took on the role of Gaby, played by Bette Davis in the 1936 film version of the play, and Henry Fonda took on the role of Alan Squier, originally played by Leslie Howard in both the play and the film version. Humphrey Bogart played the role of Duke Mantee in both the stage and film version with Leslie Howard as well. But who played Duke Mantee in this 1955 television production? Why Humprey Bogart of course! Stage, film and television. I think it's safe to say the role of Duke Mantee is Bogart's.

Edward G. Robinson was originally slated to play the role of Duke Mantee in the 1936 film version but star Leslie Howard insisted on Bogart. The studio didn't want Bogart because he was a B-Movie lead and supporting player, not a star. But Howard won out. Bogart was forever grateful to Howard for sticking up for him and on August 23, 1952 he named his newborn daughter Leslie Howard Bogart in honor of him.

95 comments:

bill r. said...

My wife hates Leslie Howard (it has something to do with his behavior during the making of Gone With the Wind), but maybe if I tell her that story she'll ease up on him.

But what does this have to do with your October announcement?

Jonathan Lapper said...

I'm not the world's biggest fan of Howard either but I have nothing against him personally. His persona and acting just aren't my style and his portrayal of Ashley Wilkes makes it even more perplexing why Scarlett is so in love with him. Although I read and heard from people who know the book that that's how the character is in the book so go figure.

And this has nothing to do with October. I thought I'd wait a bit longer. And I'm still finishing up some posts and montage stuff.

bill r. said...

Okay, fine. I put tabs in a bunch of story anthologies last night, to mark stories I wanted to read for next month. This is turning out to be like a second job.

Anyway, Leslie Howard...I haven't seen a lot of his work, I don't think, but in The Petrified Forest he seemed awfully smug. Apparently, back then, the ladies liked that.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Yeah, he had that, uh, quality(?). I can't imagine him being a star today. I thought he was a good enough actor although if you want a good laugh check out Romeo and Juliet from 1936 next time it's on TCM. 34 year old Norma Shearer plays 13 year old Juliet and 44 year old Leslie Howard plays Romeo, whose age is never disclosed in the play but we can assume he's an adolescent. Oh man it's something to see. And they tear Shakespeare's dialogue to shreds. They fill his dialogue with modern lines inserted by the studio that completely clash with the words of Shakespeare. I guess they thought no one in 1936 would notice.

Marilyn said...

I rather like him, particularly in Of Human Bondage, a favorite film of mine. I think the problem with his is that he projected that English public schoolboy personal, a sense of effete privilege that can seem a bit endearing in a young Freddie Bartholomew, but grates in a man. He has rather a rather delicate frame and features, too, which is why the producers thought he might be a convincing Romeo. He died at 50, so maybe the frailty was real.

bill r. said...

Well, he died when the plane he was in (and I think he might have actually been some sort of spy for the Allies) was shot down by the Germans in WWII.

Marilyn said...

Oh, really? I didn't know that! Thanks, Bill. Now I've got egg on my face for the gaffe and all the typing errors in my last comment.

I don't read a lot of film books...

Jonathan Lapper said...

Marilyn, I thought he was perfectly cast in Of Human Bondage. That was the role made for him. In the remake, Laurence Harvey has too much of a strong, cocky persona built in to work but Howard is great. And I love that movie too. Like I said, Howard in general just doesn't appeal to me but I did think he was good in many things.

Jonathan Lapper said...

I may be wrong but I recall reading years ago that the Allies knew his plane would be shot down but if they prevented it from happening then the Germans would know they had intercepted their messages and change their code. But I haven't read up on it in a while so I could be wrong on that point.

bill r. said...

Was his mission/death realted to the Enigma code??

Jonathan Lapper said...

I have no idea really. I'll have to read up on it at lunch. But like you Bill I seem to remember some kind of espionage being involved, although all this came to me in the days before Snopes and other sources could easily separate urban legend from reality.

Rick Olson said...

It says over on that paragon of journalistic accuracy "Wikipedia" that the Germans were trying to shoot down Leslie Howard.

"His intelligence-gathering activities (while ostensibly on "entertainer goodwill" tours), as well as the chance to demoralise Britain with the loss of one of its most outspokenly patriotic figures, were behind the Luftwaffe attack."

It's a pretty good summary of the incident.

bill r. said...

Now that you mention it, Rick, I've read that same account. Wikipedia seems to have taken that theory from a book about Howard by his son. That doesn't mean it's not true, of course, but I'm going to take it with a grain of salt.

Rick Olson said...

As we should anything Wikipedia says. It seems to be also based on Flight 777 by Ian Colvin, but leans heavily on the one by Howard.

ARBOGAST said...

I can't imagine him being a star today.

Yeah, he has none of the burning screen presence of... Edward Norton.

I'd always heard that Howard's plane was shot down because it bore someone the Germans believed to be Winston Churchill... but who was in fact a double, meant to draw attention away from Churchill's actual movements.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Arbo - I get your drift but Norton's not a star, not like Howard. Howard was a star as in Big Time Leading Man, hence the ridiculous casting as Romeo, like Leo Dicaprio, a hot young star getting the same role years later. Old or young, no one's going to cast Norton as Romeo.

Rick - Actually, in the last survey of scholars and academics who rate the accuracy of textbooks and encyclopedias (I'll have to look it up again, I can't remember the name of the group - it was about four months ago) Wikipedia rated better for accuracy than any of the published encyclopedias, including Britannica. When it first started it was at the bottom but since, apparently, it has quite improved. In fact, they're a little too anal about it now if you ask me. Every damn line has "citation needed" after it. You know, like, "The sun is a star (citation needed)" - Okay, okay, we get it, you're going for accuracy after years of ridicule but lay off a bit huh?

Rick Olson said...

Jonathan, I can't get over the fact that it's edited by creeps like me. Look what happened with Sarah Palin, they began stealthily changing her article the day before the announcement. The only reason -- I think -- that they caught it was that it all came at once(citation needed).

That said, I use Wikipedia a lot, I just take it with a grain of salt.

Jonathan Lapper said...

I take it with a straight shot of bourbon. That said, the accuracy thing comes from the main articles, that is the main articles in science, history, biographies of no longer living public figures, politicians and so on. The classic encyclopedia stuff where you need to know something about Isaac Newton for a paper or get a handle on the Lend/Lease Act.

As for the daily Wikipedia stuff, the constant updates on current celebrity pages, updates on current politician pages (like Palin), trivial entries on tv shows, public figure relationships, current controversies, and all other manner of gossip, I wouldn't put too much trust in them (citation needed).

ARBOGAST said...

Norton's not a star

I think you're wrong. He's most certainly a star - he works with top directors, has the lead in all of his movies, his romances are tabloid fodder... if there's another definition of star you're working with, I'd like to see it. (Not really! I'm just saying.)

Which is not to say I necessarily think Leslie Howard and Edward Norton are on the same level... rather that every generation seems to require a constant percentage of reedy, ineffectual leading men with 24" waists.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Okay, I'll show you my definition. Actually I won't because I got it from wikipedia. Anyway, I was going with "Star as sex symbol" and while I realize Howard was no Gable, my old film books bear out that many a female fan gushed over him. Why I don't know. And that's what I can't see happening now with someone like Howard.

But you, or Rick, well that's a different story. I can see the girls just falling over themselves for you two, especially Rick and that almost Yeti-like beard. That's the one thing I miss about Haloscan. I can't see Rick anymore.

Marilyn said...

Mom always said how the girls went crazy for Frank Sinatra, who always looked like a skinny guy with bad skin to me during his teen idol days. But then I love Prince, whose not much better.

ARBOGAST said...

I definitely go for funny-looking, mannish and/or downright ugly over movie star. At a Hollywood party, I'd probably hit on Eve Arden or Gale Sondergaard.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Sinatra looked odd as a young man. Very slight, with what looked to me like an oversized cartoon head. But singers, and later, rock stars, never seem to require actual good looks or charm. Look at the still screaming popularity of Michael Jackson around the world. And let me tell you, no good looks or charm reside anywhere near that man. At least Prince is, from what I can tell, an attractive man. But Arbo is a better judge of these things according to a comment on his blog a few weeks ago so I'll let him decide.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Arden and Sondergaard were babes. You say that like they weren't. Gale in that witch get-up that you always see online from the thirties? Hummina, hummina, hummina.

Rick Olson said...

Geez, Jonathan, I didn't know you cared.

here.

Rick Olson said...

How come blogger appends "www.blogger.com" to the urls in its comments? What kind of fascist crap is that?

Come over to the dark side, Luke ... come over to Wordpress.

ARBOGAST said...

What kind of fascist crap is that?

I blame Prop 8.

Marilyn said...

We were watching Hellzapoppin the other night (I'll eventually get the review done), and the hubby was complaining about how Martha Raye always seemed to get goofy roles. He thinks she's really cute!

Jonathan Lapper said...

The link didn't work because it was a secure hyper link (https). Here's the magnificent Rick, link corrected, for all to see. Thanks for that pic. Now I can look at it while I read your comments and it'll be like you're right here!

Rick Olson said...

I still think it's fascist crap.

Though Arbo could be right ... sounds like Prop 8 to me.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Martha Raye made me want to buy Polident even though I didn't have dentures. That's talent!

Rick Olson said...

Right there, looking over your shoulder, guiding you on to bigger and better blogging.

Although 200+ f**king comments is pretty damn awesome. Even Ebert doesn't get that many. At least according to Wikipedia.

Marilyn said...

The hubby has a back bridge. Maybe if I remind him of Martha's connection to Polident, he'll actually wear it.

Jonathan Lapper said...

The hubby has a back bridge.(citation needed).

I thought she was great in Monsieur Verdoux although I haven't seen her in much else.

Marilyn said...

Me, either. She's got a lot of energy in Hellzapoppin, but of course, she plays the big, man-hungry comic role.

Back (teeth) bridge.

Fox said...

Man, Rick is obsessed with Ebert!

Marilyn said...

Ebert gets more.

Fox said...

Marilyn-

If you had the choice to push either Ebert or Lapper out of the way of an oncoming truck, which would you choose?

bill r. said...

I'm obsessed with Q-Bert.

Fox said...

I think I used to be obsessed with the Q-Bert cartoon... or that might have been The Snorks. I can't remember. But I sucked at the game.

bill r. said...

I never watched The Snorks. It was a weasly rip-off of The Smurfs, which I also didn't watch. What a terrible cartoon. Thanks, France.

Jonathan Lapper said...


Fox said...
Marilyn-

If you had the choice to push either Ebert or Lapper out of the way of an oncoming truck, which would you choose?

September 25, 2008 3:06 PM


bill r. said...
I'm obsessed with Q-Bert.


Fox said...
I think I used to be obsessed with the Q-Bert cartoon... or that might have been The Snorks. I can't remember. But I sucked at the game.


This is what happens when Fox shows up. Questions about pushing people from cars and The Snorks.

Marilyn said...

I know what Ebert looks like, so I'd probably know if he were in front of a moving truck. Jonathan, which one is he? I'd probably pick the wrong guy and then there would be our Jonathan, an oil slick on the highway of film criticism.

bill r. said...

To be fair to Fox, prior to his appearance you were talking about dental bridges.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Don't worry, I'm faster than Ebert. I'd be fine.

Jonathan Lapper said...

But a part of the fun is not being fair to Fox. Although, I will lay off Fox because I like him so much, even though I know right now he's searching for a picture online that he can link in the comments here as his response. And his final comment in yesterday's thread kind of freaked me out.

But FOX - You know I'm always happy to have you here.

ARBOGAST said...

That Rick sure has a palindrome of a head.

Jonathan Lapper said...

While we're on the subject:

A man, a plan, a canal, Panama.

By the way, I almost always guess wrong as to what the focus of a post is going to be in the comment section, and I don't mean later on when we're talking about anything, I mean the first comments. I thought for sure there would be Bogart or Bacall or both being discussed and it turned out to be Leslie Howard.

I'm not sure why I'm bringing that up now but I just felt like it. Maybe I'll do a post along those lines.

Marilyn said...

Bogey smoked to much. Bacall was skinny and sounded like she smoked too much.

How's that?

bill r. said...

That's me: always thwarting expectations.

Do geese see God?

Jonathan Lapper said...

phew, thanks Marilyn. But no seriously, haven't you ever written a review and you're surprised by what becomes the subject of the comments. Like Bill did a quick review of three movies at his blog and instead of the Renoir and Ford being discussed it ended up being My Favorite Year. I bet Bill thought it would be different.

And yeah, Bogie smoked a hell of a lot didn't he?

Madam, I'm Adam.

Rick Olson said...

Ask Arbo if he had to look up "palindrome."

I'm not speaking to him.

Fox, I want to have Ebert's baby.

bill r. said...

I knew people liked My Favorite Year, so I wasn't actually all that shocked.

I'm sure many of you own that deluxe 2-disc DVD of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Those of you who do, have you gotten around to watching the documentary about John Huston? His reminiscences of Bogart's final days are very moving.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Arbo, did you have to look up "palindrome?" Rick's not speaking to you.


Best palindrome ever?

Stung? Oh hog nuts!

Jonathan Lapper said...

I'm sure many of you own that deluxe 2-disc DVD of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. I do, I think. I'm not home but when I get there I'll check. I got the DVD a couple of years ago so now I can't remember which one I got. It was one of those cases where I bought a movie I'd seen multiple times before not because I wanted to watch it again any time soon but because I wanted it in my collection. Is that crazy or do you know what I mean?

So anyway, I can't remember if it was a standard DVD or a deluxe edition.

Fox said...

phew, thanks Marilyn. But no seriously, haven't you ever written a review and you're surprised by what becomes the subject of the comments.

For me it's more...

Haven't you ever written a review of something and you become suicidal from the comment(s) because that nobody gives a sh*t?!

Jonathan Lapper said...

Fox, some of the pieces I've written here that I feel closest to get the least amount of comments so I know what you mean. Usually I think it's the "loaded" posts where people assume (incorrectly) that I'm trying to push an agenda. My posts on Race films of the teens through the forties fell flat, most of my atomic bomb documentary reviews have fallen flat, the liberal-fascism ideas of H.G. Wells got some action but for the most part I think people are afraid the conversation will turn too political in those types of posts and I understand that fear. But I'll keep doing them anyway, just like Marilyn will keep doing her "Backstreets" posts, which I generally don't comment on myself because I don't want to get vitriolic with my views and piss anybody off.

bill r. said...

It was one of those cases where I bought a movie I'd seen multiple times before not because I wanted to watch it again any time soon but because I wanted it in my collection. Is that crazy or do you know what I mean?

I know exactly what you mean. I do that on a weekly basis.

And Fox, if my neuroses about that sort of thing hasn't driven me to suicide yet, then I can't believe you're taking it that hard.

But since I've already admitted elsewhere that I feel guilty for not checking other people's blogs more often, you've just gone and made me feel worse. Thanks!

bill r. said...

Terrified is too strong a word, so I won't use it, but I'm more than a little worried that my October project isn't going to generate much heat. If I had a bigger audience it might, but at this point I doubt I'll get much action. I'm concerned mainly because this is going to eat up a lot of my personal time, and I'd hate to think no one was going to read it.

At the same time, part of me thinks, well, regardless of how many comments I get, think about how much of this stuff you've been meaning to read for ages will finally get read? And I also realize, and I'm grateful for the fact that, I had a built-in audience (albeit a small one) when I started my blog, which most blogs don't. To a degree (and please remember, I'm genuinely grateful for all you guys), that has made it a little harder. I can't, at this early stage, mess around on my blog in private, because someone is reading it.

[/confession]

Jonathan Lapper said...

I have many DVDs like that. I got Dr. Strangelove years ago and I don't think I've ever even opened the box. I've seen it so many times and usually watch it if I come across it on TCM that I don't know if I'll ever watch the actual movie on DVD. And yet I have it.

Others I get specifically for the special features, knowing it will be a mighty long time before I watch the movie again.

Fox said...

Jon and Bill-

Oh, I'm just being dramatic b/c Marilyn seemed to be getting bored...

But, seriously, it is funny what you think will get commented on and that doesn't, and vice versa. One of my highest commented posts to date was just a picture of Helen Mirren in a bikini. Go figure!

I just enjoy writing so if I get 0 comments or 100 (that is my dream... to reach that one day!) I will always keep going. I have to. My wife always tells me to shut up so I need to have an outlet of some kind.

And I actually enjoy when you and Marilyn get political. I remember that HG Wells post and really enjoyed it, I just didn't have anything to add b/c you and Sheila and Marilyn were doing all the work and it was fun to just listen.

p.s. Bill told me he is voting for Bob Barr... DISCUSS!

Jonathan Lapper said...

Okay our comments are getting crossed. I'm going to reply to the blogging comment next. I'm typing it now.

Fox said...

But Bill... what's cool is that writing something like your October project will still improve your skills. Even if nobody reads it (which is highly unlikely) there is still a positive.

I think we discussed this here before, but the most beneficial thing about blogging - for me - is that it helps me organize my thoughts on movies etc.

Rick Olson said...

I never have any idea what will be commented on or not, although I will say that something with "Fellini" on it or "Ozu" receives less than stellar comment counts.

I would leave a post for Fox telling him to shut up, but it's too easy.

Fox said...

Whatever Rick... I can't get a word in edgewise over at Coosa Creek b/c you and Bill are always holding hands and cooing over how much you both hate Renoir and Indian people.

bill r. said...

Well, I hope so, Fox, and thanks for the encouragement. It's just that, if you saw the stack of books I had lined up for this thing, you'd probably think I was out of my mind. And I just ordered another one from Amazon today, which if it arrives in time I'll have to read (not all of it; it's an anthology). If it doesn't arrive in time (which it might not, it being a used copy), then, well, I wanted the book anyway.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Bill, given how many sites you comment on, like me, I bet you have a bigger audience than you think. Do you have sitemeter set up so you can see? Not that that's for everybody. I know checking visits and views can become an obsession for some but it's a good way to mark your audience growth. I now get in an hour as many visits and page views as I got in a whole day this time last year.

And doing a special month like October should be enjoyable anyway, not stressful. If you don't have a big audience now something like that will bring it in and if it's only us it's still not for nothing.

I like doing the Invisible Edge stuff because there are no expectations of any kind and I'm happy with the two to four comments per post. I set up a sitemeter for it but I've only checked it two or three times in the two weeks it's been going. As long as some of my friends show up, and so far some have, I'm happy with it.

Fox - I remember the Helen Mirren picture. I showed it to my wife. Did you ever check Snopes on that thing to see if it was for real?

Marilyn said...

Bored? Hardly. Go see my latest "Our Backstreets" to see what kind of a day I've been having....

bill r. said...

I hope it's not stressful. I really am looking forward to reading all this stuff. I plan on starting tomorrow, so I can have some posts ready for the 1st.

I don't have a site meter. I wouldn't know how to get one, either. Is it something I can just add on my "customize" page?

I never checked out that Helen Mirren picture on Snopes, but I've heard that it's real. Many times. For what that's worth. And, if it is real, then God bless 'er.

Marilyn said...

phew, thanks Marilyn. But no seriously, haven't you ever written a review and you're surprised by what becomes the subject of the comments.

Because I have to approve each comment, conversations don't spontaneously take off. I regret that, but I just can't take a chance on all the spam that hits my site going up or the occasional neo-Nazis that show up.

The upside is that I tend to get really good-quality comments and some interesting people stopping by. I just got a terrific comment from David Wrede, the son of Caspar Wrede, who directed One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. That kind of out-of-the-blue appearance of some people I'd never expect to comment makes my day.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Well I just did a quick search on Snopes and Mirren's on their but not about that picture so I'll go with "it's the real thing."

Bill, don't worry about a sitemeter right now anyway. But if you want you just go to their site, register, set up the widget on your blog and that's it. If you set it to private, like I have, then it's invisible and no one can check it but you. A surprisingly large number of bloggers have theirs marked public but I don't want someone snooping around my blog stats.

The main thing for me is it's a good way to tell if a site has featured you by clicking on where people are coming from. If a couple of hundred are all coming from one site there's an excellent chance that site has featured you prominently in some way.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Marilyn, I've never had a problem with spam. I get tons in my e-mail but none here so I'm thankful for that. If I do I'll switch to the word verification but for now I like the feel of someone writing what's on their mind and posting it.

Marilyn said...

Movable Type is kind of crap program, at least the version I've been stuck with by my "sister" site. I can't do anything I want to do easily and don't have a ready source for answers to questions, like how to get rid of a persistent spammer.

Rick Olson said...

A cool thing about wordpress is that Askimet catches 99.99% of your spam. The rest I catch by requiring that first-time commenters get approval.

Since I've been on Wordpress its caught 32,600 spam comments or ping-backs. I love Askimet.

bill r. said...

Is this thread going to pass 100 comments, too? I mean, what the hell is going on here??

Rick Olson said...

100 comments, bill, but yours are more juicy. They build strong bodies 12 ways.

ARBOGAST said...

I won't try to turn Rick's opinion of me upside down because if it's at all like his head it'll look exactly the same!

Brian Doan said...

Leslie Howard is a strange Ashley Wilkes, but I wish he'd been in TRON.

*Because every comments section needs a little TRON*

I've heard that story about Howard acting as a decoy for Churchill, too. I really like Howard in THE 49th PARALLEL, but I'm a sucker for anything Powell and Pressburger.

Rick Olson said...

Aww, Arbo I have nothing but the greatest respect for you. My big giant palindromic head and all!

Jonathan Lapper said...

Does no one else commute between 5 and 7? I guess it's just me. I'm glad to see Arbogast and Rick have worked out there differences, in an upside down, roundabout way.

Brian, Leslie Howard would have made a good Master Controller in TRON and then Vivien Leigh could've played Lora/Yori and been torn between Clu and the MC. Somebody get to work on raising them from the dead so we can make this happen.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Oh, and Rick: What do you get kickbacks from Wordpress or something? I'm beginning to think I finally am getting spam.

Rick said... Great post Jonathan! Say, have you heard about Wordpress? It's a great new platform for bloggers! You wouldn't believe all the cool features! Visit www.wpshill.com for more details. Great blog you have here!

Rick Olson said...

Amoxicillin 25 mg $3
Viagra 40 mg $4
Vicodin 60 mg $1.95

ARBOGAST said...

Rick, if you can get me 80s for less than $30 a pop, I'm your bitch. I loves me my Oxies!

Jonathan Lapper said...

If I give you some of my Zocor will you be my bitch?

Marilyn said...

Anyone for an estrogen patch?

Jonathan Lapper said...

Hmmm... I won't lie, I could use some man boobs.

Marilyn said...

Jonathan, you're starting to creep me out. I hope you aren't trying to invent a Man-sseire.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Only if Jane Russell endorses it.

Rick Olson said...

Here I re-posted a great comment from my own site -- making fabulous, limited-time offers -- and the conversation devolves into sex.

ARBOGAST said...

Boobs aren't just about sex. They're a source of nourishment and they're aesthetically pleasing.

Fox said...

Is Lapper just gonna post every other day now? What the F dude?!?

Bill is the same. He's still riding the wave of his Thursday post. COME ON GUYS!

ARBOGAST said...

I put on a fresh pot every day but I never get no 200 comments.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Hey I post when I can. Sometimes it's every day, lots of times it's every other day. Some bloggers post like once a month or worse are completely random. That's what drives me crazy. Every day or every other day you kind of get in a flow. Or if someone posts every three or four days you come to expect it. What I hate is when someone posts one time in two weeks, then on the fifteenth day they put up 5 posts out of nowhere, then nothing for a month. I don't like disordered universes.

Fox said...

I'm just messing with ya dude. I know you know that, but I'm feeling jolly right now and want to make that clear. You're one of the most consistent updaters out there.

Plus, since you just put up a Belle Du Jour bannner, shoot... you can post once a month, as far as I'm concerned, and I'd still drop by every day!

Jonathan Lapper said...

Once a month it is!