Gabby lives and works at her dads small diner out in the desert. She can't stand it and wants to go and live with her mother in France. Along comes Alan, a broke man with no will to live, who is traveling to see the pacific, and maybe to drown in it. Meanwhile Duke Mantee a notorious killer and his gang is heading towards the diner where Mantee plan on meeting up with his girl. Written by
Mounted on the wall of the diner in which the story takes place is the headdress of a Native American medicine man, which resembles the horned head of an American buffalo. Director Archie Mayo staged many of the film's shots with the head of actor Humphrey Bogart (playing "world-famous murderer Duke Mantee") framed by the headdress mounted on the wall behind him. The composition of these shots, which appear throughout the second half of the film, result in the appearance of a demon's horns sprouting from Mantee's head. See more »
Gabrielle Maple's pronunciation of the name of the French town Bourges is incorrect (something like "Bourggs" instead of "Bourj"), even though she has been spoken of it by her French mother, who was born there. See more »
But let me tell you one thing, Mr. Squier. The woman don't live or ever did live that's worth five thousand dollars!
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.
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A glorious movie based on a very wise and compassionate play. It is a savage indictment of a lifeless civilization. Confronted by death in a hostage situation, one elderly wife bitterly reproaches her husband of having stifled her personality: "You took my soul, you stenciled it on a card and filed it". Leslie Howard gives up his quest for bliss, and seeks to die in style for his beloved. Bogart represents nature lashing out against man. Alas, few movies from the thirties achieve this height of artistry. Hollywood makes a mistake when drawing plots from novels rather than plays. The concentrated compactness and intimacy of a play cannot be had from a sprawling novel.
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