The Petrified Forest

Synopsis: 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.
Director(s): Archie Mayo
Rotten Tomatoes:
82 min

How about some water?

There it is. There's the can.

Help yourself.

The sign's right. Your last

chance. You better fill up.

Okay, fill her up.


Hey, Boze!



- Man wants gas. Get going.

- Okay, boss.

Everybody's entitled to

their own way of thinking.

- You fellas want more coffee?

- Yeah.

I don't know why, Nick,

but you're always squawking.

I got a right to. What do I do?

I climb poles to put up wires so

that some broker in New York...

can call some guy in Los Angeles

and tell him he's been wiped out.

We're not pioneering.

We're repairing.

My friend, when you talk about pioneering,

you're talking about something...

- I can tell you a few things about.

- Shut up, Gramp.

- I don't want to shut up.

- Don't argue with the guests.

Listen, I can tell these boys some things

they'd like to hear, wouldn't you, boys?

- Sure.

- Go ahead. Change the subject.

Listen, I come down into

this desert 56 years ago.

Come from Virginia City. You had to be

tough to cross this country in them days.

Why, I helped string the first wire

that run west out of Albuquerque.

Yes, sir.

Say, are you the fella that

took a shot at Billy the Kid?

I never took no shot

at Billy the Kid. No.

I had too darned much sense.

He took a couple of

shots at me, though.

I'm practically the

only man he ever missed.

Well, he was... He was only

fooling, so it couldn't hardly count.

Okay, pop!

Say, I wanted to tell you.

Do you know the first message

that was sent over that wire?

It said... It said,

"God save the republic."

You'd better send that message again,

pop. The republic's in bad need of saving.

That'll be 55 cents apiece.

Fine excuse for a republic we

got. Fine excuse for law and order.

You read about that gangster

massacre in Oklahoma City?

Now, there's an example. Our government's

nothing but a gangster's joke.

There's one remark I'll

pass to you, brother:

Be careful how you talk about

the United States of America.

- Come on, Nick.

- Wait a minute.

- Let me get a load of this tinhorn patriot.

- You got your eats.

There's your change.

Now kindly get out.

Thought you said not to

argue with the guests.

- You better tend to your own business...

- My own business.

What business? Miserable little

service station on the edge of nowhere.

Well, maybe that's

all you're good for.

What chance have I ever

had to prove what I can do?

You had a war, didn't

you? The biggest war yet.

I bet you think I failed because

I didn't come home with any medals.

You didn't have to

drive behind the lines.

I enlisted where my mechanical

knowledge would do the most good.

- Paula's scared.

- Scared of what?

Duke Mantee and his

gang are headed this way.

Nobody will get

Mantee. He'll fool them.

You can't fool all the

people all the time.

- Watch things, Gabby. I gotta get dressed.

- What for?

The Black Horse Vigilante meeting.

Dad, aren't you ever gonna

get tired of playing soldier?

Well, that bandit gang

better not head this way.

What'll you do, blow the bugle and turn

the whole potbellied troop loose on them?

I only hope someday my own daughter will

learn to respect the things I stand for.

There's the mail!

There's the mail.

Hello, Dick. How's everything?

Oh, not so good. They tell me Mantee

and his gang are around here someplace.

Yeah? What's he...?

Paula was right. The

postman just told me...

that Duke Mantee and his gang are

gallivanting around here someplace.

Cut it out.

- What's the matter? Don't you like me?

- No, not very much.

Well, I'll forgive you since I haven't

had much chance to go into my act.

But when I do, you're gonna

change your attitude plenty fast.

- What's that you're reading?

- Oh, you wouldn't like it.

Oh, poetry.

Say, that's pretty hot.


I've suspected all along all you

needed was a little encouragement.

- That's great poetry.

- Sure, it's great.

But I can think of

something a whole lot better.

- I'm not so terrible-looking, am I?

- You think a lot of yourself, don't you?

- It's easy to tell when a girl wants love.

- Is it?


- How can you tell that, Boze?

- Well...

one way is when she calls you by

your whole name for the first time.

And another way is the way I feel.

It takes two to make a radio program.

The one that's sending and

the one that's receiving.

When I'm with a girl that's cute

and appealing with big, blue eyes...

and I feel electric waves

running through me...

I can be pretty sure she's the one doing

the sending, whether she knows it or not.

Have you a radio program

coming in right now?

It's like the hottest torch song that

was ever sung. Can't you hear it, honey?

You can call me a sap if you want

to, but I'm falling in love with you.

I'm getting to want you

more than is good for me.

- Boze, have you ever been in love before?

- No.

- Have you ever said you were?

- Sure, plenty of times.

- Did they believe you?

- Certainly, and I'll tell you why.

Because they're all dumb. That's

where you're different, Gabby.

- I couldn't fool you.

- I'm smart, am I?

Too smart for most men, you'd catch

onto them. But that's what I want.

The better you know me,

the more you'll like me.

You'd better look out if

you want to keep your job.

Dad doesn't like having the

hired help make passes at me.

You're gonna love me,

Gabby. Love me a lot.

Look out. Here's someone coming.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Charles Kenyon

Charles Kenyon (November 2, 1880 – June 27, 1961) was an American screenwriter, who wrote or co-wrote the screenplays for 114 films between 1915 and 1946. He was married to actress Jane Winton from 1927 to 1930. Kenyon was born in San Francisco, California and died in Hollywood, California. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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