Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Leslie Howard Before Gone With the Wind

The Petrified Forest is on TCM. It's one of Bogie early films where he plays the heavy (Duke Mantee) in a supporting role. Bette Davis and Leslie Howard are the leads.

The Petrified Forest is one of the great Warner Brothers' gangster films. Leslie Howard plays the intellectual dud that intrigues Bette Davis.

The studio wanted Edward G. Robinson for Duke Mantee, but Leslie Howard wouldn't sign unless they gave Bogart the role. Bogart later named one of his children after Leslie Howard.

Leslie Howard died in 1943. He was shot down by the Luftwaffe over the Bay of Biscay, north of Spain. It was rumored that he was on a secret mission for Winston Churchill. No matter, Howard was one of Britain's most vociferous critics of Nazi Germany. Conspiracy theories run amok...

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