It's noticeable that the source text is from a play, but mostly it's only a good thing. The conversations give food for thought, Howard has incredible magnetism, Bogart's performance as a villain is impressive, and young Davis is lovely (albeit a bit too exuberant, which I think settled down later). The desert as a location is fantastic: the wind howls and the desolate views make the people appear small. (continues)
Gramps: "The woman don't live or ever DID live that's worth five thousand dollars!" Alan Squier: "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!"
Most surprisingly of all you forget that this was a stage play. This has such an electric charge running through it that you find yourself unable to turn away, mostly due to the relationship between Bogart and Howard, who form two halves of the same coin. The gangster and the disillusioned intellectual have no place in this emerging America, men beyond their means who tower over the pitiful lesser-minded simpletons.