“If I don’t get out of here, I’ll die. If I don’t get out of here, I HOPE I’ll die… or burn!”
The socially ambitious wife (Bette Davis) of a country doctor (Joseph Cotten) longs to escape to Chicago to be with her wealthy lover (David Brian).
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Bette Davis Films
- David Brian Films
- Joseph Cotten Films
- King Vidor Films
- Marital Problems
- Ruth Roman Films
- Social Climbers
Labeled by one reviewer as “King Vidor’s most demented film from his most frenzied period”, this steamy backwoods melodrama — starring a too-old Bette Davis “done up for all the world like Jennifer Jones”, in black wig and red lipstick — has achieved near camp-classic status in recent years. Davis’s personal scorn for this film — her last while under contract for Warner Brothers — serves her character well, as her “Rosa Moline” desperately claws at every opportunity to leave her staid life and boringly decent husband behind her. Oddly enough, we can’t help feeling sorry for this pathetically unhappy creature, who’d be the ultimate femme fatale, if only she weren’t screwing up her own life rather than her man’s.
Note: Beyond the Forest is best known by many these days for featuring the now-classic line, “What a dump” (listed as number 62 on AFI’s 100 Greatest Movie Quotes).
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- An overall campy sensibility
No, but Davis fans will certainly want to check it out.