Beyond the Forest (21-Oct-1949)
Director: King Vidor
Writer: Lenore J. Coffee
From novel by: Stuart Engstrand
Keywords: Drama, Film Noir
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Review by CHRISTOPHER SCOTT (posted on 28-Sep-2005)
I'm one of those guys who grew up watching old movies and Bette Davis was one of my favorite actresses. I liked her range as an actress. She could be kind as in "Now Voyager" or wicked as in "The Little Foxes". Both movies I liked alot. As a kid I didn't like "Beyond the Forest". I basically thought her character was just plain crude and not that interesting. But a few days ago I read a review by someone who really liked it and I became curious to see as an adult if I would feel differently.
Well, at age 42 having lived a little I thought it was an incredibly good movie. I did not think she overacted at all. Though she is an awful person in the movie I couldn't help sympathize with her. She feels oppressed in that town and wants out. She thinks a powerful man is the way to do it. She wants to be dressed in pearls. Well, I use to want that. Not only women crave these things. Of course now I'm matured and see that is no way to live a life. But if you have ever felt this way Bette's character makes sense. She's insecure when the young self-confident woman comes to down. She's always tormenting herself which her husband points out. Joseph Cotton is not a nice man but a weak man. She doesn't want to leave to become a stenographer as she herself says. She's incredibly limited and incredibly ambitious and I believed her completely. There wasn't a moment I thought 'Bette's' too intelligent to play this character. She WAS Rosa Moline. Too compare with another movie..."Mr. Skeffington". Bad movie because I kept thinking Bette is too intelligent to play this character. Not Rosa Moline though.
Movies are ultimately personal. Sometimes we love a movie because it shows us how we would like to be. Sometime we hate a movie because we see (or don't want to see apart of ourselves).
And sometimes we see a movie that reminds us of a part of our selves that hopefully we've grown out of but are able to sympathize with. Yes, Rosa is awful but I could still relate to her unquenchable desires.
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