Beyond the Forest
Time Out saysRosa Moline (Davis) is a twelve o'clock girl in a nine o'clock town. Loyalton is the burg in question, and Rosa doesn't like it one bit: 'What a dump... like sitting in a coffin and waiting to be carried out!' Her personal rebellion takes the form of adultery, miscarriage and murder, in King Vidor's most demented film from his most frenzied period, immediately after Duel in the Sun and The Fountainhead and before Ruby Gentry. Davis, done up for all the world like Jennifer Jones, is too old for the part, but gives it her all (she used the film for her own rebellion, escaping a Warner Bros contract that still had ten years to run). She's like a caricature of herself, and the movie, too, is soap gone into lather. Laugh it off, by all means, but American melodrama at this pitch of alienation is quite fascinating.