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Beyond the Forest

VHS cover
Directed by King Vidor
Produced by Henry Blanke
Written by Stuart D. Engstrand (novel)
Lenore J. Coffee
Starring Bette Davis
Joseph Cotten
Music by Max Steiner
Cinematography Robert Burks
Editing by Rudi Fehr
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) October 21, 1949 (1949-10-21)
Running time 97 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Beyond the Forest (1949) is an American film, representative of the film noir genre.



Rosa is the neglected wife of a small-town doctor. She grows bored and becomes infatuated with a visiting Chicago businessman. She extorts money from her husband's patients and uses the cash to flee to Chicago. However, the businessman does not welcome her, although he manages to impregnate her before driving her away. She is unable to remain in Chicago and unwelcome at home, but the businessman has a change of heart and pursues her, trying to win her back. After several plot twists, Rosa meets a tragic fate.[1][2]

Cast and production

The movie was produced by Warner Brothers and directed by King Vidor. The movie producer was listed as Henry Blanke with Jack L. Warner as executive producer. The screenplay was written by Lenore J. Coffee based on a novel by Stuart Engstrand.

The film contains the line, "What a dump!", spoken by Davis, made famous by being quoted in Edward Albee's play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962). The line is #62 on the American Film Institute's list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema.

The film marks Davis' last appearance as a contract actress for Warner, after eighteen years with the studio. She tried several times to walk away from the film (which only caused the production cost to go through the roof), but Warner refused to release her from their employment contract.[3] She remembered the project as "a terrible movie".

The tag line used to promote the film was "NOBODY'S AS GOOD AS BETTE WHEN SHE'S BAD!"



  1. ^ Beyond the Forest (1949) page at the Internet Movie Database, accessed 13 November 2009
  2. ^ Davis described her end as "the longest death scene ever seen on the screen." Medved & Medved, p. 204
  3. ^ Medved & Medved, The Hollywood Hall of Shame (1984), p. 204

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