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Directed by King Vidor

United States 1949 97 mins.

After an extremely successful 18-year run at Warner Bros., Davis’s work for the studio ended on a bitter note with the teetering-on-campy trash masterpiece Beyond the Forest. Even more than most Davis films, Vidor’s creation is a one-woman show, in which she plays the tragic Rosa Moline, a small-town “forgotten woman” and doctor’s (a near-invisible Joseph Cotten) wife. When a businessman comes to town, Rosa, who dreams of big-city life, is immediately infatuated and longs for escape; when she’s spurned on both sides, she veers toward an ignominious fate. Critically divisive upon release but extremely fascinating in its portrayal of a woman without options, this is a film for which the term “re-appraisal” must have been coined. “For all its rampant vulgarity, Beyond the Forest is visually and emotionally alive.”—David Melville, Senses of Cinema. 35mm print courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Genres: Film Noir

Appears in: Bette & Joan



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.