“What a dump”, declares Rosa Moline, wife of a small town doctor, who yearns for big city life. She is having an affair with a businessman from Chicago who owns a nearby hunting lodge, and she’s prepared to give up everything for him. But when he reveals that he is planning to marry someone else, she is deeply hurt. Resigned to her fate, she returns to her husband and is soon pregnant. When her lover has a change of heart, Rosa is determined to follow him to Chicago. However, there is somebody standing in the way … Beyond the Forest is an over-the-top film noir, with a heroine even more depraved than was already customary for the genre. At the same time, it traces much that women must repress, including here her desire for an abortion, or the sinister subordination to the power of emotions. King Vidor renders them in decidedly male symbolic imagery – a fiery blast furnace, a hissing steam locomotive. Consciously repellent, yet fascinating, Bette Davis’ performance oscillates between camp and modern classic. She inspired Edward Albee to create the character of Martha in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1962), who even quotes Rosa’s unforgettable avowal “what a dump!”.
by King Vidor
with Bette Davis, Joseph Cotten, David Brian, Ruth Roman, Dona Drake, Minor Watson, Regis Toomey, Sarah Selby, Mary Servoss, Frances Charles
USA 1949 English 96’ Black/White Print: Warner Bros. Pictures Germany, Hamburg


  • Bette Davis
  • Joseph Cotten
  • David Brian
  • Ruth Roman
  • Dona Drake
  • Minor Watson
  • Regis Toomey
  • Sarah Selby
  • Mary Servoss
  • Frances Charles


Director King Vidor
Screenplay Lenore Coffee
Story Stuart Engstrand Beyond the Forest (1945)
Cinematography Robert Burks
Editing Rudi Fehr
Music Max Steiner
Sound Charles Lang Jr.
Art Director Robert Haas
Costumes Edith Head, Marian Dabney, Henry Field, Lillian House
Assistant Directors Al Alleborn, Oren Haglund
Producer Henry Blanke

Produced by

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. (A Warner Bros.–First National Picture)

Additional information

Print: Warner Bros. Pictures Germany, Hamburg