Beyond the Forest (1949)
Stars: Bette Davis, Joseph Cotton
Director: King Vidor
Writer: Lenore J. Coffee, based on the novel by Stuart Engstrand
It’s hard not to reach the pinnacle of hysteria when you live in small-town Wisconsin where the sawmill spews hot flames and thick smoke all night long and you have to keep your shades drawn to blot out the inferno-like reminder that “Life in Loyalton is like sitting in a funeral parlor, waiting for the funeral to begin. No, not sitting—lying in a coffin and waiting for them to carry you out….You got a drink?” Yes, the big fun here is shootin’ critters from tree unless you get lucky one night and find yourself flirtin’ with a handsome stranger who by some extraordinary luck ends up in the local lodge for the weekend.
Rosa Moline (Bette Davis) has sharpened her snark to achieve maximum effect whenever she sees her husband (Joseph Cotton), because he reminds her of just how badly she wants to take the first train to Chicago and order up a dry martini from room service. But is Rosa Moline really all that bad, a scorpion in a mad fury ready to sting herself to eternal death due to her evil and headstrong ways? Or is she just a woman with unmet needs who is misunderstood, underappreciated, and at the mercy of a narrator prone to overwrought prose?
When you’re about to scream from boredom and ready to reconnect with your bad girl self and start misbehaving, head to your liquor cabinet, shake or stir as you prefer, and check out the Cinematherapy Women Behaving Badly movie Beyond the Forest. Girl, do not apologize for your need for self-care right now, ‘cause we know your urge is killer.