In 1900, unscrupulous timber baron Jim Fallon plans to take advantage of a new law and make millions off California redwood. Much of the land he hopes to grab has been homesteaded by a Quaker colony, who try to persuade him to spare the giant sequoias...but these are the very trees he wants most. Expert at manipulating others, Fallon finds that other sharks are at his own heels, and forms an unlikely alliance. Written by Rod Crawford Running Time: 89 Minutes
MPAA Ratings: G
In his autobiography, The Ragman's Son, Kirk Douglas was telling about how badly he wanted to get out of his Warner Brothers contract. He made Jack Warner and offer he couldn't refuse, a picture for nothing, zero, zip, bupkis and he'd be released. Jack Warner took him up and the result was The Big Trees.
Now getting a top star to work for nothing, you'd have thought that Warner would get him something good. Instead Kirk Douglas was saddled with an even worse than usual programmer and something he described as the worst film he ever made.
Kirk is a two fisted lumber baron who goes out to the Northern California area to cut down those giant redwoods. A Quaker group who's settled there, ain't having none of that and the story unfolds.
The players all look so totally bored. And the way the script is written you have absolutely no liking for Douglas's character Jim Fallon or believe it when he switches sides. In fact the villain of the piece, John Archer is treated like a doormat by Douglas when he was working for him. Watching the movie I couldn't blame him for knifing Douglas in their business.
Ditto when gal pal Patrice Wymore sells a dam to Douglas's enemies and momentarily throws our hero for a loop.
Best thing you could say about this is that it does have some nice special effects with Kirk Douglas riding on the runaway lumber train. The scene in How the West Was Won was copied and improved with Cinerama from the Big Trees.
They should have just left the forest alone. IMDB.com
Kirk Douglas works with wood and wants to make money quick by grabbing land in California and cutting the giant and very old trees. He ends up getting involved with religious people who live there and only want him to cut the newer and smaller trees. Patrice Wymore is the woman who is in love with him but he starts falling for the religious Eve Miller. The unusual and interesting scenery makes this western worth seeing. Also Douglas here is at his best. written by Jenny Goodrich
Felix E. Feist
Alan Hale Jr.
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