You like me, don't you?
Steven Hellerstedt | 05/31/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"THE BIG TREES starts out with a great deal of promise - Kirk Douglas stars as Jim Fallon, a Wisconsin timber baron who plans to take advantage of a new law that will allow him to `harvest' California's giant sequoias and make a fortune in the process.
The movie opens in Wisconsin where Fallon is facing down a growling work crew. The pay is late, again, and the men have just about had it. Drawing on his deep well of nerve and blarney and charm, as well as a well-timed gunshot from soon-to-be sidekick `Yukon' Burns (Edgar Buchanan), Fallon not only avoids a bloody mutiny but he even manages to talk the crew into migrating to California where, seemingly, money does indeed grow on trees.
So far so good. THE BIG TREES might be a cut above. The first scene in California (the movie was filmed in Orlick) has Fallon and Yukon measuring the diameter of a giant redwood. It measures out at twenty-eight feet, and the scene is only slightly jarred by the shadow of the camera and boom during this attractive tracking shot.
The hitch in Fallon's plans take the form of Friends, or Quakers, who regard the ancient redwoods as sacred objects. They hold their religious services outdoors, nestled in this majestic sequoia cathedral. Nestled in the bosom of the Quaker community is the beautiful Alicia Chadwick (Eve Miller) (the dvd biography on Miller tells us she was a Playmate of the Month a couple years after THE BIG TREES was released.)
Love trumps Greed and, the last time I looked, Beauty is batting 1.000 against the Beast. Fallon doesn't stand a chance, but before this movie loses all momentum and devolves into a group tree-hug a second group of lumber hungry sociopaths make their presence felt.
It's about then that THE BIG TREES took a big turn and morphed into a Starched Shirt western. Characters chop down trees and wrestle the bad guy on a shaky rope bridge spanning a deep gorge and then show up in the next scene in a spotlessly clean starched shirt. The last half of this movie is corny and formulaic, and betrays the promising start.
Still and all THE BIG TREES is entertaining, well-acted, and good looking."
A Classic Kirk Douglas
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In 1900, a corrupt timber baron Jim Fallon (Kirk Douglas) plans to take advantage of a new law and make millions of Dollars off the California redwood ( trees as you can imagine ). 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 Jim Fallon wants the sequoias the most. Expert at manipulating others, Fallon finds that other sharks are at his own heels, and forms an unlikely alliance.The movie is a remake of VALLEY OF THE GIANTS with stock footage from that earlier color movie. If you like Kirk, and particularly his earlier work you should like this one! This is a great DVD to have in your collection! It comes in its original Aspect Ratio!"
Action and Romance Among The Redwoods...
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 03/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Big Trees"(1952), Stars Kirk Douglas, as a lumberman intent on claiming ownership and cutting down the beautiful Redwood trees in Northern, California. His oppostion are a group of Quakers who feel that God gave them those trees for their church and do everything in their power to protect the trees from the money hungry businessman! The most outspoken of the group is of course a beautiful woman(Eve Miller), that Douglas falls for, and must decide between the trees and her. Also look for notables Edgar Buchanan as "Yukon", Allen Hale Jr., and Miss Ellen Corby. This one, by BCI Eclipse looks great on the DVD. The original technicolor is beautiful,the picture is clear and the sound quality is very good.
This film is perfect for fans of Kirk Douglas and westerns.You really can't go wrong for the price. And for just a few dollars more, you can also get it in a great set that BCI has put together called "Legends of the West". It's a two disc set with four films(one on each side) and includes this one, the wonderful "One Eyed Jacks" starring Marlon Brando and Karl Malden(also happens to be directed by Brando),"The Sundowners"(1950) with Robert Preston, Robert Sterling and John Barrymore Jr, and "Vegeance Valley" starring Burt Lancaster and Robert Walker.
Kirk Douglas Fans - check out his open, honest and funny memoir:The Ragman's Son
Just fun to watch
L. Harris | Winter Haven, FL USA | 01/10/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"No, this film wasn't a masterpiece, but there weren't a lot of films made in 1952 that *were* masterpieces by most standards. This struck me as a standard sort of western for those days, and it was fine in that context. I like Kirk Douglas and this was a Kirk Douglas film, and I like Edgar Buchanan as well. Was it predictable? Sure. No one really thinks Kirk Douglas will *stay* bad, does he? Were there any intriguing plot twists? No, but enough minor ones to keep me interested. But enjoyed it, and that's all I wanted from it. The one thing I don't understand is why there have been six releases of this on DVD."