Movie Mirrors Index

God's Country and the Woman

(1937 c 85')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Based on James Oliver Curwood's novel, a womanizing brother of a lumber company owner goes to work for a rival female boss.

Jefferson Russett (Robert Barrat) runs a lumber company but is tired of giving his womanizing brother Steve Russett (George Brent) money and says he must work. Steve loses $200,000 by renewing Barton's access contract. Jeff has police find Steve in a tux and flies him to a logging camp; but Steve takes off in the plane and ends up at the Barton camp. Jeff asks Jo Barton (Beverly Roberts) to pay a fee or sell out, but she refuses. Jeff Russett orders no Barton logs to cross his land. Steve meets Jo, asks for food, and goads the cook; but she gives him hard tack and tells him to walk. Russett men stop Steve and beat him up. Steve goes back and agrees to work for Jo. Jeff hears of it and thinks Steve may tame her. Steve learns how to use an ax and a saw, and Bjorn Skalka (Alan Hale) treats Steve's hands with lard. Jo gives Steve the hardest job, and he kisses her to no avail. Men complain Barton is not paying them. Steve asks Jo to sell out and go with him on the boat; but she won't quit. Bjorn stops men from beating up Steve again, and Jo asks if Steve was hurt.

As he is about to board the boat, Steve learns that the Barton food supplies are being held; so he takes the train through the blockade. Men complain to Jo, and Bjorn protects her but is stabbed by Bullhead (Barton MacLane). Steve tells Jo that Bjorn will recover and is given his job as whip boss. Steve tells Jo they are in love. Steve fires Bullhead and socks him. Jo provides dinner for Steve and kisses him. Jeff arrives and tells Jo that Steve is his brother. She calls Steve a liar, and he leaves. Jo tells her men they must fight by working harder. Trees are cut, and logs are transported by rail and water. Jeff orders the logs stopped, and Bullhead switches rail cars to cause a logjam. Jo orders dynamite, but her men are shot on Russett land. Jo goes to see Jeff and ignores Steve, and Jeff insists she sell out. Steve goes to break the jam, and Jo warns Jeff. Steve orders the men with guns to leave, but Bullhead refuses. Steve and others set explosives as men fight. Bullhead pushes Steve into the river, but Jo helps pull him out. An explosion breaks the logjam. In the final scene Jeff thanks Jo for getting Steve to work, and she and Steve argue about their marriage.

This early color film has spectacular logging scenes, where Steve says "All the men are men, and the women are too." Sexual tension keeps the liberated Jo interesting as Steve finally finds work and his match, resolving the conflict between Jeff's greed and Jo's stubbornness.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index