Girl in the Woods


1h 11m 1958

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 1958
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 11 Jun 1958
Production Company
AB-PT Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Blood on the Branches by Oliver Crawford (New York, 1956).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m

Synopsis

In Kennebec City, a small logging town, Luke Plummer and his young son Jerry steal logs from the land that belonged to their family for generations but was recently usurped by lumber kingpin Whitlock. Although their actions are illegal, the whole town supports them and believes Luke has a right to work the land that Whitlock appropriated. One day, Whitlock's henchman, Samson, shoots at them, prompting the two to flee. When Luke trips and breaks his leg, Jerry runs to the street for help and flags down Steve and Bell Corby, who have come to Kennebec City so Steve can seek a job as a high rigger with the lumber company. The couple races to help Luke, who insists that they bring him back to his hideout in the woods rather than into town. There, Steve sets Luke's leg and promises not to tell anyone about the accident. Later, Steve secures a job from Big Jim, the manager of Whitlock's lumber company, and the couple rents a room with Luke's sister, Aunt Martha. While downstairs Martha teaches Bell how to cook, upstairs Big Jim's sultry, nineteen-year-old daughter Sonda admires Steve's physique. That night, Bell urges Steve once again to settle down, as she is frustrated with their nomadic lifestyle. She reminds him never to gamble, as it was his huge victory at a poker game that began their troubles, when the losing lumberman accused Steve of cheating and warned all the other lumber camps against him. Although Steve is reluctant to settle down, he agrees to consider it and silences Bell by seducing her. During his first day at work, Steve impresses Big Jim and the others with his skill and courage. That night, the workers celebrate at the local bar, but when Big Jim spots Sonda there, he starts a fistfight with the men flirting with her, and Steve steps in to help him. Big Jim then asks Steve to walk Sonda home, and during their stroll, Sonda flirts so aggressively that Steve rebuffs her gruffly. Later, he informs Bell that he does not want to settle in Kennebec City, and after she responds with anger, he charms her again by declaring his enduring love. The next day at the lumber site, a man is caught with logs that have the brands sliced off them, and Whitlock demands that the man reveal if he is working for Luke. Despite Whitlock's order that Big Jim "take care of" the man, Big Jim, who supports Luke, sends the man away without harm. Convinced that Luke is nearby, Whitlock then offers Sonda $5,000 to reveal his location, but the girl refuses. Meanwhile, at the bar, one of the workers asks Steve to sit in for him during a hand of poker, and Steve is soon winning repeatedly. When Sonda then arrives at the bar, Big Jim orders her to go home, and once there, she informs Bell that Steve is gambling. Furious, Bell confronts Steve just as he has won a huge pot from Big Jim, and when she deliberately alludes to his troubles at the former lumber camp, Big Jim assumes Steve is a con man and orders him out of town. At the boardinghouse, Steve yells at Bell, who reveals that she no longer has respect for him. Realizing he has lost both his job and his wife, Steve drinks heavily all night, but is sober enough to reject Whitlock when he offers a cozy job in exchange for leading him to Luke. Whitlock follows Steve out of the bar, however, as does Sonda, and watches as Sonda attempts to seduce Steve under a tree. Steve warns her not to tease him, and when soon after she pulls away from his embrace, Steve laughs bitterly and calls her a child. Sonda is so offended that, when Whitlock proposes that he will not only give her the money but will also pin the blame for exposing Luke on Steve, she eagerly agrees. To that end, Sonda tells the drunken Steve that Bell has gone to Luke's to warn him that Whitlock is coming, and convinces him to accompany her to the hideout to save his wife. Once there, Sonda disappears and, when Luke lets Steve in, Whitlock shoots Luke, killing him. Realizing he is being set up, Steve punches Whitlock, but his goons beat up Steve and shove cash in his pocket. Steve revives and returns to his room, where Bell finds the cash, assumes he has turned Luke in and refuses to believe his story. Steve wanders into town to find a new room but word has spread about Luke's death and no one will serve him. When an irate mob surrounds Steve, Dr. Wyndham calls him into his office, stating that he is saving his friends from acting out of blind anger. Although unsure if Steve is telling the truth, Wyndham shelters him until the mob subsides. Meanwhile, Bell sees Sonda packing and suspects that Steve's story may be true. She persuades Big Jim to help her stop Sonda, and although the girl tries to defy her father, she finally confesses her part in Luke's murder. While Big Jim goes after Whitlock, Jerry, who has been listening, runs to tell Wyndham. The doctor has convinced Steve to stay in town to prove his innocence, pointing out that most men never have the opportunity to demonstrate their moral fiber, and when Steve reaches Bell, she embraces him and leads him to Whitlock's to help Big Jim. There, Whitlock has knocked out Big Jim and now runs into the street, where Steve apprehends him. The two fight as Bell, Wyndham and Jerry watch. After Steve defeats the lumber man, Bell accompanies her husband back to their new home.

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 1958
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 11 Jun 1958
Production Company
AB-PT Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Blood on the Branches by Oliver Crawford (New York, 1956).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Girl in the Woods marked actress Diana Francis' only film, despite her star billing and positive reviews. Although all contemporary sources list Forrest Tucker's character name as "Steve Cory," he is referred to in the film as "Steve Corby."