God's Country and the Woman


1h 25m 1937
God's Country and the Woman

Brief Synopsis

A lady lumberjack falls for one of her workers, not realizing it's a business rival in disguise.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adventure
Release Date
Jan 16, 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
The Vitaphone Corp.; Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel God's Country and the Woman by James Oliver Curwood (Garden City, NY, 1915).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 25m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Synopsis

Steve Russett is recalled to Vancouver from his European escapades by his brother Jefferson in order to share the running of Russett Lumber Company. His irresponsible behavior ruins a deal which would have forced Russett competitor Barton Logging Company to pay a large royalty for the right to use the Russett rails. Angered, Jeff flies Steve up to the logging camp, but Steve escapes in a plane which runs out of gas, forcing Steve to land in a lake. After swimming and struggling through the woods, he reaches the Barton camp, where he is surprised to find that the owner, Jo Barton, is a woman. Not knowing his identity, Jo refuses to feed Steve. Meanwhile, Jeff is planning to block Jo's railway line so that she will fail to get her logs through in time to preserve her rights to log Crown Timber lands. Trying to get back to the Russett camp, Steve is mistaken for one of the Barton men and beaten by Russett men. Ole Oleson, one of Jeff's spies, tells Jeff that he saw Steve at the Barton camp and Jeff decides to leave him there. Steve gets a menial job at Barton and falls in love with Jo. Paid agitator Bulkhead tries to scare the Barton workers away by telling them that their supplies will be blockaded. Steve slips away and warns Jo. Arriving at his brother's camp, Steve realizes that Jeff's foreman is about the stop the Barton food supply train. Steve commandeers it, arriving at the Barton camp in time to halt the riot. A grateful Jo then makes Steve boss. When Jo refuses to sell out to Jeff, he reveals Steve's real identity and, thinking that he lied to her, Jo orders him out of camp. Later, risking his life, Steve saves Jo from Jeff's trickery and afterward Steve and Jo are reunited.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adventure
Release Date
Jan 16, 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
The Vitaphone Corp.; Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel God's Country and the Woman by James Oliver Curwood (Garden City, NY, 1915).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 25m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Articles

God's Country and the Woman -


Although not often counted among Hollywood's great writers, Norman Reilly Raine wrote or contributed to such classics as The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and Tugboat Annie (1933), which was adapted from his magazine stories. He also shared an Oscar for the screenplay for the celebrated The Life of Emile Zola (1937). Raine's first screenplay credit was for 1937's God's Country and the Woman, from a book by James Oliver Curwood, one of the most successful American novelists of the early 20th century. The story had already served as the basis for two silent film adaptations. Filmed on location near Mt. St. Helens in Washington state, God's Country is a saga of competing lumber companies. The Russett Company owned by Jefferson Russett (Robert Barrat) aims to defeat the Barton Lumber Company by withholding access to a rail line. 'Prodigal' playboy brother Steve Russett (George Brent) returns from Europe to settle into a job with the family firm, but instead finds himself in the Barton camp, in love with its beautiful owner Jo Barton (Beverly Roberts). Jo doesn't realize that the man helping her to withstand Jeff's machinations is her enemy's brother. Personal betrayals and vendettas are framed by labor politics, as Steve tries to avert violence in the deep woods of the Northwest. A very early Technicolor picture from Warner Bros., God's Country has a huge cast of characters enacted by the colorful likes of Alan Hale, Sr., El Brendel, Roscoe Ates, Barton MacLane and Mary Treen. Variety noted the beautiful locations and the deglamorized image given the loggers. But the leading role in a Technicolor epic didn't help the career of leading lady Beverly Roberts, who began as a singer promoted by Al Jolson. She reportedly was given the part when Bette Davis, who had been assigned to it, rebelled and fled to England, there to sue Warner Bros. for forcing her to play whatever roles they chose. Original author James Oliver Curwood found new fame 61 years after his death, when his 1916 novel The Grizzly King was adapted as the 1988 Jean-Jacques Annaud film The Bear.

By Glenn Erickson
God's Country And The Woman -

God's Country and the Woman -

Although not often counted among Hollywood's great writers, Norman Reilly Raine wrote or contributed to such classics as The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and Tugboat Annie (1933), which was adapted from his magazine stories. He also shared an Oscar for the screenplay for the celebrated The Life of Emile Zola (1937). Raine's first screenplay credit was for 1937's God's Country and the Woman, from a book by James Oliver Curwood, one of the most successful American novelists of the early 20th century. The story had already served as the basis for two silent film adaptations. Filmed on location near Mt. St. Helens in Washington state, God's Country is a saga of competing lumber companies. The Russett Company owned by Jefferson Russett (Robert Barrat) aims to defeat the Barton Lumber Company by withholding access to a rail line. 'Prodigal' playboy brother Steve Russett (George Brent) returns from Europe to settle into a job with the family firm, but instead finds himself in the Barton camp, in love with its beautiful owner Jo Barton (Beverly Roberts). Jo doesn't realize that the man helping her to withstand Jeff's machinations is her enemy's brother. Personal betrayals and vendettas are framed by labor politics, as Steve tries to avert violence in the deep woods of the Northwest. A very early Technicolor picture from Warner Bros., God's Country has a huge cast of characters enacted by the colorful likes of Alan Hale, Sr., El Brendel, Roscoe Ates, Barton MacLane and Mary Treen. Variety noted the beautiful locations and the deglamorized image given the loggers. But the leading role in a Technicolor epic didn't help the career of leading lady Beverly Roberts, who began as a singer promoted by Al Jolson. She reportedly was given the part when Bette Davis, who had been assigned to it, rebelled and fled to England, there to sue Warner Bros. for forcing her to play whatever roles they chose. Original author James Oliver Curwood found new fame 61 years after his death, when his 1916 novel The Grizzly King was adapted as the 1988 Jean-Jacques Annaud film The Bear. By Glenn Erickson

Quotes

Trivia

Warner Brothers' first feature-length film in full Technicolor.

Technicolor cinematographer William V. Skall was relegated to the position of photographic advisor when he broke his ankle in a fall.

Bette Davis was to star in the movie, but was suspended when she failed to show up. She refused all of 'Jack L. Warner' 's offers until he agreed to her salary demands and a more open contract.

The following actors were in studio records and/or casting call lists, with their character names, but were not seen in the movie: Eily Malyon (Mrs. Higginbottom), Georgette Rhodes (French Teletype Operator), Robert Bell (French Messenger), Don Downen (Messenger), Eddy Chandler (Logger) and Ben Hendricks Jr..

Notes

New York Times notes that filming took place in Longview, WA. According to Daily Variety, Technicolor cameraman William Skall was replaced when he broke his ankle in a fall. According to Hollywood Reporter, Bette Davis was to star and was suspended when she failed to appear. According to modern sources, Davis was determined to refuse all of Jack Warner's offers until he agreed to a more open contract with the salary she felt she deserved. Other films based on the same source include a 1916 Vitagraph film directed by Rollin S. Sturgeon and starring William Duncan (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.1631), God's Country and the Law, produced in 1921 by Arrow Film Corp., directed by Sidney Olcott and starring Fred C. Jones (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films 1921-30; F2.2141) and Screen Guild Productions' 1946 film God's Country, starring Buster Keaton and directed by Robert Tansey.