Beyond the Forest gives Bette Davis a chance to portray the neurotic femme she does so well. The character of Rosa Moline, a woman who yearns for broader vistas than those supplied by the Wisconsin mill town to which she is tied, furnishes plenty of bite for the Davis technique and she belts it across.
Character [from the novel by Stuart Engstrand] is a modern-day Madame Bovary, a woman who sets her traps for a rich man. Davis gets over the character of the black-hearted Rosa, expressing the part with a vitality and earnestness that gives it a stylized vividness.
Joseph Cotten is the small-town minded doctor married to Rosa. His chore as the doctor is quiet and effective and David Brian is colorful as the man on whom Rosa has set her sights. He and Davis make their scenes particularly red-blooded playing of illicit love.
King Vidor seldom falters in his direction.
1949: Nomination: Best Scoring of a Dramatic Picture