9 October 2005 | southfar
Film has an environmental plot ahead of its time
Though only 68 minutes, Spoilers of the Forest, a modern western that replaces the horse with the jeep, has a lot to recommend it. Its basic plot involves the preservation of Montana forests from an unscrupulous logging firm headed by the actor who played Perry Mason's Inspector Tragg, Ray Collins. Hillary Brooke plays Collin's wife in what at first might appear to be an unlikely pairing, but they play well together as the villains. Rod Cameron works for them as their logging foreman. Collins and Cameron stumble upon a large, 50 tract parcel of Montana forest owned by Vera Ralston and her stepfather and his family. They want to log only one of the 50 tracts for environmental reasons, but Collins and Cameron want to log all 50 tracts and set about with a plan to trick Ralston into betraying her stepfather. Cameron is to romance Ralston, get her used to expensive things, so that she will agree to further logging. In wide screen Naturama and Trucolor, the film is beautifully shot by Jack Marta, director of photography. Directed by Republic's famous house director, Joseph Kane, Kane keeps the action moving right along. This film received three stars from the New York News when it was reviewed in 1957 and was featured as the "A" movie on many double bills. Finally, this is one of a handful of Ralston films in which she performs very well. I am surprised that the film hasn't been remade in the almost 50 years since Kane first produced and directed it.