Man of the Forest (1933) starring Randolph Scott, Verna Hillie, Harry Carey, Noah Beery, Barton MacLane, Buster Crabbe directed by Henry Hathaway Movie Review

Man of the Forest (1933)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Randolph Scott in Man of the Forest (1933)

Scott's Lion Heart

Mountain man Brett Dale (Randolph Scott) and owner of a pet mountain lion is friends with rancher Jim Gaynor (Harry Carey) who knows that corrupt rancher Clint Beasley (Noah Beery) plans to rob him of his water rights. But Jim has a plan and when his niece Alice (Verna Hillie) arrives he plans to sign the rights over to her except Beasley and his men learn of this scheme and plan to kidnap Alice before she gets to town. Fortunately Brett is aware of what Beasley plans and so kidnaps Alice himself to keep her safe, unfortunately it leads to Jim's murder by Beasley's henchmen and the Sheriff arresting Brett for the murder.

Well a man with a pet mountain lion is not something you see in a lot in westerns and it is in fact the USP when it comes to this early 1930s western "Man of the Forest". But when you watch "Man of the Forest" you soon realise that the lion is really just a replacement for the clever dog or smart horse and so if I say that the lion comes in to play when Brett is locked up you can sort of get the idea with out the need to go into detail.

Beyond the lion USP and "Man of the Forest" is just an early but typical western where we have various cliches from a corrupt rancher trying to steal another man's water rights, to a good man arrested for a murder he didn't commit, a pretty damsel to be a love interest and everything building up to the inevitable shoot out. All of which despite being extremely typical is still entertaining with a young Randolph Scott showing much of what he would bring to westerns when in later years he focused solely on playing cowboys and beating John Wayne when he bend Verna Hillie over his leg and spanks her.

What this all boils down to is that "Man of the Forest" will be entertaining for both fans of Randolph Scott and old westerns but it is not really a movie for those looking for western excitement as other than the inclusion of a pet lion it is purely routine.