Ranger Don Stuart fights a forest fire with timber boss friend Tana 'Butch' Mason, and finds evidence of arson. He suspects Twig Dawson but can't prove it. Butch loves Don but he, poor fool, won't notice her as a woman; instead he meets socialite Celia in town and elopes with her. The action plot (Don's pursuit of the fire starter) parallels Tana's comic efforts to scare tenderfoot Celia back to the city.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Plot is secondary but hardly missed in colorful adventure
Fred MacMurray is the chief of a forest ranger crew who get plenty of action fighting forest fires. Susan Hayward runs a logging operation down the road a ways. She has her eye on Fred but he thinks of her as one of the boys.
When Fred meets extremely cute Paulette Goddard riding in a parade over in town, he falls for her quickly and they are married in a snap. Poor Susan isn't too thrilled and sets about figuring a way to send Paulette packing for the city she came from.
Okay, so it's kind of a lame plot....Luckily, it really isn't developed too seriously. A typical scene is the one in which our main characters get stuck overnight in the woods with only one blanket for the three of them: lying on the forest floor, they jockey for position for about five minutes, both of the women wanting to cuddle up to Fred. It's kind of amusing in a silly way.
A subplot involves the rangers' investigation into a rash of forest fires—is logger Albert Dekker the local arsonist? The supporting cast also includes Lynne Overman as MacMurray's old-timer right hand man and Regis Toomey as a pilot who flies over fires and radios in intelligence.
Despite the mediocre story line, MacMurray, Goddard and Hayward all look great and give lively performances. The Technicolor is gorgeous and there are some intense forest fire scenes—so why bother about plot?
Also entertaining: As far as I can tell, that really is Fred MacMurray singing a ballad called "Tall Grow the Timbers."
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