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Ever since slipping into Public Domain, The Big Trees has become one of the most accessible and oft-televised of Kirk Douglas' pictures. Douglas plays an unscrupulous lumberjack who covets the land owned by a religious sect. All that's saving him from being the film's main villain is the fact that there's an even nastier contingent out to claim the sect's territory. His greed tempered by the love of pious Eve Miller, Douglas turns out to be a good guy after all in the film's climax. Most of The Big Trees' action highlights are lifted from its principal inspiration, the 1938 Technicolor feature Valley of the Giants. Watch for Alan Hale Jr. as "Tiny", doubling for his own father, who appears in long-shot in the stock footage.
Although Kirk Douglas was a movie star, his acting abilities were often underrated. To really appreciate his skills I recommend watching several films that demonstrate his range. In this Hollywood bad guy turned good by the love of a woman plot, it is easy to get misled about his craft because he slips into this role and others like it so easily which gives the false impression that he is just a nice guy reading lines. As far as this movie is concerned, it is a nice film to unwind to at the end of the day. I call this a psychic plot because the viewer always knows what will happen next, but in this case it doesn't really matter. It is also a good movie to multitask to.