Big Trees puts a long overdue twist on the Hollywood technique of using giant casts--this film's cast of thousands remains silent throughout the whole ninety minutes. These actors are the trees of Northern California. Tall (thanks to nature) and dark (thanks to fuzzy photography), these plants have an air of dogged determination and ven group solidarity. The film's live cast does its best to emulate the trees by wooden acting and an old saw of a plot. But the humans come off second best in this saga of lumberjacks versus homesteaders in the wilds of Olde Californee.
It's bad enough to strait-jacket Kirk Douglas with this type of worn-out Western. Warner Brothers errs even further by creating a nutty Druid-like sect of tree worshippers who sport Amish hats and stand around righteously in the path of falling redwoods. Californians are admittedly capable of almost anything, but this is just too much to take. Then, in the agonizingly protracted struggle between timbermen and believers, Douglas goes gooey and joins the Druids (who have given up their ethical principles and taken up arson).
An open insult to both actor Douglas and the principles of Druidism, Big Trees deserves the axe.