Cast & Crew
Former wartime buddies Jeff Collins and Boomer Benson are now lumberjacks in a small Wisconsin town. Nick Roulade, owner of the Skyline Bar, has won a large piece of land in a poker game and asks Jeff to cut the timber on it, but Jeff turns him down. Unknown to each other, Jeff and Boomer have been writing to the same French girl, Yvette Cheron, whom they met during the war. Both have sent her tickets to America and both receive letters from her with details of her imminent arrival. Feeling a need for extra funds, both Jeff and Boomer decide to bid on Nick's job, intending to split the area between them. Nick offers a bonus of $1,000 to the first man who delivers a half million board feet to the mill pond. On the day of Yvette's arrival, Jeff and Boomer go independently to the railroad station and are surprised to see each other there. Yvette has exchanged one set of tickets for cash and now decides that whoever wins the logging race will also win her. In the snow country, the logging operation begins and Jeff takes an early lead. Meanwhile, Yvette takes a job in Nick's bar, much to the displeasure of Nick's girlfriend Pearl. After Nick sends Hammerhead Hogan to sabotage Boomer, Yvette discovers that Nick is richer than either of her suitors. The friendly rivalry between Jeff and Boomer continues. Jeff has to wait for the thaw in order to move his logs down river, while Hogan sabotages Boomer's dynamite supply and forces Boomer to wait until more arrives so that he can clear a log jam on his stretch of the river. Eventually Boomer wins the race. Later, at Nick's bar, Jeff gambles his earnings in in a card game with Nick, unaware that Nick can see his hand reflected in the blade of a tree saw. Jeff is losing heavily until Pearl, fed up by Nick's double-crossing ways, blows face powder over the saw, obscuring the reflection. Boomer then arrives to claim Yvette, only to discover that she has married Nick. Jeff and Boomer realize that Yvette is simply a gold digger, but the joke is on her as Jeff has just won all Nick's money, the bar and the timber. As a final indignity to Nick, Pearl tells him, in front of Jeff and Boomer, that Hogan is waiting outside to be paid for the sabotage job he did. Pearl sends Hogan in and a big brawl erupts. Jeff and Boomer win the fight and become pals again until another attractive young lady enters the bar.
Robert L. Lippert
Alfred E. Spencer
A Hollywood Reporter news item from late August 1948 stated that Thunder in the Pines would be the first of twelve pictures to be made by William Stephens for Screen Guild. Scenics and process plates were shot in Wisconsin, and it was announced that initial release prints would be in Sepiatone. Norman Cerf is listed as film editor in Hollywood Reporter production charts. The Variety review also credits Cerf as editor and Lucien Cailliet, not Ralph Stanley, with the music score. Cailliet's contribution to the final film has not been determined. The Variety review incorrectly lists Roscoe Ates's character name as "Whiskers." Although Hollywood Reporter production charts list Charles Middleton and Al St. John as being in the cast, they were not in the print viewed. Modern sources state that "Robert Edwards" May have been a pseudonym for Robert Gordon.