The Beguiled Reviews
Eastwood verges away from his usual film genres of macho action films such as the Spaghetti Westerns and Dirty Harry films in a more psychological drama.
The film tells the story of a girls school in the U.S. civil war. A prim and proper establishment that teaches its pupils lady like manners and biblical ways until the arrival of wounded soldier John McBurney (Eastwood).
McBurney begins the film as a wounded bed ridden nobody but gradually wins the affection of a string of pupils and indeed the school owner Martha Farnsworth (Geraldine Page).
Secrets are revealed and the ladies turn amingst themselves as they battle for McBurney's affections with devastating consequences for themselves and McBurney himself.
I was attracted to this film which I had never come across by the 2017 release of a new version of this film and this version's mention in a review of that film.
I am glad I chose to visit this Don Siegel directed version first.
I have only seen Eastwood in (good) more action orientated films but this film demonstrates his excellent acting ability.
The story of a wounded civil war soldier who ends up in All Girls Covenant and begins to seduce & manipulate each girl with disastrous results.
Teeming with tension & suspense this film is quite effective & keeps you engaged. Clint is terrific in a much darker than usual role, a clear turn away from his Ant-Hero ...interested by weary of the remake by Sofia Coppola.
Yesterday I watched Picnic at Hanging Rock, which I think is what the film should have been more like. There is certainly a lot to love here: the core of the movie is a pure, solid masterpiece. Unfortunately it is overpowered by Easwood's silky line delivery. The dialogue is often intentionally cringe-worthy. It is there to emphasize Eastwood's unlikable flirtation with the women. The direction textures this with a genuine taste of sexual hysteria.
Overall, the film is a blend of "Shadow of A Doubt" and "Black Narcissus" with a bit of "Through A Glass Darkly" and "The Innocents" thrown in for good measure.