The Beguiled - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Beguiled Reviews

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½ August 5, 2017
Little known film from 1971 starring Clint Eastwood.
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.
½ July 13, 2017
A gothic masterpiece from Don Siegel who had a magical director/actor partnership with Clint Eastwood.

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.
½ July 8, 2017
Was not a fan of the voice over thoughts.
July 5, 2017
Very good movie. Acting as a tense south gothic thriller, the film features stylish direction, compelling characters and great performances from its cast.
July 3, 2017
Rhythm was lacking more plot or scenes somehow. When it ended it seemed like it was cut short for lack of story. Not really keen on having to look at Nicole Kidmans face so much. Otherwise very well done, acted, shot, cast. Collin Farrell is A+!
½ June 28, 2017
Underrated erotic thriller that ranks as one of Eastwood's hidden gems. Eastwood is superb as Corp. McBurney, giving one of his more nuanced performances as a wily man trying to do what he can to survive. It's an interesting turn for the icon, as he's rather weak and not a really good person. Not bad either, but just someone trying to survive in a dangerous situation, whether he has to lie or seduce to do it. He's matched perfectly by the rest of the cast, all of whom seduce him & he seduce in their own way. Behind the camera, Phillip & Don Seagal expertly adapt Thomas Cullinan's novel, wisely keeping the main format of having the perspective be told through the women's eyes, while using flashbacks to flesh out each characters back story. They also show that no one is really bad and all the actions are justified from their perspective. In many ways, this serves as an excellent anti-war film, as it demonstrates the horrors the civilians must endure as well. Overall, an excellent film in it's own right and one of Eastwood's best performances.
½ June 3, 2017
Wow, this was a revelation. It is a psychologically and sexually charged thriller, a fascinating, provocative melodrama that drifts momentarily into lurid horror, and it's a winner. I admire Eastwood and Siegel for taking the risks that they did in going out of type for Clint.
April 14, 2017
Perhaps its closest sister is Alfred Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt," in the sense of how both films' ingredients cause you to dislike the character in hand. The movie was director Don Siegel's favorite of all his films, and I can see why. On a cinematic scale, it's his finest achievement apart from "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." It was a departure from Siegel's crowd-pleasing formula, which is the main reason he is often criticized.
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.
½ February 16, 2017
Dark, twisted and disturbing. It's difficult to root for any character since most of them are horrible yet incredibly fascinating at the same time. Served to whet my appetite for the book and upcoming remake.
November 27, 2016
This is a decent movie that is 45 years old. Clint Eastwood does a really good job acting in this one. It's not even close to being one of his best movies, but a damn good job in the acting department. It definitely gets kind of intense towards the end. Great job to the set designer for making this have a creepy southern look.
September 10, 2016
Eastwood stars as a wounded Union soldier taken in by the mistress of a girls's school (Geraldine Page) in the South. At first she hides him just to let him recover from his injuries before turning him over to Confederate soldiers, but eventually she decides to keep hiding him due to a growing sexual attraction. The problem is that Eastwood has also been cozying up to one of the teachers and a couple of the students ... and things get seriously out of hand. Sexual tension, a creepy Southern Gothic atmosphere and unnecessary surgery all rear their ugly heads in this fantastic psycho-sexual thriller directed by Don Siegel. Out of Eastwood & Siegel's many amazing collaborations, this is the most atypical and most interesting.
July 10, 2016
Memorable, but twisted and sad. Odd that Eastwood wood be part of this one.
January 6, 2016
Pretty tepid melodrama. Typical study of what happens when you let a lone rooster loose in the henhouse and the drama that ensues. Only the dark ending and Eastwood saves it from being standard Movie-of-the-week fare.
November 17, 2015
Strange, occasionally interesting but ultimately dull, although Eastwood shines in possibly his most morally corrupt role. Far from the success in execution of the same director and lead actor collaboration in "Dirty Harry", "The Beguiled" feels like a 1970's politicisation of gender roles during the US civil war instead of a period film about desperation, sexual greed, entitlement and revenge. Not a complete failure but far from compelling.
November 1, 2015
Interesting but very dark.
October 7, 2015
Well done period suspense film. One could view it as an accurate commentary on how people treat each other. Only one question remains for me though: Who are we supposed to hate more in this story?
September 11, 2015
Unique casting of Eastwood. We know this story is on an unconventional path when he asks his young savior how old she is - 13 - and he responds with "Old enough for kissin".
September 5, 2015
Eastwood greasing it!
½ August 22, 2015
A tense, lurid, sexually charged psychological thriller unlike any film that Clint Eastwood has been in before; and all the better because of the unique opportunity it gives him.
Super Reviewer
July 26, 2015
Simply a wonderful take on the man-alone-in-a-harem theme, Clint plays a wounded Union soldier incapacitated in a Confederate seminary for young ladies. He's outstanding as the silver tongued cad who will say anything to bed a woman, woman who are desperate for the company of men in any case. Especially good is the decision to highlight the different approaches the ladies take to reach the same goal. Just a fun time at the movies.
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