HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
Last Picture Show, The
Pathfinder
Skatetown, USA
Donbass
He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not
Mary Poppins Returns
Beyond the Sky
Sorry to Bother You
Last Days, The
Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot, The
Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story
Once Upon a Time in London
King Lear
Under the Silver Lake
Satan's Mistress
Border
Lemonade Joe
Earth Maiden Arjuna
Sons of Katie Elder, The
Soldier, The
Mr. Topaze
Aquaman
One, Two, Three
Bad Times at the El Royale
Caretaker, The
Old Man and the Gun, The
Song of Bernadette, The
Creed II
Anna and the Apocalypse
Return of the Hero
White Reindeer, The
Lizzie
Wicked, Wicked
Faces Places
Strange Woman, The
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Sky Bandits
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Devil's Sword, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
   
 
  Beguiled, The Damned YankeeBuy this film here.
Year: 1971
Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Hartman, Jo Ann Harris, Darleen Carr, Mae Mercer, Pamelyn Ferdin, Melody Thomas, Peggy Drier, Patricia Mattick, Charlie Briggs, George Dunn, Matt Clark, Buddy Van Horn
Genre: Horror, Western
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: The American Civil War is raging in the Southern states, and in Louisiana this seminary for young ladies has been isolated from the worst of the fighting thanks to its location in the middle of a forest, and therefore out of the way of most soldiers. There are only seven women and girls living there, with Martha Farnsworth (Geraldine Page) the head of the establishment, but they are about to be joined by a new addition when young Amy (Pamelyn Ferdin) goes out picking mushrooms and finds more than she bargained for: an injured Union soldier, desperately asking for her help.

He being John McBurney, played by Clint Eastwood in his first flop since he had become a megastar. He went on record as being bitterly disappointed with the poor reception The Beguiled received, as he wanted it sold as a cross between a Western and a Gothic horror only for Universal to make it look as if it was another of the adventures he had made his name with, and when the audience didn't like what they saw they stayed away. Even those expecting something out of the ordinary were not pleased, as the film was often accused of outright misogyny, as many Eastwood films were, but this time the response was particularly vitriolic.

However, there was quality here of a sort which meant it was always going to garner a following, and as one of the star's cult movies it saw its standing raised as people began to be intrigued by this strange film and its attitude which did not so much hate women, but took a grim look at both genders and found them wanting. In its way this was a battle of the sexes yarn, as once McBurney is taken into the mansion house where the school is located he sets about poisoning what had previously been an outpost of gentility with a hefty dose of twisted sexual tension as he courts a number of the females as a method of surviving and gaining a more intimate form of satisfaction as his leg heals.

Martha is queen of the frustrated women, and begins to have flashbacks to her lost love, though McBurney's flashbacks - and they are just brief flashes - belie what he's feeding the ladies, that he is a Quaker who never fired a shot (we see him gunning down his opponents), that he loves nature (we see him setting light to Southern fields), that kind of thing. With Martha she hopes she can take advantage of her prisoner/patient - there are shades of The Beguiled in Stephen King's Misery - but she reckoned without her second in command Edwina (the tragic Elizabeth Hartman, her natural sensitivity warped to unfortunate ends in this character), and the hornier teen Carol (Jo Ann Harris) making their own plans.

McBurney is only too happy to go along with this as he is a form of Devil incarnate, corrupting the females by his very presence and the manipulation which comes with that, and for a while this appears to be one of those Hollywood Civil War movies which demonised the North in favour of a sentimentalisation of the South, but director Don Siegel, who counted this as his best film, is toying with you. That's because the women prove to be just as perverse as their captive, and if anything more cunningly cruel; the original writers of this had their names taken off the credits because they hated what was done to their ending, but it actually operates on just the right level of macabre given what we have seen leading up to it as the Devil has not been beaten, he lives on in the corroded souls of the seminary having sacrificed himself to damn them all. There is a curious religious tone to this which renders it even more morally distorted, and Eastwood leads very strong performances to a troublesome conclusion. Music by Lalo Schifrin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2392 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Don Siegel  (1912 - 1991)

Respected American director, a former editor, whose action thrillers were second to none. He started out in lower budget movies like The Big Steal, Riot in Cell Bock 11 and The Lineup but come the sixties he started making higher profile work such as the remake of The Killers and Madigan. His fruitful partnership with Clint Eastwood gave us Dirty Harry and Escape from Alcatraz, among others. Another of his finest 1970s films was Charley Varrick.

Siegel had small acting roles in Play Misty for Me and Philip Kaufman's Invasion of the Body Snatchers - he had directed the classic original in the 1950s.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: