Saturday, January 2, 2016

Quick Review: THE BEGUILED (1971)

Original Theatrical Poster
Released just before Clint Eastwood hit it big and became a household name with Dirty Harry (1971), The Beguiled (1971) is an American Gothic masterpiece set during the Civil War. It features one of Eastwood's finest and most complex performances, as the charismatic interloper who awakens the sexuality of a number of women in an all-girls boarding school, with dire consequences. Under Don Siegel's tight direction, this deceptively simple tale becomes a layered, tense psycho-sexual Gothic nightmare, with strange voice-overs, sudden bursts of violence, and disturbing incestuous overtones. Although Eastwood teamed up with Siegel on three other projects (Coogan's Bluff, Dirty Harry, and Escape From Alcatraz), this is their most idiosyncratic, atmospheric collaboration, and one to savor again and again. A highly recommended classic.

Text © Ahmed Khalifa. 2016.

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