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5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey Into The Darkness of The Human Soul
The Beguiled is one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen,contributing to my early love of cinema,and sadly remaining underrated to this day.
While it is hard to pigeonhole the film into one specific genre, be it a thriller or a psychological drama,it is one of the very few films that without the use of blood and gore,manages to be very disturbing and...
Published on Nov. 30 2003 by mobby_uk

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3.0 out of 5 stars Bayou Brothel
THE BEGUILED is a Clint Eastwood film you seldom hear about, and it really isn't worth seeing. It involves Eastwood playing an injured Union soldier who is wounded in the south and taken up by an all-girls boaring school. Instead of turning him over to the Confedrates, they decide to nurse him to health, andf the result is all the women literally fightin over him...
Published on Jan. 17 2004 by MR77100


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey Into The Darkness of The Human Soul, Nov. 30 2003
By 
"mobby_uk" (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beguiled (DVD)
The Beguiled is one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen,contributing to my early love of cinema,and sadly remaining underrated to this day.
While it is hard to pigeonhole the film into one specific genre, be it a thriller or a psychological drama,it is one of the very few films that without the use of blood and gore,manages to be very disturbing and violent.A raw and primitive violence that is directed more at the viewer's mind and psyche.
Don Siegel is one of the best American directors,who like Sam Peckinpah,understood the meaning of this violence and did not shy away from showing it without tantalizing the 'voyeur' in his audience.
His collaboration with Clint Eastwood is one of the most successful in cinema..(Dirty Harry, Coogan's Bluff, Escape from Alcatraz, Two Mules for Sister Sarah)..And with the Beguiled he managed to direct an original film that had the best performances his star had to date,(a transitional role in Eastwood's career, in between the westerns of Leone, and the toughness of Harry Calahan.)
The whole mood of the film has this creepy and sinsiter atmosphere that appears quite subtle on the surface,yet as your delve deeper,it slowly unleashes much darker and well hidden forces.
It is the story of a wounded Yanky soldier(Clint Eastwood)evading capture in the south during the civil war,finds refuge in an all girl boarding school.The headmistress (the geart Geraldine Page)takes him in and provides him with a sanctuary and care that befits her Christian duties and sensibilities.Yet this stranger awakens many feelings in the house: curiosity,jealousy,sexual fantasies, up to the will and determination to murder.
The increased confidence of the recuperating soldier in manipulating the sexual vulnerablity of these girls and their headmistress,goes hand in hand with the change that occur within them,from gentle and virtuous to cold and calculating.
I liked the fact that the contrast between the raging war outside and the serene and peaceful sanctuary inside turns to be only an illusion.
I liked too the fact that despite the rift that the soldier caused directly and indirectly among the girls,they at the end link their fates and bond together,like they carefully did in the face of war, even if this means getting rid of the 'disturbance' that turned their world upside down.
I also loved the fact that ultimately the message of the film is about what a person is capable of doing in certain circumstances, and how a ideal world can hide many deep hidden frustrations that,pushing the right buttons, can be as menacing and deadly as any war.
What is quite interesting too, is how a deeply religious environment and person, can also hide strong sexual desires and energy that are truly haunting.One particularily powerful scene, among many, is the sexual threesome dream that Page has,an unrestrained and perverse passion mixed with religious guilt: an explosive mixture.
The Beguiled reflects a time when directors had the artistic freedom and clout to make the film they wanted.The original script had a happy ending, but Siegel opted to change it to its darker conclusion, something very few studios would allow these days.
The Beguiled is a powerful movie that on no accounts should be missed.A journey into the darkest recesses of the human soul that you will not easily forget.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bayou Brothel, Jan. 17 2004
By 
This review is from: Beguiled (DVD)
THE BEGUILED is a Clint Eastwood film you seldom hear about, and it really isn't worth seeing. It involves Eastwood playing an injured Union soldier who is wounded in the south and taken up by an all-girls boaring school. Instead of turning him over to the Confedrates, they decide to nurse him to health, andf the result is all the women literally fightin over him.
Directed by the late, great Don Siegel, THE BEGUILED is a type of movie I have never seen before. It involves Eastwood being the victim and the antagonist at the same time. Having mutiple affairs in the boarding school eventually leads to intense conflicts which results in the women plotting to kill him. The sad ending coupled with the bizarre plot are the reasons why this is not of Eastwood's better films. He does give a good performance as John McBurney, and the agony he suffers after his leg is amputated will really shake Eastwood fans.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "You think I Can't Tell Bad Mushrooms From Good Ones?", Oct. 27 2003
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This review is from: Beguiled (DVD)
When I was a kid growing up in the '70s, I thought "The Beguild" was one really cool movie. The two things I remember most from my childhood viewing of this film were Clint Eastwood's reaction to his amateur surgery and the little school girl's last line about the difference between good and bad mushrooms.Over thirty years later, I rewatched this film on DVD and I'm still fascinated by this creepy, yet highly erotic, southern-gothic tale.The story takes place in the South during the American Civil War. A little girl (Pamelyn Ferdin) is hunting in the woods for wild mushrooms and finds the badly injured Union soldier, Cpl. John McBurney (Clint Eastwood). She takes him back to her small, all-girls boarding school, where the Head Mistress (Geraldine Page) decides to let the soldier recover from his injuries, rather then immediately turn him over to the Confederate authorities.As McBurney starts to get stronger and healthier he precedes to start sexually seducing and manipulating all of the female staff and some of the students.But is he the one manipulating them or is it really the other way around? Sexual longing, jealousy and paranoia seem to be the main subjects being taught at this school.Things get so crazy (and erotic), that one really disturbing night, McBurney finds himself the subject of some table top surgery at the hands of the head mistress! Was the Head Mistress really trying to save his life or was she just being sexually vindictive? McBurney dosn't like what the ladies have done to him. He attempts to regain charge of the school and the situation, but the women serve the soldier up his just desserts in a very memorable and eerie ending! Long time Director, Don Siegel ("Dirty Harry", "Coogan's Bluff") has crafted a tense and claustrophobic film, that can really get under your skin.The film reminds me of one of those old 'EC' comic books (you know the ones your mother didn't want you warping your minds on...), where the bad guy eventually recieves some creepy, unworldly retribution for his misdeeds. But who actually is the bad guy in this film? Eastwood? The Head Mistress? The other women? I think the movie leaves this question open for interpretation. The acting in the movie is superb! Eastwood breaks out of his "Man with No Name' persona and really gives us an interesting characterization. We never know, what he is going to do next.Veteran, Broadway actresses Geraldine Page and Elizabeth Hartman both give some great,'over the top', scenery chewing performances. I love watching both their characters (the Head Mistress & the young teacher) seem to crumble in hysteria right before the viewer's eyes!The DVD to the film is pretty bares bones with little in extras (just a trailer). The picture is O.K. but the sound remastering is awful. But don't let that stop you from seeing this southern-gothic gem! If you want a tense, suspenseful film, which just might keep you up at night, then I highly recommend "The Beguild".
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4.0 out of 5 stars Southern Gothic one of the Best of Eastwood-Siegel Films, Sept. 29 2003
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This review is from: Beguiled (DVD)
This superior southern gothic is one of the best of the Eastwood-Siegel collaborations, ranking just short of Dirty Harry and just above Coogan's Bluff and Eascape from Alcatraz as the most memorable of that duo's contributions to pop culture. The atomosphere is suitably weird and bizarre to create a shroud like atmosphere that ultimately envelops one of Eastwood's amoral protagonists.
The great Geraldine Paige heads the supporting cast, which also features the haunting Elizabeth Hartman (who would later die tragically, by her own hand) and a scrumptious piece of crumb cake, Jo Ann Harris.
Four stars!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bedazzled by "The Beguiled", Sept. 25 2003
This review is from: Beguiled (DVD)
This review refers to the Universal DVD edition of "The Beguiled"....
Think of Eastwood, and you think of his cool, tough characters.Harry Callahan, Josey Wales, and The Man With No Name, are the first we envision. Cpl. John McBurney is probably not at the top of that list. Yet, this is a film in which Clint really shines, and one that will hold you from start to finish with it's superb Direction by Don Siegal("Dirty Harry"/"Two Mules For Sister Sara").
The rest of the cast is also outstanding in this psychological drama set in the south during the civil war. Cpl. McBurney(Eastwood) is an injured Union soldier, discovered and nursed back to health by the residents of an all girls school.The first impulse of the Head Mistress, Miss Farnsworth(Geraldine Page) was to turn him over to the Confederate Army, but Mr. McBee, as they have so affectionately come to call him, has charmed nearly all the members of the household from Miss Farnsworth, to the 12 year old Amy(played brillantly by Pamelyn Ferdin),leading each to believe that they are the one he loves. As each disovers the truth, they begin some mind games of their own. Has Clint finally met his match in this tale of jealousy and revenge. Find out in this very different film for Clint...no guns or badges to get him through this one.
The cast includes Elizabeth Hartman, Jo Ann Harris and Melody Thomas(Scott).
Filmed in Louisiana, the picture of this 1970 film is clear and the colors lush in this transfer to DVD. It is presented in anamorphic widescreen(1.85:1). The sound in Dolby 2 Channel Mono, is decent but Mono is Mono!(I probably would have gone 5 stars if not for that). Stereo surround(at least) would be much better.There are some production notes, Cast and Filmmaker Bios, a theatrical trailer and may be viewed with English captions or with Spanish subtitles.
A must see for Clint Fans....enjoy...Laurie
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Beguiled, Sept. 16 2003
By 
parabolak (Boston, Massachusetts) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beguiled (DVD)
When a badly wounded Union soldier (Clint Eastwood) is reluctantly taken into a southern girls school, he finds that he must act in a calm and cool manner around the inhabitants in order to keep from being discovered by Confederates. As he falls in love with two of the girls, he finds that the immoral woman in charge of the school (Geraldine Page) is attracted to him. Jealousy and tension rises between everyone in the school until the drama catches up with the man in the most horrific ways possible.
This increasingly unpleasant film is executed subtly, and gives a relevant lesson to go by in life: Never underestimate. The film holds up surprisingly well with a fine performance from Clint Eastwood, until the shockingly cruel conclusion.
If you liked this film, the best idea for another film you may like is either "Unfaithful" or "Leaving Las Vegas"; it's the best I can think of at the moment. But be warned, this is not an ordinary film, despite its similarities to "Gone With The Wind" and "The Sound Of Music."
Overall rating: 4.5 stars
Rated R for a sexual encounter with nudity as well as some other lurid sexual situations, brief violence, some profanity, and mature themes.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Gothic Soap Opera, May 4 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Beguiled (DVD)
The novelty of seeing Clint Eastwood as a manipulative but sympathetic villain is the only worthwhile aspect of "The Beguiled." Completely ludicrous and slightly perverse, this Civil War-era film shows the commotion that arises when an under-sexed group of women at a Southern boarding school take in a wounded but virile Union soldier. The more the women are repulsed by him, the more they want him. First half of "The Beguiled" is intriguing, but the last half is frothy soap opera.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!!, Dec 2 2002
This review is from: Beguiled (DVD)
I just watched this and can't recommend it highly enough. Eastwood is very good in a subdued role, and the film crackles with gothic suspense bordering on horror. The atmosphere is perfect and the cast is top-notch. If you're looking to see Eastwood in a role far and away from Leone or Josey Wales, this is the film to see as it's easily one of his best. Interestingly, this was directed by Don Siegel, the director of Coogan's Bluff and Dirty Harry....a decided departure for him as well. All in all, this is a surprisingly strong film and will stick with you.
As for the dvd, the extras are slim, but the transfer is nice and it is anamorphic. This would probably be a hard one to rent, so buy it already!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars No spaghetti, but lots of sauce in this Eastwood western!, Feb. 25 2002
By 
D. Hartley (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beguiled (DVD)
Clint Eastwood gives a rare "arthouse" performance in this decidedly off-beat Civil War tale. Clint is the wily fox trapped in the proverbial henhouse as a wounded Union soldier discovered in the woods and nursed back to health by the members of a Southern girls' school. Director Don Siegel (who played Scorcese to Eastwood's DeNiro in a series of 70's collaborations) was not usually associated with making "art" movies, but this one came the closest. Mostly somber and Gothic in tone, with a dash of black comedy thrown in (especially in the scenes where Eastwood gleefully manipulates and seduces various teachers and students). Of course, the chauvinistic soldier eventually gets his due (Stephen King style), but it's an interesting ride along the way. Geraldine Page leads the excellent supporting cast in top form. The depiction of the girls' mass sexual panic amid a claustrophobic, fever dream atmosphere recalls films like "Picnic At Hanging Rock" or "Black Narcissus". Eastwood's boldest performance features a scene in the opening moments that very few "movie stars" would even touch...where he kisses a 12 year old girl in a somewhat lustful manner; repellent behavior, yes, but essential to establishing the character. In other words, don't expect another typical Eastwood shoot-'em up!
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4.0 out of 5 stars ...Oh, there's just "SOMETHING about " this Soldier........., Feb. 1 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Beguiled, the (VHS Tape)
BEWARE of lonely spinsters, wayward wards, household pets, and that strange mushroon stew-brew .......... dash of Stephen Crane, pinch of Carson McCullers and perhaps a dusting of dear old Tennessee W. in this curious tale of lust, lies, longing and loss set in the not so civil war!
Clint Eastwood is the uniform-changing carpetbagger penetrating a mouldy old mansion inhabited by two lonely spinsters [the always excellent and "on the verge of a ... ?"] Geraldine Page and the achingly real Elizabeth Hartman, give or take a few semi hoopskirted minors and the customary Southern Maid. Oh, does he get into trouble in this one! The ladies and girls are at first enchanted by "Mr. Man", then raging hormones kick in and everything changes. [Sorry ma'am, but there jest ain't nuthin' like those Antebellum Baccante-brained belles!]
Subsequent activities even include a messy midnight amputation [our studly soldier "restrained" by the Furies]. Performances are quite good, especially Mr. Eastwood, who is rather unsympathetic in this role.
"Misery" makes a great company to this one!
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Beguiled, the
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