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Reflections in a Golden Eye

USA, English, 108 mins

  • Director: John Huston
  • Writer: Carson McCullers; Gladys Hill
  • Producer: C.O. Erickson; John Huston

CGiii Comment

The most memorable character is: she without the nipples - cut off with a pair of garden shears - ouch!

Painful, agonising - that's exactly what this film is - from start to finish.

Taylor reaches new heights with her butane-induced shrill - while Marlon mumbles his way through a script that eventually falls apart - there wasn't much keeping it together in the first place.

Huston photographs beautifully and he directs without any apparent skill.

TERRIBLE and very, very boring.

It's a bloody awful affair to be honest.


Trailer...

The(ir) Blurb...

On a U.S. Army post circa 1948, a major who is an impotent, latent homosexual is married to an infantile birdbrain who never misses an opportunity to ridicule his masculine failings. He displaces his hostility by brutally flogging her horse and she retaliates by humiliating him before a houseful of guests, repeatedly slashing him across the face with her riding crop. She is also committing adultery with the officer next door, who's wife cut off her nipples with garden shears after the death of her baby. She has sought solace in the ministrations of her effeminate houseboy. The sixth character, coveted by the major, is a darkly handsome noncom, a voyeur and lingerie-fondler, given to nightly appearances as a peeping tom in the birdbrain's bedroom and daily sessions of horseback riding in the middle of the woods stark naked.


“There is a fort in the South where a few years ago a murder was committed.” So begins John Huston’s adaptation of Carson McCullers’s Reflections in a Golden Eye. Overflowing with gothic atmosphere, the film circles around the stoic, marble-mouthed Major Weldon Penderton, a character rigorously embodied by Marlon Brando. He silently pines for a mysterious young soldier (Robert Forster, in his first screen role) who has secrets of his own, like a fondness for naked horseback riding and a peculiar fixation with the negligee of the Major’s wife, Leonora (Elizabeth Taylor, in a performance so tempestuous it rivals her turn in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?). Less inhibited is the neighbors’ houseboy Anacleto, a fey, scene-stealing esthete who refuses to conform to the strictures of the military environment that surrounds him, making him something of a rare bird in this stirring examination of repressed longings and their unbearable weight.

Cast & Characters

Elizabeth Taylor as Leonora Penderton;
Marlon Brando as Maj. Weldon Penderton;
Brian Keith as Lt. Col. Morris Langdon;
Julie Harris as Alison Langdon;
Zorro David as Anacleto;
Gordon Mitchell as Stables Sergeant;
Irvin Dugan as Capt. Murray Weincheck;
Fay Sparks as Susie;
Robert Forster as Pvt. L.G. Williams;
Ted Beniades as Sergeant;
John Callaghan as Private;
Jed Curtis as Accordionist;
Frank Flanagan as General Sugar;
Trent Gough as Soldier;
Harvey Keitel as Soldier

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