The Beguiled (1971)

The Beguiled
Director: Don Siegel
Writer: Albert Maltz, Irene Kamp, Claude Traverse
Based on: Thomas P. Cullinan‘s novel
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Hartman, Jo Ann Harris, Darleen Carr, Mae Mercer, Pamelyn Ferdin, Melody Thomas Scott, Peggy Drier, Patricia Mattick
Seen on: 2.7.2017

John McBurney (Clint Eastwood) is an injured Union soldier on the run in the South during the US Civil War. He stumbles upon a girl’s school, led by Miss Martha (Geraldine Page) and finds pity in the women who don’t turn him in to the Confederate soldiers – at least not until he’s healed and stands a chance to survive. But they keep him under lock and key while they tend to him. The teacher Edwina (Elizabeth Hartman) and the girls – above all Carol (Jo Ann Harris) – are intrigued and excited by the soldier and soon vie for his affections. Not even Miss Martha finds herself unmoved as McBurney tries to turn the situation to his advantage.

The Beguiled is a protofeminist film that didn’t age well in all aspects but is still a solid, if a little predictable, movie.

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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

[Part of the Science Fiction special in the Vienna Filmmuseum.]

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is Don Siegel‘s adaptation of Jack Finney‘s book The Body Snatchers, starring Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates, King Donovan and Carolyn Jones.

Dr Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) returns early from a business trip because he got the message that a lot of people in his small town wanted to see him, and only him. But when he arrives home, everything seems to be fine. Except for the few people who claim that the people they love are not their usual selves, even though they look and act just the same. Bennell is intrigued and togethe with his old flame Becky Driscoll (Dana Wynter), he decides to investigate. Soon, they make a pretty gruesome discovery.

I can imagine that Invasion of the Body Snatchers was very scary at the time. But the scariness hasn’t aged very well and seeing it today, it’s mostly ridiculous. Deliciously so, no doubt, but still. That said, it’s an immensly entertaining and well-made movie.


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