Reflections in a Golden Eye 1967 (1967) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Bizarre tale of sex, betrayal, and perversion at a military post. Runtime: 108 mins Release Date: 13 Oct 1967
A Chilling Descent into Dark Sexuality and Madness (by irishcoffee630)
This highly disturbing look at sexuality was way,way,way ahead of it's time in 1952 when Carson McCullers wrote the novel, let alone in 1967 when John Huston was bold enough to bring this to the screen. It concerns a group of people on a Southern army base in the 50's on the verge of sexual discovery and insanity. Marlon Brando plays a repressed homosexual married to the slatternly over sexed dimwit daughter Elizabeth Taylor of the army post General. She teases him with taunts over his "lack of interest in her" while she is having an affair with another officer Brian Keith. <more>
Brian is married to Julie Harris who has cut of her nipples with garden shears after a miscarriage symbolically ending her female identification and interest in sex and now lives in her bedroom, entertained by her effeminate Filipino houseboy as they watercolor, dream of escaping reality and listening to classical music. Meanwhile Brando becomes crazily obsessed with a handsome enlisted and psychotic man Robert Foster who rides naked on a horse in the woods and eventually begins to tease Brando with sexual nuances. But Foster also is sneaking into Taylor's room at night and doing something I can not say it here, but it is solo and involves her panties by her bed while she is in her usual drunken/pills induced stupors. Eventually all this Fruedian psychosis ends in the final explosive scene, a murder. I liked this film because it delves into dark subjects we rarely see on film, the actors are amazing especially Brando , the photography is top notch and the extremely well written script drips in Southern Gothic guilt, symbolism and remorse but no redemption . Two scenes that sent chills up my spine was Brando standing in the pouring rain caressing the secretly picked up candy wrapper Foster dropped, as he stares aggressively at Foster entering the barracks to take a shower and the final scene as the camera madly jumps around the room accompanied by one character's horrified screams and another literally gone insane. One of the most fascinating psychological films I have ever seen. NOTE: This film along with another Taylor vehicle "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?" I've been told by a film scholar,were the catalysts for the rating system that emerged in 1968.
some realistic "reflections" of a military-base.. (by fimimix)
"Reflections in a Golden Eye" is another of those films which were heavily cut for perverse, erotic and/or immoral shown on TCM's Screened Out" milieu plots that The Hays Office determined no one should see. I saw its original release, but had the story all screwed-up after not seeing it for 40 years. I agree with those who have written of its difficult-to-understand sub-plots; but, at this recent viewing, I am amazed such major stars were cast for it....especially Marlon Brando, THE macho bad-boy "The Wild One", "Streetcar Named Desire" .Since we <more>
aren't shocked by this kind of movie anymore, there should definitely be a re-make. I can't imagine whom to cast for any of the roles - except for Meryl Streep for "Alison Langdon" Julie Harris in the original role - but there must be good talent available.This movie graphically chronicles how a military-base is just as neurotic a place as any city. Take a look at "Jarhead," if you don't think so. And NOW I've discovered the perfect actor for Brando's role Maj. Weldon Penderson , Jake Gyllenhall of "Brokeback Mountain" fame....just the right age, by now.John Huston did a masterful direction of Gladys Hill's darkly deep script about a gang of people who are truly pretty-much ordinary....we all now know "Leave it to Beaver" isn't the way we are. A military-base is the perfect setting for sexual repression and a great deal more of sexual practices within its perimeters, unless there is a city of some size nearby. How relevant a re-make would be, since "Jarhead" reveals those men of military-age are full-blown, sexually knowledgeable and experienced humans. Another example of "secrets" military bases/schools cover-up can be seen in "The Strange One" another "Screened-out" flick starring extremely handsome, heterosexual Ben Gazara ,which doesn't even HINT of homosexual activity; you gotta perceive it.I've written in another comment that I lived near a huge military-base which was C.O.-ed by a very gay colonel, World War II era. If you didn't see it, you weren't looking."Ancleto" Zorro David was the only visually outrageous character in "Golden Eye," and authentically acted his role. Many have written that he was a one-role-only actor really a hair-dresser , just as the drag-queen was in "The Cyring Game" truly will be "screened-out" ! . Unless you're making the huge salaries "stars" make today, making movies is a very dull business.In his later life, Brando was a regular visitor to Michael Jackson at "Neverland" - tell a story? That doesn't mean he was gay, but may just have enjoyed being around people who dared to live as they pleased."Reflection" is a marvelous movie - all adults should see it. Take a look at how life truly is.Liz Taylor Leonora Penderton , Brian Keith Col. Langdon and Robert Forster Pvt. Williams were genuinely convincing in their roles....all highlighted by the mastery of Brando. His devastated soldier, who thought "Williams" was coming to romance him, had no difficulty deciding his reaction: "there was a murder in The South".This viewing, I wasn't too enchanted by the "golden" tint for the entire film - maybe for part of it.
Southern Fried Gothic Of The Most Delicious Kind (by gabrieletaibo)
Montgomery Clift was supposed to play Brando's part. Elizabeth Taylor had put her own salary as a collateral for insurances purposes. It wasn't to be but the thought stayed with me throughout the film without spoiling the perverse delights's of Carson McCuller's steamy original story. Gladys Hill, adapting McCuller's book, was clearly giving John Huston exactly what he needed, she did it two other times in "The Kremlin Letter" and most memorably in "The Man Who Would Be King" John Huston has traveled through many different universes throughout his <more>
career. Sometimes he merely visited with a fantastic inquisitive eye and his masterful hand. He was never one to judge, he seem to find redeeming sides even in the, apparently, unredeemable. Here he seems to observe this peculiar world from a distance and what he gives us is a brilliantly cinematic glimpse into the unmentionable. In lesser hands this would have been an heavy, turgid melodrama in Huston's hands is a brilliantly heavy, stunningly turgid, intelligent melodrama. Brando is terrific in one of his most uncomfortable performances. You sense he is a time bomb that stopped clicking. Elizabeth Taylor throws herself into the part with such gusto that keeps the proceedings not merely high but in flames - this was her messy wives period, Virginia Woolf and Zee - The shots of her beautifully round behind bouncing up and down her horse's saddle is a funny reminder of her National Velvet days. So far, far away. Here, her casual cruelty is so totally amoral that verges on innocence. Julie Harris's performance is nothing short of sensational and Zorro David as her loyal Anacleto starts as a caricature and ends as one of the stalwarts of the piece. The great John Huston had cinematographer Aldo Tonti to translate this kinky universe into a stunning, steamy masterpiece.
The first time I saw this film was when I was studying acting in New York. The teacher referred to some of the moments in the film as far as the excellence of the work that the actors had done. So, I went out and rented it and it blew me away. It's by no means a perfect film but both Brando and Taylor are wonderful in the work that they do. I think this film is constantly misunderstood by people and thus the not so high voter rating on IMDb. Reflections is a rare film and perhaps it takes a rare audience to realize how damn good it really is.
Unusual, surreal, memorable work of art. (by petrelet)
This movie isn't for everybody. Huston, Taylor, Brando and the rest of the cast took some serious artistic risks back in 1967, and a lot of people didn't like the product; 50 years on, a lot of people still won't. If one comes to it cold, hearing only that it is only a movie about "a closeted homosexual in the military", which is true of the Brando character, and expects some kind of serious dramatic narrative experience - like for example in "The Sergeant" which also came out in 1968 - the approach of "Reflections", which I think is not unlike that <more>
of a Beckett play, will be a surprise, and one might say, "this is a weird movie - it's not a good drama." But I believe that would be a mistake. I don't mean that one kind of approach is "better" than the other, only that different kinds of movies with different kinds of artistic excellence as their goals shouldn't be measured by the same yardstick.The action of this film is pretty much indifferent to place and setting; it doesn't need to be in the South and it doesn't need to be on a military base. It is sometime in the period from 1945-1960 when people of privilege spent their evenings at each other's houses, playing cards and drinking way more hard liquor than today. In fact the time and setting blurred in my view into a sort of dreamlike background, not demanding to be like a real place or time.There are two military officers. There are their wives, whose thwarted lives are filled by avocations and disorders - sex, alcohol, and horsewomanship, or art, classical music, and depression. Their wives have admirers. One is the enlisted man played by Robert Forster, who elicits and then upsets one category after another. Another is the Filipino servant played by Zorro David his only movie ever with flamboyant swishiness, but is he really gay or are we being tempted to overassume? It's only what we see and judge, and neither can be trusted.All have secrets, concealing who they really are while trying to figure out who the other people are, sometimes successfully, more often not. People read people and situations incorrectly and act upon their bad understanding and send the activity off in another direction. When people think they are unobserved they act much differently, comforting themselves in ways that are not provided for in the conventions that surround them. To borrow the thoughts of a character, they are all square pegs trying to deal with the round holes they have been hammered into by others or themselves.And if that all reads sort of like the universal experience of people, that's sort of the point, I think.I don't think it's perfect, but every time I try to pick a flaw I start to wonder if the artists didn't intend it just that way for a reason. Some detractors have noted that the Brando character's accent is just incomprehensible at times - I turned on closed captioning eventually. But then at one of those times he was giving instructions to a subordinate, who then doesn't carry them out properly, so was this on purpose? I didn't understand why the frenzied camera work in the final scene was done that way either. But was it meant to convey something? These people are not easily dismissed.
Huston and Brando at something near their best (by dave13-1)
Director John Huston paints life at a Georgia army base in odd pinkish and amber tones to point up its off-color nature beneath its khaki uniformity. Reflections features Brando as a Colonel, supposedly courageous and a leader of men, who turns out to be weak, cowardly, hag- ridden, and unsure of his sexual orientation. It was one of his best, most creative and least likely performances, and shocking to audiences of the time. If anybody but Brando had played that character it would have scarred his career and maybe ended it. Just taking on the role was a brave move, but he did so much with it <more>
to bring out the man's un- Brando nature. Bold, brilliant and daring as a lead performance, he plays off wonderfully against Taylor in one of her patented bitch queen roles as an unsatisfied man-eater stifled by the regimentation of living as an army wife. The scene in which she flogs him for a weakling in front of dinner guests is shocking to watch but wonderfully evocative of the nature of their relationship roles. Taylor's infidelity and Brando's weakness become two sides of the same co-dependent coin. Reflections was a watershed film in its day but at the same time years ahead of its day. It flopped at the box-office because the mid-60s were just not ready for it.
Most underrated John Huston's film (by IlyaMauter)
"Reflections in a Golden Eye" was recognized by John Huston himself as his most important film of his late period along with "The Man who would be a King". While generally the later is accepted as his masterpiece "Reflections in a Golden Eye" is misunderstood as Huston's "misfire", as a "flop", an opinion with which I tend to disagree. What we have here is a good drama whose story is based on a book by Carson McCullers, featuring superb performances from Marlon Brando who plays a U.S. Army Major in an isolated military fort somewhere in <more>
the south, who gradually discovers his homosexuallity and Liz Taylor, simply great here in the role of his cheating wife. The film, which is basically a serious drama, turns out to be something of a cynical human comedy, due to "ridiculousness" of all of it's characters and the way the story is told by film's director - John Huston. Overall it's an intelligent film whose main theme is repression and ultimate frustration of desire with it's tragic consequences. 8/10
A Murder Was Committed on an Army Post in the Deep South.......... (by bkoganbing)
Reflections in a Golden Eye came out at an interesting transitional period for gay people. The Code that had dominated what could and could not be shown on the screen was just being lifted. That Code had succeeded in making gay people all but invisible by Hollywood standards. But it was two years before the Stonewall Rebellion which gave the gay rights movement a political voice.Originally Montgomery Clift was scheduled to do this film with three time screen partner Elizabeth Taylor, but Clift died before the film started shooting. Marlon Brando took his place and in my opinion gave a very <more>
underrated performance as the repressed latent homosexual Major married to Elizabeth Taylor.Brando and Taylor dusted off a couple of southern accents previously used in films, Brando from Sayonara and Taylor from Raintree County. But the characters here are vastly different from the characters portrayed in both of those other films.Although certainly given Clift's background he was eminently qualified to play a repressed gay man, I'm not sure he would have been the type to have played an authority figure like Major Penderton here. Brando was far more the type. The part of the wife was Taylor made for Liz and she went to town with it. I wonder what those people who want to keep gays out of the military would say about Brando. Brando's burgeoning homosexuality is finding an outlet in a raging crush on a handsome private played by Robert Forster. Forster during his off hours likes to walk and ride horses in the buff and sneaks into Brando's house to play with Liz Taylor's lingerie. Liz is having an affair with Brando's immediate superior Brian Keith who has an invalid and mentally disturbed wife in Julie Harris. And Harris spends most of her time with her very effeminate Filipino houseboy, Zorro David.Of course this is a recipe for tragedy and tragedy does come. Author Carson McCullers, herself a lesbian, created some unforgettable characters here. Reflections in a Golden Eye was way before its time. Today the film and Director John Huston would have gotten far better reviews than the film did in 1967.
This movie proves that with a few great actors you can bring a very strong story about the tormented spirits of people, about the difficulties of relationships, about the difficult struggle that life can be. I think this movie shows and demonstrates in a strong way, how hard life can be, what neglecting your own heart can do to you, never to betray yourself. excuse my english, not my mother tongue