Reflections in a Golden Eye – John Huston (1967)

Reflections in a Golden Eye is a 1967 American drama film directed by John Huston based on the 1941 novel of the same name by Carson McCullers. It deals with elements of repressed sexuality, both homosexual and heterosexual, as well as voyeurism and murder. The film stars Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor. The film was unsuccessful at the box office.The film tells of six central characters, their failures, obsessions and darkest desires. Set at a US Army post in the South in the late 1940s, it features Major Weldon Penderton (Brando) and his wife Leonora (Taylor). Other central characters are Lieutenant Colonel Morris Langdon (Brian Keith) and his depressed wife Alison (Julie Harris), the Langdons’ houseboy Anacleto (Zorro David), and Private Ellgee Williams (Robert Forster). Major Penderton assigns Private Williams to clear some foliage at his private officer’s quarters instead of his usual duty of maintaining the horses and stables. Penderton’s wife, Leonora prepares to go horseback riding with Lt. Col. Langdon. Their affair is revealed, as well as Leonora’s strong bond with her horse Firebird. Williams is shown to be sympathetic to all the horses in the stable. One day while riding, Langdon, Leonora and Penderton see Williams riding nude and bareback on one of the military horses. Penderton is critical of this to Leonora but his secret interest in the free-spirited Williams is clear. Leonora and Penderton have an argument that same night, in which Leonora taunts Penderton and strips naked in front of him. Williams watches them from outside the house, and from then on spies on them. He eventually breaks into the house and watches Leonora sleep at night. (She and Penderton have separate bedrooms.) As he continues this practice, Williams starts to go through Leonora’s belongings, especially her lingerie and perfume. …The film was to have starred Montgomery Clift, but he died on July 23, 1966, of a heart attack before production began. The role subsequently went to Brando, after both Richard Burton and Lee Marvin had turned it down. … The film originally was released in a version in which all scenes were suffused with the color gold, with one object in each scene (such as a rose) normally colored. This was in reference to the houseboy’s drawing of a golden peacock, in whose eye the world is a reflection. As that version puzzled audiences, it was withdrawn and a normally colored version released. …”
senses of cinema
Reflections in a Golden Eye: a “hothouse tale” of desire and simmering violence (Video)
YouTube: Reflections In A Golden Eye – Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando


About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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