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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Reflections In A Golden Eye (1967)

Set on a Georgia Army base in the late 1940s, six people play out a dark sexual melodrama of lust, repressed sexuality and voyeurism that will lead to murder: a Major (Marlon Brando) who is a repressed homosexual, his sexually hungry wife (Elizabeth Taylor), a Lieutenant Colonel (Brian Keith), his emotionally unbalanced wife (Julie Harris), their flamboyant feminine Filipino houseboy (Zorro David) and a terse mysterious enlisted man (Robert Forster). Based on the 1941 novel by Carson McCullers and directed by John Huston. When released in 1967, the film played (as Huston intended) with a desaturated color scheme that gave the film a "golden" sheen. This gave the film a dreamy, almost surreal quality befitting McCuller's tale of "grotesques". After a week, those prints were pulled and replaced with normal Technicolor prints which severely compromised the artistry of the film. Brando is really amazing here, his performance is one of his 4 or 5 career bests. Everyone is at the top of their game in fact especially Keith in his best film performance. McCullers' writing is one of the few able to stand alongside Tennessee Williams in its poetic lyricism. A remarkable film that still hasn't received its due. If you haven't seen it, seek it out but be sure it's the "gold" version. With Irvin Dugan and Fay Sparks.

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