in about 100 words or less
USA 105m, Colour
Director: Don Siegel; Cast: Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Hartman, Jo Ann Harris
The Beguiled is dark dramatic film based on Thomas Cullinan’s 1966 novel, entitled A Painted Devil which is set in a boarding school in Louisiana near the end of the American Civil War. The story follows the unlikely rescue of John McBurney, a Yankee soldier played by Eastwood, who is nursed back to health by the sexually repressed residents of an all-girl school. The ensuing events are layered in deceit and jealousy with horrific consequences involving a saw. Eastwood is a charming but sinister villain who is at last no match for the jealous women who he attempts to manipulate. Filled with thinly veiled Freudian references The Beguiled is also pretty humorous at times, unless you’re a turtle named Randolph! (Klaus Ming September 2010).