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Reflections In A Golden Eye
Reflections In A Golden Eye
Actors: Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor
Genres: Drama


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Movie Details

Actors: Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Love & Romance
Format: DVD
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9

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Movie Reviews

"You call that NORMAL?"
Jay Dickson | Portland, OR | 12/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

""One of a kind" is a somewhat inadequate phrase to describe John Huston's 1967 Southern Gothic about sexual repression, homophobia, and insanity in an army fort. The plot of the film is so bizarre as to be stupefying. Marlon Brando plays a grotesquely closeted army major who teaches war strategy at a Southern military school, while his silly wife (Elizabeth Taylor) engages in a causal affair with the colonel next door (Brian Keith), whose wife (Julie Harris) spends her days in a darkened room being entertained by her Filipino houseboy while she recovers from her breakdown after the death of her infant daughter... during which she cut off her nipples with gardening shears. (As Anna Russell used to say, I am not making this up, you know.) Meanwhile, Brando stalks a handsome enlisted man at the fort (Robert Forster), who sneaks in to Taylor's bedroom late at night to spy on her while she sleeps, and who also loves to ride the base's horses in the nude. Ouch!

All this sounds pretty ridiculous, but through the terrific use of cinematography and pacing to convey the heady, dreamy atmosphere of the fort in late summer, Huston somehow makes it all work. The film is pretty suspenseful--you know someone's going to be murdered from the film's opening title but you don't know who or why or by whom, and the suspense keeps you guessing until the end (where Huston unfortunately undoes most of what he's accomplished before by a ludicrous repeated pan back-and-forth of the killer, the corpse, and the figure in between them). The film was originally released in an unusual gold wash that was replaced with standard Technicolor one week into the film's release after poor box office results, but as you can imagine from the description nothing could have saved this odd neither-fish-nor-fowl movie in commercial terms. This recent DVD release restores the original tints, but they are not quite as beautiful as they have been legendarily reputed to be over the decades: they impart a muddy wash to some scenes that makes it difficult to discern details in the complex and crowded compositions onscreen. I was more impressed with the film visually--perhaps heretically so--when I first saw it in standard Technicolor years ago at a repertory film theatre in Cambridge, MA. Despite this disappointment, I still felt the film's unique conveyance of atmosphere and appreciated its fine performances, particularly from Brian Keith as the confused and likeable husband of Harris."
"Have you ever been collared and dragged out into the street
Tom Benton | North Springfield, VT USA | 02/23/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"John Huston's REFLECTIONS IN A GOLDEN EYE, adapted from the acclaimed novel by Carson McCullers, is a bizarre film indeed. The main draw, of course, is the pairing of the two greatest actors in screen history, Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor. How odd, then, that the film itself overshadows them! The film is set at a military post: Brando is Major Penderton, who fights his own secret homosexuality; Taylor is his nymphomaniac wife, Leonora, who is having an affair with Lt. Colonel Langdon (Brian Keith). Langdon's wife, Alice (Julie Harris), recently had a failed pregnancy, after which she cut off her nipples with garden shears. And Robert Forster makes his film debut as a young enlisted man who enjoys riding horses naked and who observes the curious interactions of the Pendertons.

Sound odd? Believe me, it is. To add to the weirdness, director Huston printed the film with a golden tint, which adds a sort of nautious quality to the whole thing. Brando and Taylor are the glue that holds the film together. Taylor is a delight, but Brando gives a somewhat lacking performance. Forster, however, is great, as is Harris and Zorro David as her wacky Asian servant. As I haven't read the novel on which the film is based, I can't comment on how faithful the film is nor on which is better, but I fully intend to read the novel after viewing the film. It isn't bad, in fact it's far from it, but it's not really good either. In the end, it's a film one won't necessarily regret seeing, but it seems like a waste of Brando's talent, and that really detracts from the film, but if you've a taste for the bizarre, give it a shot."
Southern Gothic Classic With Brando And Mrs. Burton
Michael C. Smith | San Francisco, CA United States | 02/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"John Huston's "Reflections In A Golden Eye" is one of his lesser-known works. This overlooked film is a riveting piece of Cinema. He brought together the unlikely combination of Carson McCuller's southern gothic novel along with the talents of Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, and Julie Harris to create a fascinating study of deceit, lies, and murder.
Julie Harris brings to the project her unique blend of neurosis and pathos. She inhabits the role as Allison the mentally fragile wife of Brian Keith fully, coloring her role with the nuance of madness.
Keith gives his best performance as the philandering husband of Harris and the bumbling lover of Taylor. It is his finest hour on the screen. His pathetic recollection of his lost wife is acted with subtlety and feeling and proves his metal as an actor.
Marlon Brando as Major Penderton rises to his role as a closeted homosexual. This is one of his masterworks as an actor and quite possibly one of his best in the 1960's. He is puffy, middle aged and completely without vanity. To watch him struggle to lift a barbell with one arm is delightfully disturbing.
As Leonora Penderton Elizabeth Taylor is at the top of her game, dumb, sexy and funny. It is one of her most deeply complex performances from a career full of great work. There is so much humor mixed into her character and she goes all the way to reveal the each nuance and layer of Leonora.
The music by Toshiro Mayuzumi is hauntingly beautiful and atmospheric. The opening theme carries a muted smoky jazz sound that sets the scene perfectly. The only false note in the film are Taylor's costumes by Dorothy Jenkins. Set in the late 1940's Miss Taylor is dressed in the current fashions of the late 1960's and she looks beautiful but out of time with the era along with her hair by Alexandre of Pairs.
Huston directs with calm assuredness, as he leads is excellent cast to the tragic inevitable end to the film.
Picture and sound on this DVD presentation are very good.
Finally on DVD
tmp | Solar System, MA USA | 08/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I am going to direct you to a review in the out-of-print "Bad Movies We Love" (seek it out and maybe they will reissue it) as the penultimate statement about this laugh-out-loud classic. Elizabeth Taylor is married to hopelessly buttoned-up repressed Marlon Brando (in this case BrandMo, complete with Greek statue porn and slatherings of "rejuvinating cream"), but boinking Brian Keith, who is married to Julie Harris, who had cut her own nipples off with garden shears (!) in reaction to I forget what, but who is served and entertained by her best friend/servant/companion Anacleto, the only person who understands her (completely understandable) desire to get away from this lot of repressed loonies and retire to a prawn trawler. In the midst of this rolls in hot, hunky (and often nude) Robert Forster, who only wants to ride a horse. Since half the rest of the cast wants to be ridden by him, that presents a problem. I won't give anymore away, only to write that this feels like it was something that would have been earth-shattering if it was released in say, 1957. Ten year later we are thinking this could have gone a lot further and not ended up as the rather dried up affair it is.

Plus side? Elizabeth is gorgeous, and nearly peels it all off. Robert Forster is gorgeous, and does peel it all off, and runs around in army drag when he's not nekkid. Grr.

Downside? Nearly everything else in this unending overlong fever-dream snooze-fest. If there was any interest in filming anything by Carson McCullers, this killed it"