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The Beguiled (1971)

While imprisoned in a Confederate girls' boarding school, an injured Union soldier cons his way into each of the lonely women's hearts, causing them to turn on each other, and eventually, on him.

Director:

Don Siegel (as Donald Siegel)

Writers:

Albert Maltz (screenplay) (as John B. Sherry), Irene Kamp (screenplay) (as Grimes Grice) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,986 ( 451)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... John McBurney
Geraldine Page ... Martha
Elizabeth Hartman ... Edwina
Jo Ann Harris ... Carol
Darleen Carr ... Doris
Mae Mercer Mae Mercer ... Hallie
Pamelyn Ferdin ... Amy
Melody Thomas Scott ... Abigail (as Melody Thomas)
Peggy Drier Peggy Drier ... Lizzie
Patricia Mattick Patricia Mattick ... Janie (as Pattye Mattick)
Charlie Briggs Charlie Briggs ... 1st Confederate Captain (as Charles Briggs)
George Dunn George Dunn ... Sam Jefferson
Charles G. Martin ... 2nd Confederate Captain (as Charles Martin)
Matt Clark ... Scrogins
Patrick Culliton ... Miles Farnswoth
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Storyline

As the costly American Civil War still rages on, a twelve-year-old student of the forgotten Miss Martha Farnsworth's Seminary for Young Ladies in warm and humid Mississippi stumbles upon a gravely wounded Union soldier, Corporal John McBurney (Clint Eastwood). Taken in to recover from his injuries, McBurney is imprisoned in a small room inside the mansion. However, before long, the seductive and unwanted guest will manage to take advantage of the female inhabitants' wartime-subdued desires. But is McBurney really in control over the situation? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One man...seven women...in a strange house! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

23 January 1971 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

El engaño See more »

Filming Locations:

Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,100,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,113,069
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Malpaso Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer and Director Don Siegel's favorite of all of his movies. See more »

Goofs

When McB is playing cards the deck has both the pictures (hearts, spades, etc) and the number in the corner. They didn't put #s on cards until 1864 and it was extremely rare to see a deck with them until 20-30 years after the war See more »

Quotes

Cpl. John McBurney: I've just been thinking about all the advantages a one-legged man has. He saves on socks. He doesn't have to worry about trimming as many toenails... fewer corns and bunions. I've been contemplating asking her to cut off the other one.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The leg amputation scene was edited by the censors for the film's original UK cinema release. Later releases were uncut and rated 15. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Good Morning Britain: Episode dated 20 April 2017 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Dove She is a Pretty Bird
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by Clint Eastwood
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Outlandish and well made story set in Civil War South about a wounded soldier who arrives in a girls' school
18 November 2017 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

During the Civil War an injured corporal , Clint Eastwood , is taken by the women of a girls' school to recuperate himself . As the Southern school is run by a housekeeper , Geraldine Page , and there appears a teacher : Elizabeth Hartman and six students and an African-American servant . The soldier becomes the catalyst for twisted situations with incidents full of hatred and jealousy among its inhabitants . He arranges to seduce both , a pupil -Jo Ann Harris- and a teacher -Elizabeth Hartman , but things go wrong.

Offbeat , rare and well paced psychological melodrama by the great team formed by Eastwood and Siegel , though disappointed the spectators faithful to his ordinary action films . Maybe the stranger , yet spellbinding combination of two genius -Clint and Donald- ever made , being based on the 1966 novel , "The Painted Devil" by Thomas P. Cullinan . The flick soon develops into a kind of full blood drama , smouldering with intrigue , suspense , tragic events and suppressed passions ; and all of them lead to an unpredictable and startling conclusion . Clint gives a nice acting as a squinty-eyed soldier who arrives in a seminary for young ladies and who soon reveals his opportunist nature . Excellent interpretation from Geraldine Page as zealous ruler , she is a fading Southern woman , brooding over the past , and Elizabeth Hartman as a naive South belle who falls for Eastwood .

Atmospheric and attractive musical score by Lalo Schifrin , including song sung by Clint Eastwood himself . Colorful and evocative cinematography by Bruce Surtees . This daring change of pace for director Donald Siegel was compellingly and methodically made . Being an unusual Donald fare , but for patient audiences a rewarding , rich movie and Siegel's favorite of all his movies . However , being commercially a failure because Universal Studios released it with advertisements that suggested it was an action movie . Siegel directed good films of all kinds of genres as Invasion of body snatchers , Madigan , Charley Varrick , The Shootist , Ríot in cell Block 11 , Flaming star , Big steal , Black Windmill , Private hell , Rough cut , and a lot of movies starred by Eastwood as Escape from Alcatraz , Two mules for Sister Sarah , Coogan's bluff and Dirty Harry


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