Reflections in a Golden Eye (film)
|Reflections in a Golden Eye|
|Directed by||John Huston|
|Produced by||John Huston
|Written by||Gladys Hill
Carson McCullers (novel)
|Editing by||Russell Lloyd|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros./Seven Arts Productions|
|Release date(s)||13 October 1967|
|Running time||108 min|
|Box office||$1,500,000 (US/ Canada)|
Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967) is a film directed by John Huston based on the 1941 novel of the same name by Carson McCullers. It deals with the theme of repressed homosexuality. The film starred Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Brian Keith, and Julie Harris. The film bombed at the box office, with many[who?] convinced it was not Huston's finest.
The film tells a tale of six central characters, their failures, obsessions and darkest desires. Set in an army post, it tells the story of Major Weldon Penderton (Brando) and his wife Leonora (Taylor). Other central characters are Lieutenant Colonel Morris Langdon (Keith) and his sick wife Alison (Harris), the Langdons' houseboy Anacleto (David) and a mysterious soldier, Private Williams (Forster).
The story begins at an army base in the 1940s. Major Penderton assigns Private Williams to a private house call instead of his usual duty, which is maintaining the stables. Meanwhile we are introduced to Penderton's wife, Leonora, who is about to go horseback riding with Lt. Col. Langdon. From the first scene with Leonora the viewer is aware of her extramarital affair with Langdon, as well as her strong bond with her horse, Firebird. Also a point made in the film is Williams's strong bond with all the horses in the stable. On one of their rides, Langdon and Leonora witness Williams riding nude.
Leonora and Penderton have an argument that same night which Williams witnesses through a window of their home, which develops into Williams spying on them from outside at first, then breaking into the house and watching Leonora sleep at night. As the nights continue Williams starts to sift through her feminine things, and caresses her lingerie.
Penderton takes Leonora's horse and rides wildly into the woods, but he falls off and is dragged a distance by the horse. He then beats the horse. Williams, while out riding naked, finds the horse and brings it back to the stable to tend its wounds. Penderton becomes infatuated with Williams and starts to follow him around the camp. Upon finding out about her horse, Leonora interrupts her own party and repeatedly strikes her husband in the face with her riding crop.
Langdon's wife Alison is recovering from having sliced off her nipples with a pair of pruning shears, the apparent result of depression following the death of her newborn child. Alison's only bond is with her effeminate Filipino houseboy. Alison, being very aware of her husband's adulterous behavior, decides to divorce him, but is then forced into an asylum by her husband as she tries to leave him. Langdon falsely tells Leonora and Penderton that Alison was going insane. Soon, Penderton is informed that Alison died of a heart attack, but in truth she committed suicide.
One night Penderton looks out of his window to find Williams outside his house. He thinks that Williams has picked up his subtle signals and is coming to see him, but instead watches Williams enter his wife's room. He then enters his wife's room and shoots Williams.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (November 2012)|
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 Lee Marvin had turned it down. Some of the film was shot in New York City and on Long Island, where Huston was permitted to use an abandoned Army installation. Many of the interiors and some of the exteriors were done in Italy.
The film was originally 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 mere reflection. As that version puzzled audiences, it was withdrawn and a normally colored version released.
Usage of images in Apocalypse Now
Still photographs of Brando in character as Major Penderton were used later by the producers of Apocalypse Now, who needed photos of a younger Brando to appear in the service record of the younger Colonel Walter Kurtz.
- "Big Rental Films of 1967", Variety, 3 January 1968 p 25. Please note these figures refer to rentals accruing to the distributors.
- Reflections in a Golden Eye at the Internet Movie Database
- Reflections in a Golden Eye at Rotten Tomatoes
- Reflections in a Golden Eye at the TCM Movie Database