“There is a fort in the South where a few years ago a murder was committed.” So begins John Huston’s adaptation of Carson McCullers’s Reflections in a Golden Eye. Overflowing with gothic atmosphere, the film circles around the stoic, marble-mouthed Major Weldon Penderton, a character rigorously embodied by Marlon Brando. He silently pines for a mysterious young soldier (Robert Forster, in his first screen role) who has secrets of his own, like a fondness for naked horseback riding and a peculiar fixation with the negligee of the Major’s wife, Leonora (Elizabeth Taylor, in a performance so tempestuous it rivals her turn in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?). Less inhibited is the neighbors’ houseboy Anacleto, a fey, scene-stealing esthete who refuses to conform to the strictures of the military environment that surrounds him, making him something of a rare bird in this stirring examination of repressed longings and their unbearable weight.
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