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Author Topic: Eastwood Movie Challenge, Week Six: The Beguiled, Play Misty For Me  (Read 20937 times)
KC
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« on: February 27, 2016, 08:56:53 PM »

This will be the thread for members taking part in the Eastwood Movie Challenge to discuss the Week Six films, The Beguiled and Play Misty For Me. Post any thoughts you have on watching or re-watching these movies here. Week Six runs from February 29 through March 6.

For the rest of the schedule, please see this post: Eastwood Movie Challenge schedule.

I'm starting the thread a couple of days early, so people will have time to find, borrow or buy the movies. If you've actually started watching early, feel free to post your comments while the memory is fresh.

 
(By the way, the Beguiled poster is by Bob Peak.)

And if you haven't already, make a post in our Eastwood Movie Challenge Journal and add the movies and dates you watch them, and keep updating it as we go through the Challenge so we can all keep track of where everyone stands.
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Matt
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2016, 10:09:33 PM »


(By the way, the Beguiled poster is by Bob Peak.)


I don't like the poster at all.  Sorry, Bob.   :(

But, I do like the movie. Looking forward to watching both of these again!

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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2016, 04:23:35 PM »

Holy smokes!!! Anyone seeing this for the first time would be shocked by such a departure by Clint in his previous roles. Hell, I've probably seen it 5 or 6 times and it blew me away again. Clint as a bad guy. Bet no one saw that coming in 1970. What an interesting film. So dark, disturbing and I like the film but it's not one I watch a lot due to the subject matter and maybe because Clint plays a bad guy.

It's well made and some scenes jolt me. In the first five minutes he kisses an 11 year old girl! To keep her quiet? Maybe. Then crikey, the sound effects in the amputation scene are excruciating. They don't show the amputation but they don't have to, the sound and Clint's facial expressions are enough of an impact.

Not one of my favourite Eastwood films but it again shows how versatile Clint was and still is when he didn't get stuck in the same roles over and over again.

Have to agree about the poster, not good.
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2016, 04:37:45 PM »

Anyone seeing this for the first time would be shocked by such a departure by Clint in his previous roles.
Did your wife watch with you?

I'll be watching this one soon--maybe by tomorrow, so I'll comment more then, but I will say that I think Clint showed what sort of actor he could be with The Beguiled. Up until this, his performances were pretty similar. And while his "less is more" way of acting is great, it doesn't show a lot of range. I think The Beguiled is one of his best performances of his career. And I mentioned in the main movie challenge thread that this and Play Misty for Me are two of my overall favorites.
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2016, 05:42:08 PM »

Did your wife watch with you?

Yes. She didn't like it at all.
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2016, 11:33:39 PM »

This will be the thread for members taking part in the Eastwood Movie Challenge to discuss the Week Six films, The Beguiled and Play Misty For Me. Post any thoughts you have on watching or re-watching these movies here. Week Six runs from February 29 through March 6.

For the rest of the schedule, please see this post: Eastwood Movie Challenge schedule.

I'm starting the thread a couple of days early, so people will have time to find, borrow or buy the movies. If you've actually started watching early, feel free to post your comments while the memory is fresh.

 
(By the way, the Beguiled poster is by Bob Peak.)

And if you haven't already, make a post in our Eastwood Movie Challenge Journal and add the movies and dates you watch them, and keep updating it as we go through the Challenge so we can all keep track of where everyone stands.

ROFL.

The gun in the poster is apparently a Model 73 Peacemaker, first manufactured in 1873. I'll guess the setting of the movie is about 1863, ten years earlier. Definitely in the middle of the civil war, but I'm too lazy to look up when the Union Army was actively battling around Baton Rouge.The film itself is very period-correct including both props and behavior of the characters. And the film perfectly captured the ambience of southern Louisiana

Everything about Beguiled is absolutely top-notch. It should have garnered much more critical acclaim than it did. It could have easily won some Oscars.

Misty is a star vehicle and does the job without any disappointment. It also is a top-notch production. It cold have easily won the Oscar for Best Star Vehicle.


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« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2016, 01:47:23 AM »

Just finished watching The Beguiled. It's really fun watching these movies in chronological order so we can really feel how it was for Clint's career, and for his fans as they were released. After Two Mules for Sister Sara, and Coogan's Bluff before it, The Beguiled is on a completely different level. It's so perfect, and like SK said, such a different role for Clint, and it was a risky role for him to take, especially then. I still don't feel that he's gotten to upper tier Hollywood status yet... he's still mainly a western hero, and has been a sidekick in a few movies now. And then he does this Southern gothic film that borders on horror in the way that Misery would decades later.  Clint stretches his acting chops in this one, and he's great. Geraldine Page and Mae Mercer are both wonderful, and of course little Pamelyn Ferdin, who was perfect as Amy, the little 12 year old girl who picks the mushrooms.

I can see where it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, but there's no question that it's a quality film full of fantastic performances and beautiful cinematography.

A few years ago I found Pamelyn Ferdin online and wrote her when we were preparing our film discussion on The Beguiled. She responded, and we had a pleasant conversation. I think she was surprised to find that she was the only person (at that time, which was about 10 years ago) who had ever killed a Clint Eastwood character. I lost my email conversation, but hopefully I forwarded it to KC or posted it here... I couldn't find it via the search engine though. In any case, she was a very sweet lady and she said she absolutely loved working on The Beguiled and that it was the best film experience of her career.
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Jed Cooper
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« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2016, 07:26:23 AM »


Neither of these films made a strong impression on me upon first viewing.  I didn’t like The Beguiled at all and I thought Play Misty For Me was just okay.  I enjoyed Eastwood’s westerns and Dirty Harry films too much to be bothered with anything very different at first.  After giving them more chances over the course of time, I came to appreciate both.  The Beguiled is my least favorite of these two and one of Eastwood’s films that I revisit the least.  I think over time, as Clint's acting career comes to a close, I'll come to appreciate these more.


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« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2016, 07:57:26 PM »

I watched The Beguiled tonight, and yes, it's still a favorite of mine. The shot that Jed posted above is a scene that comes to mind when I talk about how good Eastwood's acting is in the movie. The look in his eyes communicates so well how he feels at that time.

Has anyone read the novel? I just looked on Amazon, and the sellers on that selling for around $80! :o Guess I won't be reading it anytime soon.
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« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2016, 09:00:01 PM »

I just finished watching The Beguiled.  It's not, and never will be, one of my favorite movies.  I do think it has fantastic acting from everyone, though.  I guess my main reason for not particularly liking this film is because of its obsession with sexual attraction, as if that's all there is in life.  I'm human, and I'll grant it comes naturally to most people, but I have a hard time identifying with stories where it's the prime motivating factor for everything that happens.  There are so many other reasons why people choose to do things, and they have nothing to do with sex.  The other major factor throughout the story that I can't identify with is jealousy.  It is something I was taught not to indulge in as a child and that has carried through into adulthood.  I'm sure that a natural disinclination toward jealous behavior helps, but I just can't understand letting it take over one's judgement.  I can understand Amy being more easily swayed by her emotions as she's still a little girl (although 12 isn't that little) and hasn't learned how to control them as well.

I've always been fascinated by the question of who is actually beguiled in this film.  Some of the definitions of beguile include: charm or enchant (someone), sometimes in a deceptive way; trick (someone) into doing something; or help (time) pass pleasantly. Another way of putting it, beguile is "thoroughly to deceive".  To some degree, all these meanings are present within the story.  Frankly, they all seemed intent on deceiving each other for various reasons.  They all seemed to deserve each other thoroughly.  McBurney was definitely no bargain.  Those flashbacks that show what he was really doing while he was weaving his stories to suit the occasion were very revealing.  It is those that keep me from feeling somewhat sorry for him.  He's definitely an opportunist, but he obviously never considers the risks of getting involved with so many women.  I've never liked guys who thought that they were charming fellows.

This was my second viewing and I noticed some details that I missed the first time around several years ago.  One thing in particular I wondered about.  Does Miss Farnsworth have the slightest idea what (or who) caused the sudden disappearance of her brother?  That seems fraught with strange possibilities.
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« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2016, 10:29:45 PM »

I just finished watching The Beguiled.  It's not, and never will be, one of my favorite movies.  I do think it has fantastic acting from everyone, though.  I guess my main reason for not particularly liking this film is because of its obsession with sexual attraction, as if that's all there is in life.  I'm human, and I'll grant it comes naturally to most people, but I have a hard time identifying with stories where it's the prime motivating factor for everything that happens.  There are so many other reasons why people choose to do things, and they have nothing to do with sex.  The other major factor throughout the story that I can't identify with is jealousy.  It is something I was taught not to indulge in as a child and that has carried through into adulthood.  I'm sure that a natural disinclination toward jealous behavior helps, but I just can't understand letting it take over one's judgement.  I can understand Amy being more easily swayed by her emotions as she's still a little girl (although 12 isn't that little) and hasn't learned how to control them as well.

I've always been fascinated by the question of who is actually beguiled in this film.  Some of the definitions of beguile include: charm or enchant (someone), sometimes in a deceptive way; trick (someone) into doing something; or help (time) pass pleasantly. Another way of putting it, beguile is "thoroughly to deceive".  To some degree, all these meanings are present within the story.  Frankly, they all seemed intent on deceiving each other for various reasons.  They all seemed to deserve each other thoroughly.  McBurney was definitely no bargain.  Those flashbacks that show what he was really doing while he was weaving his stories to suit the occasion were very revealing.  It is those that keep me from feeling somewhat sorry for him.  He's definitely an opportunist, but he obviously never considers the risks of getting involved with so many women.  I've never liked guys who thought that they were charming fellows.

This was my second viewing and I noticed some details that I missed the first time around several years ago.  One thing in particular I wondered about.  Does Miss Farnsworth have the slightest idea what (or who) caused the sudden disappearance of her brother?  That seems fraught with strange possibilities.



Quote
I guess my main reason for not particularly liking this film is because of its obsession with sexual attraction, as if that's all there is in life.  I'm human, and I'll grant it comes naturally to most people, but I have a hard time identifying with stories where it's the prime motivating factor for everything that happens.

I respectfully submit to you that, in my impression, McBurney was manipulating all the inhabitants of the Girl School, not always simply indulging in his lusts. I assure you, it is possible for a man (or woman) to have a strong and almost never-stopping sex drive, but to control his drive in order to accomplish necessary goals. He was totally vulnerable and his life was obviously at stake. He had to use every "weapon" at his disposal to have any chance of surviving. As soon as he realized that this Yankee man without a tail was attractive to some of the girls in the Girl School, he set about to use their sexual lust for him as a lever to try to assure his survival. 

Quote
The other major factor throughout the story that I can't identify with is jealousy.  It is something I was taught not to indulge in as a child and that has carried through into adulthood.

I regret to have to tell you that jealousy is a very powerful and very pervasive part of human relationships. It seems that you have had a somewhat sheltered life and I am very happy for you, that you have not had to deal with the ubiquitous and strong jealousies that I have witnessed and suffered so many times in my own virtually non-sheltered and rough life. Toward the end of the film, the jealousy between the teacher and the teen girl was at a titanic level and had to result in a cataclysmic conclusion. And when the 12 year old girl suffered both her great jealousy for the Yankee with no tail, and the murder of her dearest little friend, the outcome was inevitable.   

Quote
This was my second viewing and I noticed some details that I missed the first time around several years ago.  One thing in particular I wondered about.  Does Miss Farnsworth have the slightest idea what (or who) caused the sudden disappearance of her brother?  That seems fraught with strange possibilities.
It seemed plain to me, although I may well have taken a unique personal opinon  that could well be wrong, that the brother and sister were, in light of the discovered old letters, having an incestual sexual tryst. According to the letters, I concluded that the brother eventually lost interest in the relationship and decided to move on. My surmise was that the sister had the ruling hand within the family, and the brother had to get away in order to end the incest.


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« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2016, 11:10:23 PM »

Oh, that other film, Misty....

Misty is at the top of my personal list of Eastwood films that I really enjoy watching. It is not The Great American Novel or an epic like GBU or Josey Wales, but it is a flawless showcase for Clint's acting talent and star quality. At times I have thought of Clint as a role model, and this film personifies that model.

He is flawed to a degree, available to other women even while hoping for the renewed attention of his True Love, but exercising limited and poor judgment about their "reliability". Through it all, he has an innocence, an expectation that it will all come out all right.

I could probably watch this film an endless number of times and never get tired of it. I'd like to BE that character and live life like that. 

And never get over lusting for his CAR, that lovely little Jaguar. Come to me, little green kitty, kitty. I've gotten to where I really like BRG. British Racing Green.


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« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2016, 12:17:17 AM »


That was a great post, Man.  McB even tried to manipulate Hallie with something other than sex to try to gain his escape: the promise that if he got free he'd find her Ben, even if he had to go all the way to General Grant to do it.

According to the letters, I concluded that the brother eventually lost interest in the relationship and decided to move on. My surmise was that the sister had the ruling hand within the family, and the brother had to get away in order to end the incest.

That's what I'd always thought too... but now I think it might be darker than that.

If Martha is that jealous over McB sleeping with Carol instead of her that she'd cut off his leg, what would her reaction be if she knew her brother was after Hallie? Did she threaten him, force him to leave? Or is he buried in a similar sack in the front yard?

Martha says to McB "He isn't here now, he never will be." and she seems certain of it.

No one seems to be worried about him, even though there's a war going on, or expecting him back.

Was that the first poisonous mushroom dinner?

Things we will probably never know......


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« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2016, 12:44:44 AM »


A few years ago I found Pamelyn Ferdin online and wrote her when we were preparing our film discussion on The Beguiled. She responded, and we had a pleasant conversation. I think she was surprised to find that she was the only person (at that time, which was about 10 years ago) who had ever killed a Clint Eastwood character. I lost my email conversation, but hopefully I forwarded it to KC or posted it here...

KC came through! I did forward her the email correspondence way back in April, 2003, and she still had it.  :-*

I invited Pamelyn to come by our board to check out our film discussion on The Beguiled, and told her how much we loved the movie and her acting as Amy. She responded:

Quote
Dear Matt, I will try and go if I'm able to. Thanks, Feel free to give my web site or put the below on your discussion list.

As Amy, I felt very at home. I am very much like her. This movie helped me realize that animals are more than mere objects for humans. They have feelings, wants, needs and desires to be free. Like her crow that had the broken leg, her turtle who was her best friend, etc., she was a girl of the earth and wanted to protect the weak against the strong.

Clint gave me two doves at the end of the movie because he called me his little dove. The first thing I did when I got home was to take them to a place where they would be safe, and set them free. Amy would have never put birds in a cage where all they do is wish to be free and to fly on the wings that God gave them. -Pamelyn

I really, REALLY appreciate your interest and thoughtful e-mail message to me. I wish I could spend time getting to know all the wonderful folks who have written me. I want you to know that even though I can't personally reply back to each one every time, I read all the e-mail I receive. You have touched my heart and I truly appreciate your words more than you could ever know.

I am busy doing some voice over work right now. I also do lectures, seminars and guest appearances speaking about my past and current career in the entertainment industry. They are very upbeat, enjoyable and honest!

If you would like a picture or pictures autographed by me personally as well as sent out to you personally, I would be honored to do that. A portion of the money received for my autographed pictures goes to help rescue animals and educate the public on what they can do to decrease animal suffering. My mission in life is to try and help alleviate the abuses and misery perpetrated upon animals that most folks don't know or think about.

If you would like to get an autographed picture or arrange for me to speak, please go to my web site at www.pamelynferdin.com

Remember spay and neuter ALL your companion animals and always "adopt" a wonderful, loving cat or dog from a shelter rather than buying one from a breeder or pet store. As I always like to say "YOUR ANIMALS ARE CUTERED, WHEN THEY'RE NEUTERED! :<)
Also, if you would like to learn about what you can do to help animals and the earth please check out three of my favorite web sites: www.adoptmenow.com www.veganoutreach.org www.peta-online.org www.pcrm.org

And finally, I am so flattered that I brought you some happiness by my acting career, and please keep in touch by visiting and e-mailing me at my official web site which is constantly updated.

Love and Peace for all Beings with Whom we share this Planet, Pamelyn Ferdin

I just checked her site, and there's some great pictures there from The Beguiled:   http://pamelynferdin.com/shop/

If anyone wants one, $25 and she'll personally autograph it for you -- just add a note. I'm tempted to order one and ask her to sign "I picked some mushrooms just for you!"  But, I seriously don't think I want anymore Eastwood collectible stuff.  If anyone else is interested, the money goes to a good cause -- helping animals.



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« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2016, 12:49:37 AM »

That was a great post, Man.  McB even tried to manipulate Hallie with something other than sex to try to gain his escape: the promise that if he got free he'd find her Ben, even if he had to go all the way to General Grant to do it.

That's what I'd always thought too... but now I think it might be darker than that.

If Martha is that jealous over McB sleeping with Carol instead of her that she'd cut off his leg, what would her reaction be if she knew her brother was after Hallie? Did she threaten him, force him to leave? Or is he buried in a similar sack in the front yard?

Martha says to McB "He isn't here now, he never will be." and she seems certain of it.

No one seems to be worried about him, even though there's a war going on, or expecting him back.

Was that the first poisonous mushroom dinner?

Things we will probably never know......




Well, Matt, you have certainly raised some possibilities that really fall into place good, although, I'm ashamed to say that I failed to get them until you wrote them here.

No doubt about it, I got to dig up that disk and watch it again, this is one Southern Gothic that may have more dimensions to it than first hits the eye.

The 12 year old girl sure seemed to be confident about which mushrooms were happy meals and which ones killed you cold dead.

Man 
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« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2016, 03:35:17 AM »

I haven't re-watched The Beguiled yet, but isn't it possible that the brother was killed in the war? ??? I seem to recall thinking that when I've seen it before.
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« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2016, 06:09:28 AM »

It doesn't come up in the dialogue. You'd think if that was the case, it would have since McB was an enemy soldier. But, it's a possibility as much as any other.
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« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2016, 06:52:45 AM »

I do remember when Pamelyn Ferdin wrote to Matt. Actually an autographed picture is tempting.

Also I forgot to mention when I watched the movie last night, that the crow that Amy had tied to the railing was dead. I don't know if I've ever noticed that before. Perhaps not much makes it out of that house alive.

I remember the first time I ever saw The Beguiled. I recorded it from commercial TV, probably either TNT or TBS (they showed a lot of Eastwood movies back in the day), and the night I recorded it, I flipped it on there for just a moment to see what it was like. It was the scene where McB takes the tumble down the stairs and Edwina yells that she hopes he's dead. The movie had been advertised as "Clint's most unusual picture" or something like that, and that did seem to be the case. Anyhow, I think that's all I saw of it that night, so I flipped the channel back to wherever so I could watch the whole movie without knowing too much more about what was happening.
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« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2016, 07:39:39 AM »

I haven't re-watched The Beguiled yet, but isn't it possible that the brother was killed in the war? ??? I seem to recall thinking that when I've seen it before.

It's completely possible, but did no one notice the very small flashback scene with Hallie and Martha's brother in the barn?  There was a pitchfork involved and I just wondered if that had anything to do with his disappearance.  Like Matt said, maybe there's another sack buried on the property.  The scene goes by very quickly, but it was quite amazing when I went through it step by step to get the screencaps below.  The flashback occurs while McBurney is talking to Hallie while he's preparing to go down into the cellar to get drunk.



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« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2016, 09:50:42 AM »

Yep, and remember that Miles was going to sell Ben, but Ben ran away. He probably didn't want anyone stopping him from taking Hallie whenever he wanted. Or, until his sister found out.  :o  (Speculation, of course.)
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