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US Army Major Weldon Penderton is stationed on a base in the American south. He and his wife Leonora Penderton are in an unsatisfying marriage. Weldon is generally a solitary man who in his time alone tries to bolster his self image as he feels less than adequate as a man and a major. He does not want to viewed like Captain Murray Weincheck, who has been bypassed for promotion time and time again solely because he is seen as being too sensitive. Self absorbed Leonora, when not focused on her passion of horses and riding, tries to maintain the facade of being what she sees an officer's wife should be while she carries on an affair with their next door neighbor, married Colonel Morris Langdon. Morris' wife, Alison Langdon, suffered a nervous breakdown three years ago after miscarrying, she still with that nervous constitution. Alison is generally drawn toward sensitive types, such as Captain Weincheck and their faithful flamboyant Filipino houseboy, Anacleto. Peripheral to the ... Written by
The role of Major Penderton was extremely physically demanding, and the insurance company underwriting the production required proof that star Montgomery Clift was fit enough for the role, after his years of illness. Clift's long-time friend Elizabeth Taylor committed her large salary as insurance in order to secure Clift for the role. Clift subsequently died of a heart attack before filming began, and the role went to Marlon Brando. See more »
The Maj. Penderton's shirt is completely buttoned when he mounts Firebird. Later, when he falls off it, his shirt is unbuttoned. See more »
Maj. Weldon Penderton:
I'm sorry, Leonora. It's just all this clutter is...
What's the matter with clutter? I like it.
Maj. Weldon Penderton:
I'd rather live without it. Bare floors. Plain white walls. No window curtains. Nothing but essentials.
If that's the way you feel about it, why don't you resign your commission and start all over again as an enlisted man?
Maj. Weldon Penderton:
Of course you're laughing at it, but there's much to be said for the life of men among men... with no... luxuries, no ornamentation. Utter simplicity. It's rough and it's coarse, ...
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Admirable in many ways, beautifully staged and photographed and splendidly acted
The time is late 1948 and the setting is a U.S. Army post in Georgia, bordering on a forest preserve
A Southern amoral wife called Leonora (Elizabeth Taylor) finds a way for her stream desire in an adulterous affair with Lt. Col. Langdon (Brian Keith), carried on almost openly
Leonora gives aperture to her forcefulness and vigor in a passion for horses and riding She is attached to a handsome white horse she calls Firebird and she provokes her husband by telling him that the animal is indeed a stallion with the emotional nature of man...
Leonora's husband (Marlon Brando) is a devious, insecure, impotent Army major, a hidden homosexual preoccupied with an unsociable, lonely rider who canters around the field in the nude and whose sexual emotional stress is diminished, secretively, at the bedside of the major's wife holding her clothes and looking fixedly at her marvelous hot body
Private Williams (Robert Forster) is another lonely man fascinated by the fiery Leonora and her thoughtful and gentle comments to him He takes to visiting the Penderton house at night looking attentively in the windows, observing with total recall and complete joy Leonora's nakedness, but also watching the Major in his study
Keith's neurotic wife (Julie Harris) is well aware of her husband's affair with Leonora but she only feels well from her close friendship with her houseboy, Anacleto (Zorro David), an affected companion who shares her penchant for the arts and is in every way the opposite of her abrupt, strong husband
Flavored with bitter insinuations and insulting sarcasms, Brando and Taylor's few scenes have enough flames to burn the silver screen He's a tormented human being while she's delicious but shrill and insensitive Aware of her physical beauty she fights back when she's rejected, instigating him with her impudent, insolent, shameless manner that offend his very being
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