Valentine "Snakeskin" Xavier, a trouble-prone drifter trying to go straight, wanders into a small Mississippi town looking for a simple and honest life but finds himself embroiled with problem-filled women.
During a slave revolt in 1844, a British mercenary aids an Antilles island-colony gain its independence from Portugal but years later he returns there to manhunt a local rebel army leader and former friend.
U.S. Army Major Weldon Penderton (Marlon Brando) is stationed on a base in the American south. He and his wife Leonora Penderton (Dame Elizabeth Taylor) 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 (Irvin Dugan), 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 façade of being what she sees an officer's wife should be while she carries on an affair with their next door neighbor, married Lieutenant Colonel Morris Langdon (Brian Keith). Morris' wife, Alison Langdon (Julie Harris), suffered a nervous breakdown three years ago after miscarrying her child, she is still with that nervous constitution. Alison is generally drawn toward sensitive types, ...Written by
The cuts on Major Weldon Penderton's (Marlon Brando) face as a result of being lashed by his wife Leonora (Elizabeth Taylor) at the party, are gone in a subsequent scene that takes place at a boxing match just a short time later. See more »
In the version of the film released in Brazil's cinemas in the late 1960s, it was Anacleto who announced that Mrs. Alison had cut off her nipples with the garden shears. But in the later VHS version, it is Leonora who makes the remark to Lt. Col. Langdon while they are playing cards. See more »
Underrated little classic here. The setting is a small southern army base and behind the formality of peacetime military life is a hotbed of sexual repressions and obsessions. Elizabeth Taylor is wonderfully overripe as the Major's unfaithful wife. Her hilarious party food monologue is a career highlight. Marlon Brando as the macho Major she calls "prissy" does an amazing job with a role that requires him to be all emotionally buttoned up while just barely keeping a lid on an obsession he has with a serviceman (Robert Forster).
The real standout in the cast is Brian Keith. He creates a dimensional character out of a man cut off from his feelings who one day is forced to confront them. In this unusual but endlessly engrossing movie, he is a marvel.
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