7.0/10
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Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance, Thriller | 13 October 1967 (USA)
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Bizarre tale of sex, betrayal, and perversion at a military post.

Director:

John Huston

Writers:

Chapman Mortimer (screenplay), Gladys Hill (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Leonora Penderton
Marlon Brando ... Maj. Weldon Penderton
Brian Keith ... Lt. Col. Morris Langdon
Julie Harris ... Alison Langdon
Zorro David Zorro David ... Anacleto
Gordon Mitchell ... Stables Sergeant
Irvin Dugan Irvin Dugan ... Capt. Murray Weincheck
Fay Sparks Fay Sparks ... Susie
Robert Forster ... Pvt. L.G. Williams
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ed Metzger ... Pvt. Frank Brian
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

leave the children home See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 October 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Reflejos en tus ojos dorados See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Island, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was one of Director John Huston's personal favorite films of his own. See more »

Goofs

Elizabeth Taylor bends over and lights a roaring fire, but when she stands up the fire is out. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Col. Morris Langdon: [after Alison Langdon's houseboy Anacleto falls down the stairs] I wish you'd broken your goddam neck!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Marlon Brando, un acteur nommé désir (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Elegie Op. 3, No.1
(uncredited)
Music by Sergei Rachmaninoff
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unusual, surreal, memorable work of art.
22 March 2015 | by petreletSee all my reviews

This movie isn't for everybody. Huston, Taylor, Brando and the rest of the cast took some serious artistic risks back in 1967, and a lot of people didn't like the product; 50 years on, a lot of people still won't.

If one comes to it cold, hearing only that it is only a movie about "a closeted homosexual in the military", which is true of the Brando character, and expects some kind of serious dramatic narrative experience - like for example in "The Sergeant" which also came out in 1968 - the approach of "Reflections", which I think is not unlike that of a Beckett play, will be a surprise, and one might say, "this is a weird movie - it's not a good drama."

But I believe that would be a mistake. I don't mean that one kind of approach is "better" than the other, only that different kinds of movies with different kinds of artistic excellence as their goals shouldn't be measured by the same yardstick.

The action of this film is pretty much indifferent to place and setting; it doesn't need to be in the South and it doesn't need to be on a military base. It is sometime in the period from 1945-1960 when people of privilege spent their evenings at each other's houses, playing cards and drinking way more hard liquor than today. In fact the time and setting blurred in my view into a sort of dreamlike background, not demanding to be like a real place or time.

There are two military officers. There are their wives, whose thwarted lives are filled by avocations and disorders - sex, alcohol, and horsewomanship, or art, classical music, and depression. Their wives have admirers. One is the enlisted man played by Robert Forster, who elicits and then upsets one category after another. Another is the Filipino servant played by Zorro David (his only movie ever) with flamboyant swishiness, but is he really gay or are we being tempted to overassume? It's only what we see and judge, and neither can be trusted.

All have secrets, concealing who they really are while trying to figure out who the other people are, sometimes successfully, more often not. People read people and situations incorrectly and act upon their bad understanding and send the activity off in another direction. When people think they are unobserved they act much differently, comforting themselves in ways that are not provided for in the conventions that surround them. To borrow the thoughts of a character, they are all square pegs trying to deal with the round holes they have been hammered into by others or themselves.

And if that all reads sort of like the universal experience of people, that's sort of the point, I think.

I don't think it's perfect, but every time I try to pick a flaw I start to wonder if the artists didn't intend it just that way for a reason. Some detractors have noted that the Brando character's accent is just incomprehensible at times - I turned on closed captioning eventually. But then at one of those times he was giving instructions to a subordinate, who then doesn't carry them out properly, so was this on purpose? I didn't understand why the frenzied camera work in the final scene was done that way either. But was it meant to convey something? These people are not easily dismissed.


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