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The Beguiled (1971) - Plot Summary Poster

(1971)

Plot

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Summaries

  • As the costly American Civil War still rages on, a 12-year-old student of the forgotten Miss Martha Farnsworth's Seminary for Young Ladies in warm and humid Mississippi stumbles upon a gravely wounded Union soldier, John McBurney. Taken in to recover from his injuries, the Corporal is imprisoned in a small room inside the mansion, however, before long, the seductive and unwanted guest will manage to take advantage of the female inhabitants' wartime-subdued desires. But is really McBurney in control over the situation?

  • During the civil war, injured Yankee soldier, John McBurney is rescued on the verge of death by a teenage girl from a southern boarding school. She manages to get him back to the school, and at first the all-female staff and pupils are scared. As he starts to recover, one by one he charms them and the atmosphere becomes filled with jealousy and deceit.

  • While imprisoned in a Confederate girls' boarding school, an injured Union soldier cons his way into each of the lonely women's hearts, causing them to turn on each other, and eventually, on him.


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Synopsis

  • During the Civil War Union Corporal John McBurney (Clint Eastwood) is wounded and is discovered in the woods by a young girl from a school for women in Louisiana. With a broken leg he is nursed back to health with the help of the school owner Martha Farnsworth (Geraldine Page) as the rest of the women tend to him, fascinated by the close proximity of a full-grown man. McBurney is aware he is behind enemy lines and manages to charm the women into allowing him to stay, even going so far as to pretend he is a visiting southern officer. One of the teachers at the school, Edwina (Elizabeth Hartman) through her tending to McBurney falls in love with the man and the soldier manipulates the woman's emotions convincing her that he loves her. McBurney also seduces Martha understanding that she misses her brother who helped her run the school and also held an unusual place as romantic partner. One of the older students Carol (Jo Ann Harris) approaches McBurney and openly shows her affections for him, and seeking new sensual experiences, convinces him to make love to her. When McBurney is discovered by the other women in Carol's room they make a concerted effort to insure that the wounded soldier will not be allowed to return to Union Troops now occupying the southern territories of Louisiana.

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