BEWITCHED, BOTHERED AND BEGUILEDED: The Beguiled and The Big Sick


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Warning: SPOILERS
The original film The Beguiled was directed by Don Siegel and starred Clint Eastwood, from a novel by Thomas Cullinan. It was an attempt by Eastwood to do something more interesting than the man with no name and Dirty Harry. And there is something fascinating about it. Whether one likes it or not, one can’t quite look away.
The basic premise is that a wounded Northern soldier ends up being taken in by the remaining inhabitants of an all girl’s boarding school located in the South during the Civil War. The longer he stays, the more he arouses the repressed sexuality of the women, which simmers and simmers until all sorts of conflicts break out of the Southern Gothic variety.
The main reason for what success the original movie had is the somewhat ridiculous, yet effectively hothouse approach to the story. It was over the top, but took itself quite seriously, while having the advantage of Geraldine Page in one of the lead roles. As like so many films at the time, there was something of a drive-in movie feel to it, but with larger aspirations. Continue reading

STRANGER DANGER: The Guest, The Two Faces of January and Copenhagen


First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r

 

Warning: SPOILERS
The-Guest1Have you ever been in a room full of people and someone tells a joke and you’re the only one who doesn’t get it?
Well, okay, I never have, I’m not usually that obtuse (it’s been touch and go sometimes, but usually I manage to roll my eyes in at least a smattering of understanding, though there was that one about the elephant and the oversize wedding ring…anyway).
But still, that’s what I felt like as I was watching The Guest, the new thriller about a stranger who shows up on a family’s doorstep claiming to know their late son. Continue reading