Yes. A strange and a bit unknown kind of cult beast as well. The Beguiled (Don Siegel, 1971) is a sometimes disturbing, complex, psycological american gothic thriller (can't spare adjectives here) but above all a fascinating movie. We have incest, sexual frustration and anxiety, naked girls, coming of age, bisexuality but is not a "french" , "swedish" or "european" kind of flick.
Our man Clint took a risky step as a movie star on this film, in a year that was great for him (Play misty for me and Dirty Harry are from 1971 as well) and plays a bastard (the kind that considers a twelve year old girl, "thirteen in September", "Old enough for kisses" as long as she is distracted and doesn't give him away to the soldiers he is hidding from. That kind of bastard).
The story is set in the last period of the Civil War and he is yankee soldier that takes refuge in a school for girls from the South. He is wounded, they take pitty, nurse him and hide him. Almost all the women from the headmistress and the slave to the youngest girl fall for him and fight for his attentions. After all, he looks just like Clint Eastwood at 41 .
I won't spoil so much of the narrative but let's just say that he find his paradise and hell in the same place. But, as usual, hell seems to be longer. This story has the mixtured smell of such a scents like the works of Poe, Ambrose Bierce and Tennessee Williams bottled in a one intoxicating result. Somehow our character is trying to save his skin and even if we don't aprove him we don't know what would we do in his situation. Or maybe was the booze, judge by yourself. But he is a manipulative lecherous blue beard nevertheless and you cannot play with so many hearts at the same time under the same roof. Or can you? I mean, this is no facebook this is The South you blue belly yank bastard!