Reflections in a Golden Eye
Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Brian Keith, Julie Harris,
Huston’s adaptation of Carson McCullers’s tale of repressed homosexuality on a Southern army base was thought overwrought but is ripe for another look, post–Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. This is because, amid the naked horseback riding and mint juleps, there is Brando’s deeply felt performance as Major Penderton, a man among men who unfortunately is married to a woman (Elizabeth Taylor, at that). His portrayal of the demands of masculinity continually draws our focus, curiosity, and pity. Penderton is on his way to becoming Apocalypse Now’s Colonel Kurtz, and that way madness lies.