AskDefine | Define beguiled

Dictionary Definition

beguiled adj : filled with wonder and delight [syn: captivated, charmed, delighted, enthralled, entranced]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. past of beguile

Extensive Definition

The Beguiled is a 1971 drama film directed by Don Siegel and starring Clint Eastwood. The script was written by Albert Maltz and is based on the 1966 Southern Gothic novel written by Thomas Cullinan, originally titled A Painted Devil.


During the American Civil War, injured Yankee soldier John McBurney is rescued on the verge of death by a teenage girl from an all-girl boarding school in Louisiana. At first the all-female staff and pupils are scared, but as John starts to recover, he charms them one by one and the sexually repressed atmosphere becomes filled with jealousy and deceit.
After rejecting the headmistress for a younger girl, McBurney gets his comeuppance in the form of some painful Freudian symbolism — his infected leg is amputated. He reforms and announces his intention to marry one of the teachers, but it is too late; he has alienated the youngest girl, the one who first found him, by killing her pet turtle after throwing it aside in anger. In response, she picks mushrooms that the headmistress and girls use to poison him.



Made right before Dirty Harry, this was a bold early attempt by Eastwood to play against type. It was not a hit, likely due to uncertainty on Universal's part concerning how to market it, eventually leading them to advertise the film as a hothouse melodrama: “One a strange house!" "His love... or his life..."
Eastwood had recently signed a long-term contract with Universal but became angry with the studio because he felt that they botched its release. This eventually led to him leaving the studio in 1975 after the release of The Eiger Sanction, which he directed as well as starred in. He never worked with Universal again until 2008's The Changeling.
Two of the main stars of the film, Elizabeth Hartman and Geraldine Page, died in the same week. Hartman died on Wednesday, June 10, 1987 of suicide. Page died Saturday, June 13, 1987 of a heart attack.

External links

beguiled in French: Les Proies
beguiled in Portuguese: The Beguiled

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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