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. —IMDb
Donald Siegel (October 26, 1912 – April 20, 1991) was an influential American film director and producer. His name appeared in the credits of his films as both Don Siegel and Donald Siegel.
Born in Chicago, he graduated from Jesus College, Cambridge in England, and found work in Warner Bros. film library, rising to become head of the Montage Department, where he directed thousands of montages, including the opening montage for Casablanca. In 1945 two shorts he directed, Hitler Lives? and A Star in the Night, won Academy Awards, which launched his career as a feature director.
He directed whatever material came his way, often transcending the limitations of budget and script to produce interesting and adept works. He directed two episodes of The Twilight Zone, “The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross” and “Uncle Simon”. He worked with Elvis Presley and Dolores del Río in Flaming Star (1960), and with Steve McQueen in Hell… read more
A haunting psychosexual southern gothic with a perserve Casanova story set during the civil war staring our hero, Clint??? Why yes! I knew I was in for a real treat right from the first dialogue exchange. Its sweaty, uncomfortable, and full of salacious atmosphere! Even the camera was A+! Why I hadn't seen this before, I will never know!
As far as psychosexual quasi-horror western melodramas go, this is up there with Johnny Guitar.