Carson McCullers’ novel, Reflections in a Golden Eye, about a latent homosexual US Army officer in the pre Second World War period, has been turned into a pretentious melodrama by director John Huston.
Adaptation features six disparate characters: Marlon Brando, the latent homosexual; his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, a practicing heterosexual – practicing with Brian Keith, whose own wife, Julie Harris, once cut off her breasts with scissors after unfortunate childbirth; Robert Forster, young fetishist and exhibitionist; Zorro David, Harris’ fey houseboy. Also prominent are a host of sex symbols, and some salty expressions.
Brando struts about and mugs as the stuffy officer, whose Dixie dialect is often incoherent. Taylor is appropriately unaware of her husband’s torment. Her dialect also obscures some vital plot points.
The most outstanding and satisfying performance is that of Brian Keith. This versatile actor is superb as the rationalizing and insensitive middle-class hypocrite.