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Sunday July 22nd 2018

The Beguiled | 1971

The Beguiled filming location: Ashland-Belle Helene House, Darrow, Louisiana
The Beguiled location: the ‘ Confederate ladies’ school’: Ashland-Belle Helene House, Darrow, Louisiana | Photograph: flickr / Amanda Baird / BlackDoll Photography

A great – but untypical – slice of Southern Gothic, from action director Don Siegel, as injured soldier John McBurney (Clint Eastwood) finds himself holed up in a Confederate Ladies’ school ruled over by the fearsome Martha Farnsworth (Geraldine Page).

Actually, the school is the Ashland-Belle Helene House (also seen in the 1957 Clark Gable-Yvonne de Carlo melodrama Band of Angels, Fletch Lives and Mandingo) , one of the many beautiful plantation houses on the Mississippi river between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

It’s at 7497 Ashland Road, off the River Road, about five miles north of Darrow. After years of dilapidation, the house was bought by the Shell Oil company, and though not open to the public, is at least being stabilised – though apparently, the interior is still deteriorating.