A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

Turtles In Movies

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The Beguiled (1971)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.
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In a nutshell, this movie is about a soldier who kills a little girl's turtle so she kills him back.
12-year-old Amy is one of several girls in the Farnsworth Seminary for Young Ladies in the South during the Civil War. She keeps a pet turtle named Randolph in a box and says she loves it very much. She goes into the woods to pick some mushrooms and finds a wounded Union soldier, played by Clint Eastwood. The girls and women of the seminary and their slave woman nurse Eastwood back to health, but a handsome soldier alone with a group of lonely women and girls is a dangerous thing, and after Eastwood is caught in bed with one of the teenage girls, he runs out of the room, falls and destroys his wounded leg. In a drunken rage after discovering that his leg was amputated, Eastwood terrorizes the females with a pistol. Hoping to calm him down, Amy runs to him and hands him the turtle asking him to find food for Randolph, but he's so angry that he throws the turtle across the room, killing it. He immediately apologizes, but it's too late. Amy sits on the kitchen floor clutching bloody Randolph. The headmistress hints to Amy that she should pick some poisonous mushrooms which they can feed Eastwood at dinner to kill him, so Amy goes back to the woods and Eastwood is poisoned and dies. Nobody wanted to see an actor who usually plays the hero die at the end of the movie, so the movie flopped, but that didn't stop Sophia Coppola from making it again in 2017 as a more interesting movie with much better acting, and she keeps the turtle. The story just doesn't work without it.

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