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Innocents
     

The Innocents

4.3 8
Director: Jack Clayton, Deborah Kerr, Megs Jenkins, Pamela Franklin

Cast: Jack Clayton, Deborah Kerr, Megs Jenkins, Pamela Franklin

 

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In this lugubrious but brilliantly realized adaptation of Henry James' classic novella The Turn of the Screw, 19th century British governess Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr) arrives at a bleak mansion to take care of Flora (Pamela Franklin) and Miles (Martin Stephens), the wealthy household's two children. Outwardly the children are little darlings, but the

Overview

In this lugubrious but brilliantly realized adaptation of Henry James' classic novella The Turn of the Screw, 19th century British governess Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr) arrives at a bleak mansion to take care of Flora (Pamela Franklin) and Miles (Martin Stephens), the wealthy household's two children. Outwardly the children are little darlings, but the governess begins to feel that there's something unwholesome behind those beatific smiles. After several disturbing examples of the children's evil impulses, Miss Giddens gets information from the housekeeper (Megs Jenkins) that suggests that the children may be possessed by malign spirits -- or are all these events just the products of Miss Giddens's own imagination? The best and most frightening vignette in The Innocents occurs when the governess casually kisses young Miles, then recoils in horror when she realizes that someone other than Miles has kissed her back. Unlike many CinemaScope productions, The Innocents plays better in the claustrophobic confines of the TV screen.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
The Innocents is strong proof that low-violence, atmospheric horror films were not invented by The Blair Witch Project. Based on Henry James's novella The Turn of the Screw, the film wisely leaves in doubt how much what occurs may be supernatural, and how much may be in the mind of the protagonist (Deborah Kerr). It's all the more frightening for what isn't shown, and it has endured as one of the screen's best psychological dramas. Truman Capote, whose work often dealt with repressed sexuality, was among the screenwriters. The pacing from director Jack Clayton creates a confining intensity that allows Kerr to magnify her performance. This is a very scary movie, without any of the gimmicks often associated with the horror genre.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/23/2014
UPC:
0715515126816
Original Release:
1961
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
A
Time:
1:40:00
Sales rank:
19,848

Special Features

Introduction by cultural historian Christopher Frayling; Audio commentary featuring Frayling; New interview with cinematographer John Bailey about director of photography Freddie Francis and the look of the film; New piece on the making of the film, featuring interviews from 2006 with Francis, editor Jim Clark, and script supervisor Pamel Mann Francis; Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Deborah Kerr Miss Giddens
Megs Jenkins Mrs. Grose
Pamela Franklin Flora
Martin Stephens Miles
Michael Redgrave The Uncle
Peter Wyngarde Peter Quint
Clytie Jessop Miss Jessel
Isla Cameron Anna
Eric Woodburn Coachman

Technical Credits
Jack Clayton Director,Producer
William Archibald Screenwriter
Georges Auric Score Composer
Truman Capote Screenwriter
Jim Clark Editor
Paul Dehn Songwriter
Sophie Devine Costumes/Costume Designer
Albert Fennell Producer
Harold Fletcher Makeup
Freddie Francis Cinematographer
Peter James Set Decoration/Design
John Mortimer Screenwriter
Motley Costumes/Costume Designer
Wilfred Shingleton Production Designer
Lambert Williamson Musical Direction/Supervision
Henry James Source Author

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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The Innocents 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With a superb cast, brilliant cinematography, and the English theatrical aplomb to pull it all off, this is easily the best cinematic adaptation of THE TURN OF THE SCREW--ever. The screenplay is by Truman Capote and William Archibald, based on WA's play of the same name. It's clutch-your-chest frightening in its intensity--a true masterpiece of the genre. Clayton's direction is white-knuckle incisive, especially in the scenes where Deborah Kerr questions her sanity, as well as in her scenes with the young and brilliant Martin Stephens as Miles. It's literate and terrifying work all around. Psychological thrillers/ghost stories don't get any better than this! The opening title sequence, with its creeping camerawork, environmental sounds, and randomly twittering birds, is especially unsettling and heightens one's senses and expectations in exactly the way the telling of an old-fashioned ghost story does. Brilliant.
RANDEL More than 1 year ago
A genuine masterpiece in every way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
absolutely the best adaptation of this novella.black and white film adds to the terror. no blood and gore, is a very well done intense psychological thriller.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film is a must have for those who love the horror film genre. This version is without question the best adaption of Henry James' novel ever filmed.
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MKim More than 1 year ago
I'm truly disapointed about the delivery system for international shipments. I took over a month to get the DVD when in the B&N it is offered for 4-7 business days, and only by calling to complain you get the explanation about how much you have to way.