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The Innocents

  • Drama
  • 1961
  • Jack Clayton
  • 95 mins
  • 12A

Summary

A highly strung vicar's daughter takes up the post of governess to two orphaned children living with their servants in a sprawling Gothic mansion. She learns of the scandalous history of her predecessor and her lover, and suspects their spirits are the cause of her charges' disquieting behaviour. Horror, based on Henry James' short story The Turn of the Screw, starring Deborah Kerr, Michael Redgrave, Peter Wyngarde and Megs Jenkins.

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Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

As this terrifying and undeservedly neglected picture proves, there was much more to British cinema in the early 1960s than angry young men prowling round the grim north. Truman Capote and John Mortimer both had a hand in the script for this adaptation of Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, in which a governess fears her young charges may be possessed by the spirits of dead lovers. Deborah Kerr is excellent as the haunted Miss Giddens, Pamela Franklin and Martin Stephens send shivers down the spine as the sinister orphans in her care and Peter Wyngarde is evil personified as the brutal Quint. Never has horror looked so beautiful, with Freddie Francis reinforcing the eerie atmosphere with his unforgettable photography. The film bristles with menace as it draws you inexorably towards its chilling conclusion.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Miss GiddensDeborah Kerr
UncleMichael Redgrave
Peter QuintPeter Wyngarde
Mrs GroseMegs Jenkins
MilesMartin Stephens
FloraPamela Franklin
Miss JesselClytie Jessop
AnnaIsla Cameron

Crew

rolename
DirectorJack Clayton

Details

Theatrical distributor
BFI
Released on
2013-12-13
Language
English
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Black and white
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