The Innocents

The Innocents

Jack Clayton (1961)

12A Certificate


Our Score
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.


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.

Cast & Crew

Miss Giddens Deborah Kerr
Uncle Michael Redgrave
Peter Quint Peter Wyngarde
Mrs Grose Megs Jenkins
Miles Martin Stephens
Flora Pamela Franklin
Miss Jessel Clytie Jessop
Anna Isla Cameron
Director Jack Clayton
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: BFIAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 13 Dec 2013