MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 42 this week

The Innocents (1961)

7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 15,506 users  
Reviews: 185 user | 135 critic

A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (additional scenes & dialogue), 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Alpha House Premieres Today

All ten episodes of the second season of "Alpha House" are available starting today. Watch them now, only on Prime Instant Video.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 28 titles
created 18 Feb 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 19 Jul 2011
 
a list of 23 titles
created 15 Sep 2012
 
a list of 29 titles
created 08 Nov 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 2 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Innocents" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Innocents (1961)

The Innocents (1961) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Innocents.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Haunting (1963)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A scientist doing research on the paranormal invites two women to a haunted mansion. One of the participants soon starts losing her mind.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A brilliant surgeon, Dr. Génessier, helped by his assistant Louise, kidnaps nice young women. He removes their faces and tries to graft them onto the head on his beloved daughter Christiane... See full summary »

Director: Georges Franju
Stars: Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Juliette Mayniel
Repulsion (1965)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Left alone when her sister goes on vacation, a young beauty finds herself besieged on all sides by the demons of her past.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man staying at a secluded historical mansion finds himself being haunted by the presence of a spectre.

Director: Peter Medak
Stars: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas
Peeping Tom (1960)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young man murders women, using a movie camera to film their dying expressions of terror.

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Karlheinz Böhm, Anna Massey, Moira Shearer
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

After opening a convent in the Himalayas, five nuns encounter conflict and tension - both with the natives and also within their own group - as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Deborah Kerr, David Farrar, Flora Robson
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After a traumatic accident, a woman becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival.

Director: Herk Harvey
Stars: Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger
The Uninvited (1944)
Certificate: Passed Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A composer and his sister discover that the reason they are able to purchase a beautiful gothic seacoast mansion very cheaply is the house's unsavory past.

Director: Lewis Allen
Stars: Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Donald Crisp
Dead of Night (1945)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An architect senses impending doom as his half-remembered recurring dream turns into reality. The guests at the country house encourage him to stay as they take turns telling supernatural tales.

Directors: Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Mervyn Johns, Michael Redgrave, Roland Culver
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A married couple grieving the recent death of their little daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond.

Director: Nicolas Roeg
Stars: Julie Christie, Donald Sutherland, Hilary Mason
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

While vacationing on a remote Scandanavian island with his younger pregnant wife, an artist has a emotional breakdown while confronting his repressed desires.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Gertrud Fridh
Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In the English village of Midwich, the blond-haired, glowing-eyed children of uncertain paternity prove to have frightening powers.

Director: Wolf Rilla
Stars: George Sanders, Barbara Shelley, Martin Stephens
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Megs Jenkins ...
...
Martin Stephens ...
...
Clytie Jessop ...
Isla Cameron ...
Edit

Storyline

In Victorian England, the uncle of orphaned niece Flora and nephew Miles hires Miss Giddens as governess to raise the children at his estate with total independence and authority. Soon after her arrival, Miss Giddens comes to believe that the spirits of the former governess Miss Jessel and valet Peter Quint are possessing the children. Miss Giddens decides to help the children to face and exorcise the spirits. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Apparitions? Evils? Corruptions? See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

19 February 1962 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Turn of the Screw  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In an article in USA Today (August 22, 2011), Guillermo del Toro chose this as one of his six favorite "fright flicks." See more »

Goofs

When Ms. Giddens goes upstairs to the bedroom, the candle varies in size between shots. See more »

Quotes

Flora: [singing] We lay my love and I, beneath the weeping willow. But now alone I lie and weep beside the tree. Singing "Oh willow waly" by the tree that weeps with me. Singing "Oh willow waly" till my lover return to me. We lay my love and I beneath the weeping willow. A broken heart have I. Oh willow I die, oh willow I die...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film begins with a totally black screen and the sound of Flora singing for several seconds; then the 20th Century Fox logo fades in and out. The singing continues for a few seconds before the opening credits begin. As the credits display, we see an anguished Miss Giddens praying on the left side of the screen. Her actions are not explained until the film's climax. See more »

Connections

Version of Nightmare Classics: The Turn of the Screw (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

O Willow Waly
Music by Georges Auric
Lyrics by Paul Dehn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Ghost story or psychological study? Who can say?
4 July 2004 | by (Los Angeles, Ca.) – See all my reviews

"The Innocents" is one of those films that prove subtlety and imagination can be ten times more terrifying than loud noises or things that go bump in the night. There are no raging spirits or escaped madmen here. Nor will you find that stock of today's second rate horror films -- the creature that embodies evil and finds amazingly obscure ways in which to slaughter naughty teenagers. No, this movie scars one's psyche with darkness and silence and possibility, all mingled with its refusal to give the audience an easy answer at the end.

Based on Henry James' novella, "The Turn Of The Screw," the story is deceptively simple. An inexperienced governess is hired to care for two orphaned children in an isolated British manor and slowly comes to believe the ghosts of the previous governess and her brutish lover are trying to possess the children's souls. Being a decent woman "who loves children," she fights back the only way she can -- by confronting the evil head on. But the question is, does the evil truly exist...or is it all in her own mind?

As told by James, the novella is a startling ghost story, without question. He adds his usual psychological insights to the characters, but never do you doubt the ghosts exist. The defining moment comes when Miss Giddens sees Quint's face in a dark window then later finds a locket bearing his portrait and comes to her realization, "Oh, he's a ghost!" But in the movie, Truman Capote and William Archibald reverse this sequence -- she finds the locket first and THEN sees the man's face in the window -- and all simple explanations go out the door.

Is Miss Giddens imagining things? Has she become overwhelmed by the responsibility of raising two precocious children without any sort of support from their selfish uncle? Is she merely sexually repressed and immature enough to transfer her crush on the uncle to a boy not even into puberty yet? And what of Flora, Miles' sister? If this is merely sexual repression on Miss Giddens' part, then why does she drag a little girl into the morass? Throughout the film, Miss Giddens offers evidence of her concerns -- a letter received from Miles' schoolmaster that she cannot fully share with Mrs. Grose because the woman cannot read; her awareness that the two innocents in her charge have a far more advanced knowledge of life than children that age normally would; stories told by Mrs. Grose about Miss Jessel and Quint and how they treated the children. So could it be the spirits of two miserable adults have come back to reclaim life in the persons of Miles and Flora? It could go either way.

There is not one wrong moment in this movie. Not one. The first time I saw it was in New York City on a double bill with "The Haunting" (1963), a "things that go bump in the night" kind of movie. The audience and I howled through that one, it was so much silly fun. And we chuckled through the first ten minutes of "The Innocents" (especially when Mrs. Grose tells Miss Giddens, "I'm SO glad you're here," with a little quiver in her voice), but by the end of that film (and I use the word "film" deliberately), the entire theater was dead silent. Any film that can shut up a room full of rowdy New Yorkers has got to be damned good.

So...is "The Innocents" a ghost story or psychological study? Who can say? And to be honest, who cares? It is, at the very least, a damned good movie...and at the very best, a horror story that makes "The Shining," "Rosemary's Baby," "The Others" and even "Psycho" (a movie I love) look like the works of children. That this film is not available on DVD is a travesty.


128 of 144 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
This is one of those movies... geekeh
On Second viewing not a ghost story at all... nutritionist
Others like this? writejulia
Three interpretations... Lu_tz
Quite unbearable gypsyola
Flora 'knew' Miles was coming home? nutritionist
Discuss The Innocents (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page