7.9/10
21,438
209 user 148 critic

The Innocents (1961)

Not Rated | | Horror | 19 February 1962 (Sweden)
A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

Director:

Writers:

(based on the story "The Turn of the Screw"), (additional scenes & dialogue) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

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 7.6/10 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
Peeping Tom (1960)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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 | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A surgeon causes an accident which leaves his daughter disfigured, and goes to extremes to give her a new face.

Director: Georges Franju
Stars: Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Juliette Mayniel
Horror
    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
The Uninvited (1944)
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 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
Horror | Mystery
    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
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Clytie Jessop ...
...
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:

Be Forewarned - In Your Interests See This Picture From The Very Beginning To The Mind-Stunning End! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 February 1962 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Turn of the Screw  »

Box Office

Budget:

£430,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Quint's unworldly appearance at the window was achieved by putting actor Peter Wyngarde on a trolley and wheeling him up to and then away from the window. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, when The Uncle walks from behind his desk over to the fireplace in his office, a moving shadow of the boom microphone is visible upper left of the frame. See more »

Quotes

Miss Giddens: And where my pet is Miss Jessel? Where is she, Flora?
Mrs. Grose: Miss Giddens!
Miss Giddens: Where is she? You know you can see her!
Mrs. Grose: Miss!
Miss Giddens: Look, Flora! Look! There! You know you can see her!
Flora: [possessed by Miss Jessel] I can't! I can't!
Miss Giddens: Admit it! She's there! You know you can see her!
Flora: [possessed by Miss Jessel] I can't! I can't!
Miss Giddens: But look, she's there!
Flora: [possessed by Miss Jessel] Help me, I'm frightened!
[...]
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 »


Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Superb psychological horror!
8 October 2003 | by (England) – See all my reviews

Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr), a nineteenth century British governess, is appointed to take care of two children, Flora (Pamela Franklin) and Miles (Martin Stephens). Upon arriving at the bleak mansion she meets the housekeeper (Megs Jenkins) and also Flora. Miles arrives a few days later from school. The children seem like little angels but, following a series of bizarre events and examples of the children's wicked impulses, Miss Giddens begins to suspect that all is not what it seems.

This dark and atmospheric tale is a wonderful example of how to create an admirable horror movie that, although has violent undertones, features very little violence when all is said and done. ‘The Innocents' is certainly a psychological horror movie which leaves in doubt how much of the inexplicable happenings are supernatural, and how much is in the mind of the protagonist, Miss Giddens. Director Jack Clayton uses some astonishing visual trickery and ghostly effects to create and maintain a very unsettling atmosphere, almost from the very beginning. A number of effective ghostly apparitions are displayed on screen during the movie from varying distances which gives ‘The Innocents' a constant, foreboding atmosphere. The way some scene changes blend with the end of the previous scene are rather disconcerting and almost dream like as there are long lingering images, once again, wholly adding to the effect. Some of the dialogue may seem a little unrealistic, but in general the movie is well scripted and features a few very dramatic scenes thanks to some delightfully written dialogue and strong acting performances. William Archibald and Truman Capote both won awards for their script writing.

The only real fault with ‘The Innocents' is how fast the film moves along. Miss Giddens seems to realise the truth of what is happening all too quickly. This does not make ‘The Innocents' less enjoyable, but it would have been nice to have had an extra ten minutes or so explaining the story to us a bit more. ‘The Innocents' has a sustained tone of dread throughout the movie. It seems that Miss Giddens is unable to move without being confronted by some spectre or seeing some rather peculiar behaviour exhibited from the children. I'd compare the dark atmosphere with that of ‘The Haunting' (1963), both movies are comparable in the way they are presented and are both aesthetically pleasing. The acting was of a high standard, though one must forgive the two young performers if they occasionally seemed to overact. Martin Stephens was very good as Miles, playing his sinister part with an awful power, even though the character's superciliousness became somewhat of an annoyance. Megs Jenkins was also delightful as the anxious housekeeper Mrs. Grose. From the moment Mrs. Grose is first introduced the viewer can begin to suspect something. Jenkins came across as a friendly, but scared, woman who is desperate to maintain decorum in the house. A fine performance suited her character marvellously. One must also mention Deborah Kerr's fine performance as Miss Giddens as she played it with the right balance of inquisitiveness and fear. Deborah's dramatic performance certainly helped make this movie fantastic and one sympathises with her deeply as the film ends on the sombre and heartbreaking note that it does.

‘The Innocents' is an elegant and stylish movie that is certainly worth watching. Fans of ‘The Omen' and ‘Village of the Damned' should enjoy this as well as any fan of dark, atmospheric horror. A strong screenplay, fine performances and breathtaking visual trickery make this movie a very pleasing addition to the horror genre and I highly recommend it to all. ‘The Innocents' was able to scoop a BAFTA Award (British Academy of Film and Television Awards) for Best British Film as well as a BAFTA nomination for Jack Clayton which he thoroughly deserved. My rating for ‘The Innocents' - 8/10.


53 of 66 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page