The Innocents (1961)

Approved  |   |  Horror  |  19 February 1962 (Sweden)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 18,204 users  
Reviews: 195 user | 146 critic

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



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

On Disc

at Amazon

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



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Haunting (1963)
    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
Repulsion (1965)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A sex-repulsed woman who disapproves of her sister's boyfriend, sinks into depression and has horrific visions of rape and violence.

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

An anthology film consisting of three very different stories about love set in Europe and told in flashback.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Gottfried Reinhardt
Stars: Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Leslie Caron
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
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young journalist (Lespert) helps the French President compile his memoirs.

Director: Robert Guédiguian
Stars: Michel Bouquet, Jalil Lespert, Philippe Fretun
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

After another cardiac arrest, Armand knows he doesn't have long to live. But after more than 70 years in the same house, he doesn't want to die anywhere else. His wife, Rose, has secretly ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Pierre Lefebvre
Stars: Marthe Nadeau, J. Léo Gagnon, Marcel Sabourin
The Novena (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Director: Bernard Émond
Stars: Elise Guilbault, Patrick Drolet, Marie-Josée Bastien
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The wife of photographer J.A. Martin decides to go with him in his tour of the hard Canadian countryside at the turn of the century. She hopes the intimacy will revive their marriage.

Director: Jean Beaudin
Stars: Marcel Sabourin, Monique Mercure, Marthe Thierry
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Marcel, recently released from prison, attempt to rebuild his relationship with his girlfriend Julie (now a prostitute) and especially his father Albert (who thinks he's been away on a long... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Claude Lauzon
Stars: Gilles Maheu, Roger Lebel, Corrado Mastropasqua
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A woman imbued with naturalistic and libertarian theories leaves her city home to live in the countryside with her young son. There she meets a litigious farmer who fights against the banks... See full summary »

Director: Gilles Carle
Stars: Micheline Lanctôt, Donald Pilon, Reynald Bouchard
Codine (1963)
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An ex-convict struggles to survive by brute force alone in a turn-of-the-century slum in Braila. Codine (Alexandre Virgil Platon) is the thug who served 10 years for murdering a friend. He ... See full summary »

Director: Henri Colpi
Stars: Alexandru Virgil Platon, Razvan Petrescu, Françoise Brion


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


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


A strange new experience in shock. See more »




Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

19 February 1962 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Turn of the Screw  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Two of Michael Redgrave's children eventually appeared in different adaptations of the same story. Lynn Redgrave appeared in the 1974 version of The Turn of the Screw, and Corin Redgrave appeared in the 2009 version. See more »


In the scene where Miles is on the horse, he rides with and without a saddle in various shots. See more »


Miss Giddens: But above anything else, I love the children.
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 »


Version of The Turn of the Screw (1992) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Genuine creepiness in glorious black & white
12 December 1998 | by (Owen Sound, Ontario) – See all my reviews

What makes a good chiller? Gore, special effects? No, as director Jack Clayton proves here, it's atmosphere, combined with the sounds of horror, that makes the difference. Granted, I've seen just about every Elm Street and Friday the 13th instalment, but "The Innocents" proves that what you don't see can scare you the most. Deborah Kerr is in fine form as an English governess who is sent to a remote mansion in the country to look after two young orphans. Their "uncle" in London doesn't have time for them. Kerr slowly begins to realize there's something not quite right with the young boy and girl. Their thoughts and actions are not consistent with the behavior of pre-teens. There's a dark secret, and Kerr sets out to discover it. We do see the ghosts, but it's when Kerr searches the house for the sources of strange noises and voices that we really feel a chill. "The Innocents" also makes great use of its black and white photography. I can't imagine it working as well in color (are you listening, Gus Van Sant?). Shadows just seem creepier in black and white. The children are well played by Martin Stephens and Pamela Franklin. Franklin was 11 when she made this film, and as an adult she would go on to star in another excellent haunted house movie, "The Legend of Hell House." It's a shame that Hollywood has stopped making movies like "The Innocents." Perhaps audiences used to Halloween-style slashers, "Scream" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer" would be demanding blood and guts. Yes, "Scream" was, pardon the pun, a cut above. It raised the slumping horror bar to new heights, and then "I Know..." ran under that bar, but that's another story. If you want genuine chills rather than cheap thrills, you can't do much better than "The Innocents."

70 of 84 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Hmmm, maybe the kids are more evil than you thought xstrguy
How does she know? tpupkin
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
Discuss The Innocents (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page