MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 10 this week

The Innocents (1961)

 -  Horror  -  November 1961 (UK)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 14,861 users  
Reviews: 180 user | 128 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...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb at Comic-Con 2014

Follow our coverage of Comic-Con 2014, direct from San Diego July 23-27 in our Comic-Con section.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 31 Dec 2010
 
a list of 25 titles
created 19 Mar 2013
 
a list of 36 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 23 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 33 titles
created 2 months 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... 

Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In the 1980s, college student Samantha Hughes takes a strange babysitting job that coincides with a full lunar eclipse. She slowly realizes her clients harbor a terrifying secret; they plan to use her in a satanic ritual.

Director: Ti West
Stars: Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Dr. Caligari's somnambulist, Cesare, and his deadly predictions.

Director: Robert Wiene
Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher
Pulse (2001)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Japanese university students investigate a series of suicides linked to an Internet Web cam that promises visitors the chance to interact with the dead.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Stars: Haruhiko Katô, Kumiko Asô, Koyuki
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After Jonathan Harker attacks Dracula at his castle (apparently somewhere in Germany), the vampire travels to a nearby city, where he preys on the family of Harker's fiancée. The only one ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Francis Barnard goes to Spain, when he hears his sister Elizabeth has died. Her husband Nicholas Medina, the son of the brutest torturer of the Spanish Inquisition, tells him she has died ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, John Kerr
Halloween (1978)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A psychotic murderer institutionalized since childhood for the murder of his sister, escapes and stalks a bookish teenage girl and her friends while his doctor chases him through the streets.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran
The Exorcist (1973)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.

Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Ruth Livier
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband.

Director: Michael Dougherty
Stars: Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker
Julia's Eyes (2010)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The story of a woman who is slowly losing her sight whilst trying to investigate the mysterious death of her twin sister.

Director: Guillem Morales
Stars: Belén Rueda, Lluís Homar, Pablo Derqui
1408 (2007)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A man who specializes in debunking paranormal occurrences checks into the fabled room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel. Soon after settling in, he confronts genuine terror.

Director: Mikael Håfström
Stars: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack
The Awakening I (2011)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 1921, England is overwhelmed by the loss and grief of World War I. Hoax exposer Florence Cathcart visits a boarding school to explain sightings of a child ghost. Everything she believes unravels as the 'missing' begin to show themselves.

Director: Nick Murphy
Stars: Rebecca Hall, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton
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

Plot Keywords:

children | governess | valet | girl | england | See more »

Taglines:

Apparitions? Evils? Corruptions? See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

November 1961 (UK)  »

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

When the governess first arrives at the house, it's a bright, sunny day. In fact, Freddie Francis had had some of the trees painted lighter to exaggerate this. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Miles: What shall I sing to my lord from my window? What shall I sing for my lord will not stay? What shall I sing for my lord will not listen? Where shall I go when my lord is away? Whom shall I love when the moon is arisen? Gone is my lord and the grave is his prison. What shall I say when my lord comes a calling? What shall I say when he knocks on my door? What shall I say when his feet enter softly? Leaving the marks of his grave on my floor. Enter my lord. Come from your prison. Come from your ...
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 The Haunting of Helen Walker (1995) 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.


127 of 142 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
The Innocents on TCM! seahorse-10
So why did the ghosts possess the children? luvehorror
Three interpretations... Lu_tz
Discuss The Innocents (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page