IMDb > The Innocents (1961)
The Innocents
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The Innocents (1961) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   16,298 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Henry James (novel)
John Mortimer (additional scenes & dialogue)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Innocents on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 February 1962 (Sweden) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Apparitions? Evils? Corruptions? See more »
Plot:
A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(110 articles)
Redford on TCM: Dismal 'Gatsby,' Oscar winner 'Africa'
 (From Alt Film Guide. 20 January 2015, 7:10 PM, PST)

Monte’s Favorites of 2014
 (From DailyDead. 3 January 2015, 10:20 AM, PST)

Daily Dead’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide: Day Two
 (From DailyDead. 1 December 2014, 12:52 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Ghost story or psychological study? Who can say? See more (188 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
Jack Clayton 
 
Writing credits
Henry James (novel "The Turn of the Screw")

John Mortimer (additional scenes & dialogue)

William Archibald (screenplay) and
Truman Capote (screenplay)

Produced by
Jack Clayton .... producer
Albert Fennell .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Georges Auric 
 
Cinematography by
Freddie Francis (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Jim Clark  (as James Clark)
 
Art Direction by
Wilfred Shingleton  (as Wilfrid Shingleton)
 
Costume Design by
Sophie Devine  (as Motley)
 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bond .... hairdresser
Harold Fletcher .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
James H. Ware .... production manager (as James Ware)
Claude Watson .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Birkett .... assistant director
Ken Softley .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Claude Watson .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Peter James .... set dresser
Martin Atkinson .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Alan Evans .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Anthony Pratt .... draughtsman (uncredited)
James Sawyer .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Gus Walker .... construction manager (uncredited)
Tony Woollard .... draughtsman (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Buster Ambler .... sound recordist (as A.G. Ambler)
John Cox .... sound recordist
Peter Musgrave .... dubbing editor
Ken Ritchie .... boom operator
Jimmy Dooley .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
Daphne Oram .... electronic sound effects (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Maurice Gillett .... supervising floor electrician
Ray Jones .... camera grip
Ronnie Taylor .... camera operator (as Ronald Taylor)
Bernard Ford .... focus puller (uncredited)
Ronnie Maasz .... focus puller (uncredited)
Simon Ransley .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Ted Reed .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Brenda Gardner .... wardrobe mistress (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Mary Kessel .... assistant editor
Pamela Milner-Gardner .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Lambert Williamson .... conductor (as W. Lambert Williamson)
 
Other crew
Pamela Mann .... continuity
Jeanie Sims .... script editor
Joan Williams .... production secretary (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
100 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | France:U (re-release) | Portugal:M/12 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:12A (re-rating) (2005) | USA:Approved (PCA #20046) | West Germany:16
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
"The Innocents" was the big career break for veteran film editor Jim Clark. They became close friends and regular drinking buddies during the production because they were both recently divorced and lived near each other. In his 2010 memoir "Dream Repairman", Clark described the editing of the film as an easy and pleasurable experience, largely because of Clayton's meticulous approach to film making. Clark also explained how he created unusually long cross-fades for the scene transitions - these ran four or five times longer that standard "4 foot" dissolves and often included a near-subliminal third element in the cross-fades. Clark described Clayton as "a big drinker who used to tipple all day - mostly brandy - and he was a chain smoker". He also noted Clayton's "perverse sense of humor", and expressed the view that Clayton (who, in his view, was "highly influenced" by his earlier contact with John Huston) also emulated Huston's "sadistic sense of practical joking". Clayton's personal assistant Jeannie Sims (who had previously worked for Huston) had been badly burned as a child, leaving her with scars on her hands and face, and she was terrified of fire, but according to Clark, Clayton "made it his business to try and set Jeanie alight as often as possible. He would go to enormous lengths, preparing bonfires that Jeanie would supposedly be put onto." Clark also revealed that, while generally charming, and revered by his crew, Clayton was sometimes prone to outbursts of extreme anger. He recounted an incident in which Jeanie Sims was unavoidably late calling Clayton with the reviews from the London critics' screening of "The Innocents", which Clayton was too nervous to attend. The screening was held up for over half an hour because of problems getting a senior film critic (who was wheelchair-bound) into the cinema, and after Sims finally contacted Clayton by phone, she returned to Clark ashen-faced and explained that Clayton had flown into a rage, and had viciously berated her over the phone for being late. When Sims called Clark to come to Clayton's studio office the next morning, he arrived to find that, the night before, Clayton had completely smashed the large plaster scale model of Bly House (the fictional location for the movie), and that he was refusing to speak to either of them. Although they patched up the friendship, Clark later opined that he felt his close relationship with Clayton had "crossed the line" of the professional relationship between an editor and a director. Although Clark worked with Clayton on his next film, "The Pumpkin Eater" (1964), their professional relationship and friendship effectively ended with that film - after it was released, Clayton inexplicably sent Clark a highly abusive letter, blaming him for the commercial failure of the film - although Clark later postulated that it might have been actually written by Jeanie Sims, because the letter was typed, and he knew that Clayton never used a typewriter.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: During Miss Gidden's interview with The Uncle, a clock can be heard striking the Westminster Chimes half hour. The Uncle goes to a mantel clock checking his watch. The mantel clock shows 10 past 11:00. The Uncle touches the clock dial, but does not correct the time.See more »
Quotes:
Miles:It was only the wind, my dear.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Jeopardy!: Episode #22.88" (2006)See more »
Soundtrack:
O Willow WalySee more »

FAQ

Is "The Innocents" based on a book?
See more »
131 out of 147 people found the following review useful.
Ghost story or psychological study? Who can say?, 4 July 2004
Author: jemmytee from Los Angeles, Ca.

"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.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Innocents (1961)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
How does she know? tpupkin
Hmmm, maybe the kids are more evil than you thought xstrguy
On Second viewing not a ghost story at all... nutritionist
Three interpretations... Lu_tz
Quite unbearable gypsyola
This is one of those movies... geekeh
See more »

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