The Innocents (1961) - Plot Summary Poster


Plot Summary

  • 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
  • Victorian England. Since the death of their parents, adolescents Miles and Flora have been under the guardianship of their wealthy selfish uncle, who admits he has no place emotionally for them in his life. While he lives in London leading his bachelor lifestyle, the children stay at his country estate, the children under the direction of a governess, Miss Jessel. After Miss Jessel passes away, the uncle hires a new governess, Miss Giddens, who admits that this would be her first posting as such, and about which she is nervous. The uncle has only two directions for her: (1) take control of every aspect of Miles and Flora's life, and (2) don't bother him with anything concerning the children. She will only have to care initially for Flora as Miles is away at boarding school. Miss Giddens' first challenge ends up dealing with the news that Miles has been expelled from school for behavior corrupting the other students. Upon meeting Miles, Miss Giddens cannot understand how such a well mannered boy could be expelled, he being overly charming in an overtly mature manner. She also finds Flora to be a lovely child. As time progresses, Miss Giddens begins to feel that something is not quite right at the estate, as she sees visions of a man and a woman on the estate who she has not met and who should not be there according to the housekeeper, Mrs. Grose. She also finds that Miles and Flora exhibit odd behavior at times, especially with each other. She ultimately comes to the conclusion that there was just cause for Miles' expulsion having to do with activities at the estate, and that she needs to bring these issues out into the open to exorcise the demons that affect Flora and most specifically Miles.

    - Written by Huggo
  • In late 19th century England, a woman (Kerr) becomes governess of a small orphan girl living in a lonely stately home occupied only by the child, a housekeeper and a small complement of servants. Her initial misgivings allayed by the child's angelic nature, her anxieties are once more aroused when the girl's brother, equally captivating, is sent home from boarding school for wickedness of some unspecified kind. Eeerie apparitions and inexplicable behavior on the children's part cause her to wonder about the house's history, especially about the fate of the previous governess, Miss Jessel and the former valet, Peter Quint. She fears for the children's souls and for her own sanity. Eventually convinced that there is an unnatural force at work, perverting the innocence of her charges, she sets out to secure the children's salvation by wresting them from its power. Though her struggle reaches a resolution, its real nature and its outcome ultimately remain ambiguous.

    - Written by Anonymous
  • A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

    - Written by Kenneth Chisholm


The film begins by showing a pair of clasped hands, and a woman's voice is heard, whispering that all she ever wanted was to help the children...

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