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The Nightcomers (1971)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  July 1972 (UK)
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Prequel to the Henry James classic "Turn of the Screw" about the events leading up to the deaths of Peter Quint and Ms. Jessel, and the the slow corruption of the children in their care.



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Title: The Nightcomers (1971)

The Nightcomers (1971) on IMDb 6.1/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Thora Hird ...
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Anna Palk ...


Prequel to the Henry James classic "Turn of the Screw" about the events leading up to the deaths of Peter Quint and Ms. Jessel, and the the slow corruption of the children in their care. Written by Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

death | children | sex | bondage | orphan | See All (68) »


Two Children. Two Adults. One Unspeakable Crime.


Drama | Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

July 1972 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Das Loch in der Tür  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Michael Winner originally offered the role of Miss Jessel to Vanessa Redgrave but she was filming in Italy and had to decline. Jennie Linden also refused the role. See more »


Referenced in Brando (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

The nightcomers should have gone....
23 March 2004 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

Made at a time when Brando was doing very little on film (and when he did, could do no right, if one examines the reviews and box office returns of his films during this period), this prequel to "The Innocents" (which was based on Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw") has little going for it, but may still provide some interest to fans of his. Brando plays a valet whose employer and wife have died in India. The couple's two children come to live at their parents' estate and Brando stays on as a gardener/handyman. Also in residence is a persnickety maid (Hyrd) and a refined nanny/schoolteacher (Beacham.) These five form an uneasy existence with each other as the children hang on the earthy and repugnant Brando's every word and Brando repeatedly seduces Beacham with increasing sadomasochism. Hyrd tries to keep everyone in check to no avail. Finally, the machinations and misunderstandings culminate in a burst of violence, just in time for the story to peter out and set up for the beginning of the original. Brando is an acquired taste here. It's one of his performances in which it's the audience's duty (burden?) to figure out what he is doing and what he is saying. He's messy, flabby, often unintelligible and, naturally, self-indulgent. Nonetheless, fans of his may lap it up with relish. Beacham does a nice enough job, but can't hope to win any scenes up against the ACTING of Brando. The children (scarcely heard of again after this) are the typical bratty, snotty, unattractive, impossible kids that have been seen in countless British movies. The most interesting performance in the film is actually that of Hyrd. She brings a lot of variety and detail to her role of the housekeeper. Andrews pops up briefly and effectively as the children's' disinterested uncle. The film is stacked with unappetizing and repulsive scenes such as a frog being killed, a turtle being mistreated, chicken feathers being ripped out by hand and then, of course, the "arty" S&M sex scenes between Brando and Beacham. These tasteless (and rather boring) sequences don't illuminate the characters or entertain the audience and so are pretty pointless. There's a grain of interest in the material, but the sloppy direction and awkward script don't help keep it going. Stay awake for Beacham's hilarious final screen moment and for Brando's as well. Fortunately, for him, "The Godfather" was just around the corner.

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