IMDb > The Nightcomers (1971)
The Nightcomers
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Nightcomers (1971) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 10 | slideshow)

Overview

User Rating:
6.1/10   1,159 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 46% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Michael Hastings (written by)
Henry James (characters)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Nightcomers on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
July 1972 (UK) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Two Children. Two Adults. One Unspeakable Crime.
Plot:
Prequel to the Henry James classic "Turn of the Screw" about the events leading up to the deaths of Peter Quint and Ms... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. See more »
NewsDesk:
(20 articles)
User Reviews:
Typical Winner mish mash - Brando still in Last Tango mode See more (22 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Directed by
Michael Winner 
 
Writing credits
Michael Hastings (written by)

Henry James (characters)

Produced by
Michael Winner .... producer
Jay Kanter .... executive producer (uncredited)
Elliott Kastner .... executive producer (uncredited)
Alan Ladd Jr. .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Jerry Fielding 
 
Cinematography by
Robert Paynter (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Michael Winner  (as Arnold Crust Jr.)
 
Art Direction by
Herbert Westbrook 
 
Makeup Department
Stephanie Kaye .... hair stylist
Richard Mills .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Clifton Brandon .... production manager
James Crawford .... production manager (as James M. Crawford)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Dryhurst .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Bill Dennison .... assistant art director (as Bill Benninson)
Syd Nightingale .... construction manager (as Sid Nightingale)
Ray Traynor .... property master
Barry Wilkinson .... stand-by props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Russ Hill .... dialogue editor
Christopher Kent .... sound recordist (as Chris Kent)
Terry Rawlings .... dubbing editor (as Terence Rawlings)
Hugh Strain .... sound recordist
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Anthony Troke .... camera operator (as Tony Troke)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ray Beck .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Frederick Wilson .... supervising editor (as Freddie Wilson)
 
Music Department
Jerry Fielding .... conductor
 
Other crew
Pamela Carlton .... continuity
Joseph E. Levine .... presenter
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
96 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:R | Finland:K-16 | France:-16 | Iceland:16 | Netherlands:18 (orginal rating) | Norway:16 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:18 (video rating) | USA:R | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In her autobiography Britt Ekland claims that Michael Winner promised her the lead role if she could assist him with raising the finance for the movie.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Brando (2007) (TV)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
18 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
Typical Winner mish mash - Brando still in Last Tango mode, 3 December 2002
Author: FilmFlaneur from London

Conceived as a prequel to The Turn Of The Screw, Winner's film is a curious vehicle for Marlon Brando, as well as a example of a failed attempt to film gothic, period drama satisfactorily. Brando plays Peter Quint, the sexually aggressive former valet, now locum gardener at Bly House, an English county estate. Bly is run jointly by housekeeper, Mrs Grose (Thora Hird), and a governess, the repressed Miss Jessell (Stephanie Beacham). The only other inhabitants of this curious domicile are two children, Miles (Christopher Ellis) and Flora (Verna Harvey), nominally the wards of the absent Master of the House (a splendid Harry Andrews), obliged with their care after the death of their parents in an overseas automobile accident. The children regard Quint as something of a surrogate father, and feel that they can ingratiate themselves by manipulating his private life, notably his intense relationship with Miss Jessell.

Jack Claytons The Innocents (1962) is the closest point of reference for Winner's effort, as the earlier film is the definitive telling of the Henry James tale, the events of which spring from this. Presumably the appointment, and despatch to Bly of the (unnamed) new governess at the film's end is that of Miss Giddings, the character played by Deborah Kerr. But where Clayton's film was completely successful in transmitting a feeling of supernatural unease and psychological dread, Winner's ham-fisted approach to his material comes across as almost entirely without atmosphere or charm. James' characters may act out their allotted parts in The Nightcomers, but its presentation of situation and personality veers uncertainly between the childhood gormlessness of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the compulsions of Lady Chatterley's Lover, as much as evoking any genuine atmosphere of psychic foreboding.

Perhaps such foreboding was the last thing the director had in mind. Brando of course regularly exudes magnetism, even in his less successful films, and the animal sexuality of the gardener towards the governess is one of the most dynamic things about Winner's film. UK TV viewers, used to seeing Beacham as the staple of such programmes as Tenko and Dynasty, will raise eyebrows as she gamely submits her buxom charms to Quint's hands - at one point hogtied and squirming in an impromptu Edwardian bondage session. Jessell despises herself, and yet craves what Quint brings during his nocturnal visits. These scenes, verging on the embarrassing for viewer and participants alike, at least provide vivid entertainment sadly missing elsewhere. Unfortunately such adult titillation also disrupts the progress of a film which required the screw turned of increasing tension and menace and proves a distraction from the growing relationship between Miles and Flora, the children at the centre of the film.

As rounded dramatic characters, the youngsters have a hard job convincing the audience. Alternating between school children's pranks, nascent sexuality, naïve hero-worship and psychosis, it is difficult to discover an internal consistency in their actions. The gauche imitations by Miles and Flora of Quint's sexual performance, including a 'bondage' session of their own, and Miles' announcement to the shocked interrogation of Mrs Grose afterwards ("I'll tell you exactly what we have been doing. We have been doing sex!") are an amusing diversion. And this imitation of the adult affair they have witnessed serves as an ironic parody of their elders, if it hardly prepares the viewer for their final, violent, actions. Accordingly our interest is reduced, and dramatic curiosity falls readily upon the relationship between Quint and Jessell, rather than the peculiar wards they shepherd.

Winner clearly thought so too, for his camera dwells too much on those headline adult liaisons for the film's good. This 'false' emphasis (no matter how good sex is for the box office) means that, when the children ultimately take matters into their own hands, events seem rather lame, their motivation too unconvincing and bald. The paramount influence of Quint of course goes some way to explaining the kids' increasingly odd behaviour, notably his announcement, taken on faith, that "if you love someone, sometimes you really want to kill them." But there is a world of difference between his power games with Miss Jessell and the children's attempts to retain them both in their service, as "the dead have nowhere to go." A handful more scenes of the children, talking through their convictions together, would have gone a long way.

Outside of problems with characterisation, many of the film's faults can be place at the door of Winner. Never the subtlest of directors, he was an odd choice to helm a project of this sort which required emotional tact and physical suggestion. Although the location filming at 'Bly' is effective enough, Winner's weakness for jerky zooms, for exploitation, his stiff direction of actors (only the method-trained Brando seems at ease, even with a faintly ludicrous Irish accent), as well as an over-insistent score, provided by the normally excellent Jerry Fielding, are distracting. Beecham and Hird perhaps saw the film as a stepping-stone to better things and do their best. Fresh from Last Tango In Paris, Brando carries over some of the appetites of Paul, his character in the previous production. The blunt Quint, however, is miles away from the sophisticates who inhabited Bertolucci's classic.

Perhaps in the hands of a flamboyant Ken Russell, or even a cool Terence Fisher, The Nightcomers would have congealed more into a worthwhile experience. As it is the film remains an uneven oddity: explicitly sexual between consenting adults, and confused and coy when it comes to those far more interesting shadows of psychology.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (22 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Nightcomers (1971)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Why did they change the story? n-p-hunt
First prequel in horror cinema? hjorgo
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Innocents In a Dark Place Amityville II: The Possession A Bay of Blood Carrie
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb UK section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.