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The Turn of the Screw (1974)

An English governess is hired to take care of two adorable orphans, who turn out to be not exactly what they seem to be.




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Complete credited cast:
Miss Jane Cubberly
John Barron ...
Mr. Fredricks (as John Baron)
Luke (as Anthony Lagdon)
Miss Jessel (as Kathryn Scott)
Jasper Jacob ...
Eva Griffith ...

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An English governess is hired to take care of two adorable orphans, who turn out to be not exactly what they seem to be.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Horror | Thriller | Drama





Release Date:

22 October 1991 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Dem Bösen widerstehen  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Most of the musical score was initially composed for another Dan Curtis TV production, the gothic series Dark Shadows (1966). See more »


Flora: Darkness is a shroud to cover.
Miles: Darkness is the cloak, beware.
Flora: We do not fear the vast of blackness.
Miles: We wear shadows in our hair.
Flora: Darkness calls us to a reckoning.
Miles: Call us to its close embrace.
Flora: We shall soon be there to meet it.
Miles: Though we cannot see its face.
Flora: In the dark, the raid of the ghost.
Miles: And the coffin cannot hold.
See more »


Version of The Turn of the Screw (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

THE TURN OF THE SCREW (TV) (Dan Curtis, 1974) ***
30 March 2009 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Surprisingly effective made-for-TV adaptation of Henry James' classic ghost story "The Turn Of The Screw" which had already spawned an acclaimed cinematic version in Jack Clayton's THE INNOCENTS (1961); for the record, I am also familiar with THE NIGHTCOMERS (1972), a serviceable prequel written originally for the screen. Prior to this, I had checked out the following TV movies from director Curtis: THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1968; which he only produced), THE NIGHT STALKER (1971), THE NIGHT STRANGLER (1972), Dracula (1973), THE NORLISS TAPES (1973) and TRILOGY OF TERROR (1975), and this generally measures up to them quality-wise. Anyway, to get back to the film at hand: having watched THE NIGHTCOMERS in 2004 (as part of a Marlon Brando tribute) and THE INNOCENTS in 2005 (while studying in Hollywood) – that is to say, not too long ago – I knew more or less what to expect from the plot; of course, being the early days of TV/video technology, the alternately grainy and flat look emerges as its weakest element and cannot hope to challenge Freddie Francis' renowned chiaroscuro work on the 1961 film version. Incidentally, I opted to watch this now as an extension of my brief tribute to Natasha Richardson – since it stars her aunt, Lynn Redgrave; I have also acquired THE HOTEL NEW HAMPSHIRE (1984) – based on another popular novel, by John Irving – which, in its turn, was directed by her father i.e. Tony Richardson. Redgrave is a fitting replacement for Deborah Kerr – managing a quiet fortitude in her dealings with the mansion's absentee landlord, the kids (who are anything but innocent, and the boy rather overbearing!) and even the apparitions (the valet and his lover/preceding governess, resuming their corrupting influence on the children). Probably sticking rigorously to the source material, William F. Nolan's script comes across as too literary and the film itself decidedly overlong at 118 minutes; similarly, Curtis' approach is atypically reserved most of the time – with the manifestations themselves well-handled but hardly chilling…apart from the very last sequence, which then brings the film to an abrupt close! While I readily admit to being wary of remakes – and, when badly done, they are certainly redundant – I have grown tolerant of those emanating from other media (mind you, the 1970s was pretty much the Golden Age of TV); with this in mind, I look forward now to Dan Curtis' own version of FRANKENSTEIN (1973) despite being the nth rendition of the Mary Shelley tale that I would be sampling…

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