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The Turn of the Screw (1999)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  27 February 2000 (USA)
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A governess put in charge of two young children begins to see the ghost of her dead predecessor.

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(teleplay), (short story)
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Grace Robinson ...
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A governess put in charge of two young children begins to see the ghost of her dead predecessor.

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Drama | Horror | Thriller

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27 February 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Skruen strammes  »

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Yet another version of this famous ghost story/psychological thriller.
1 May 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Henry James wrote, perhaps the most famous ghost story in the world: The Turn of the Screw.

The suggestion in the book is that the governess might be having hallucinations brought on by sexual hysteria, OR she might, indeed be caught between the living children under her care, and the dead lovers who communicate with each other through the children.

Benjamin Britten wrote an opera that is absolutely bone-chilling called The Turn of the Screw. Many films have also been made either called The Turn of the Screw or, in a brilliant adaptation, The Innocence.

In The Innocence, Sir Michael Redgrave is the owner of Blye and the person who hires Deborah Kerr to be in complete charge of his niece and nephew.

In this new Masterpiece Theater adaptation, called The Turn of the Screw, Colin Firth plays The Master of Blye who hires Jodi May as governess.

Redgrave is older, detached and uninterested in the workings and daily problems of Blye and simply wants someone to run things for him.

Firth is young and VERY sexy. So much so, that he uses his sexuality to convince a naive and hesitant May to take the position.

This sexual attraction, on May's part, is underlined with a scene where she enters The Master's bedroom at Blye, and touches his clothes.

But the haunting of Peter Quint and Miss Jessel are presented as VERY real, and very threatening.

What is merely suggested in the older Kerr version, is played out with more emphasis in this Masterpiece Theater version.

The sets are lush. The setting beautiful. The children too perfect. Flora is smug and deceptive. Niles is heart-breaking in his corruption.

The question remains. Was the governess mad or was she overwhelmed by the evil of Peter Quint? Were the children possessed or was the governess?

An excellent version, although there are scenes in the Kerr version that are truly jolting.


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