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The Turn of the Screw (1982)

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Credited cast:
Helen Donath ...
Ava June ...
Robert Tear ...
Beata Blazicková ...
Lillian Watson ...
Michal Gulyás ...
Michael Ginn ...
Philip Langridge ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Heather Harper ...


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The better of Petr Weigl's filmed versions of Britten's operas...
14 July 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The other was 1996's Let's Make An Opera, which I did love overall, but found this even more impressive. Of the four or so Weigl opera films seen so far, 1982's The Turn of the Screw is the second best for me, the best being 1988's Eugene Onegin. 1994's Winterreisse was interesting but not particularly ideal for those who know the true meaning of the songs, despite the beauty of the visuals, the music and how it was performed. This Turn of the Screw may not be absolutely perfect, Lillian Watson sings beautifully but too mature for Flora I feel. Luckily the rest of the singers fare much better, Michael Quinn sounds wonderful though you may feel you prefer somebody older. Robert Tear is appropriately intense and relishes Quint's sense of mockery, Ava June is amusing and benevolent and Helen Donath has the right amount of naivety for the governess. The actors look great and act naturally enough. The music is wonderful, and beautifully performed by the orchestra and conducted with enough buoyancy. The simple story is both creepy and fun, though one thing I do prefer in the original story is the sense of ambiguity with the ghosts which the opera's libretto doesn't have in comparison. I also loved how the film looked, the settings are both beautiful and evocative, and there is nothing fake about them. The photography is very good. All in all, I loved it on the whole, maybe it is not the best performances of Britten's work I've seen(either 1981's A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1985's Albert Herring or 1987's Rape of Lucretia, the Barstow performance of Gloriana is also highly impressive), but there is much to make it worth seeing. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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