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The Innocents (1961)

Not Rated | | Horror | 19 February 1962 (Sweden)
Trailer
3:08 | Trailer

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A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

Director:

Jack Clayton

Writers:

Henry James (based on the story "The Turn of the Screw"), John Mortimer (additional scenes & dialogue) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Deborah Kerr ... Miss Giddens
Peter Wyngarde ... Peter Quint
Megs Jenkins ... Mrs. Grose
Michael Redgrave ... The Uncle
Martin Stephens ... Miles
Pamela Franklin ... Flora
Clytie Jessop ... Miss Jessel
Isla Cameron ... Anna
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Storyline

In Victorian England, the uncle of orphaned niece Flora and nephew Miles hires Miss Giddens as governess to raise the children at his estate with total independence and authority. Soon after her arrival, Miss Giddens comes to believe that the spirits of the former governess Miss Jessel and valet Peter Quint are possessing the children. Miss Giddens decides to help the children to face and exorcise the spirits. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A strange new experience in shock. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 February 1962 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Turn of the Screw See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£430,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,616,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cinematography is so admired, aspects of it were imitated decades later in Nine Inch Nails' video for The Perfect Drug, most notably the man on the tower scene. See more »

Goofs

Deborah Kerr's hair has been visibly 'teased' and lacquered with hairspray in an early 1960s hairstyle even though the film is set in the 1860s. See more »

Quotes

Miss Giddens: The children... have they had a governess before?
The Uncle: Yes, unfortunately. Not that there was anything wrong with Miss Jessel. She was an excellent governess and a most respectable woman. The children quite liked her especially little Flora. Oh, which reminds me: Be careful not to broach that subject to Flora unless she broaches it to you first which I doubt will happen. She was so fond of Miss Jessel and it did come as an appalling shock.
Miss Giddens: I'm not certain that I understand you, sir.
The Uncle: She died.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film begins with a totally black screen and the sound of Flora singing for several seconds; then the 20th Century Fox logo fades in and out. The singing continues for a few seconds before the opening credits begin. As the credits display, we see an anguished Miss Giddens praying on the left side of the screen. Her actions are not explained until the film's climax. See more »

Connections

Followed by The Nightcomers (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

O Willow Waly
Music by Georges Auric
Lyric by Paul Dehn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Classic Horror With Atmosphere
2 October 2014 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

Based on the novella "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James, a young governess (Deborah Kerr) for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

As outsiders looking in as voyeurs, we are left wondering about what the governess sees: are the children possessed? Or perhaps they have become friends with ghosts? Or is the governess simply paranoid? The film keeps us guessing, which only adds to its creepiness.

This title has the distinction of featuring the debut of Pamela Franklin, here playing the child Flora, who would later be memorable in "The Legend of Hell House". She expertly presents herself as innocent (hence the title) while saying creepy lines such as, "Oh, look, a lovely spider! And it's eating a butterfly." Did this inspire Jack Hill's "Spider Baby"?

The film has received wide critical acclaim for its psychological thrills and also its technological achievements (cinematographer Freddie Francis made the lightning his number one focus, and also shot the film in layers, giving it a deeper look than most movies). No less than Martin Scorsese has listed it among the greatest horror films ever made.

Freddie Francis is in top form here, coming off his Oscar win for "Sons and Lovers" (1960). His mark on the horror genre would only increase in the following years, as he took the director's chair for Amicus and Hammer numerous times in the 60s and 70s.


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