In Victorian England, the uncle (Sir Michael Redgrave) of orphaned niece Flora (Pamela Franklin) and nephew Miles (Martin Stephens) hires Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr) 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 (Clytie Jessop) and valet Peter Quint (Peter Wyngarde) 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
The film opens with a creepy song written by Paul Dehn and Georges Auric sung over a black screen for about forty-five seconds before the Twentieth Century Fox logo appears. In some cinemas, the projectionists assumed this was a mistake on the print and edited the movie so it began with the appearance of the Fox logo. See more »
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 »
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 »
This one was slow going for awhile, but in the end I just had to admire its creepiness and much of its sinister ambiance and attention to detail. It's a British film based on the 1898 American novella "The Turn of the Screw", about a young woman (Deborah Kerr) who accepts a job as governess for two small children somewhere off in the English countryside. Neglected by their distant uncle (Michael Redgrave), little orphans Miles and Flora are of special interest to Miss Giddens (Kerr), as she adores children and cares about their well being. But very soon she begins hearing voices and seeing vivid apparitions of the deceased former governess and her dead lover, an evil valet who used to work on the Estate. Are they ghosts? Have the two children become possessed and corrupted by the spirits of the dead? Deborah Kerr's paranoid performance is very good here, and I appreciated the ambiguous nature of the proceedings; not everything is spelled out, and much is left to the viewer's imagination, including the ending -- which is not completely resolved, but is very powerful. *** out of ****
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