This is the story of a disturbed adolescent, Laurel, played with frightening conviction by 18 year-old Hayley Mills, and her battle with herself and all those who come into contact with her. A subtle study of the havoc that can be let loose when all you want is your mother's love and it is absent - apparently. Cleverly adapted by John Michael Hayes from the play by Enid Bagnold, the script is brilliant and compelling. Set in a large traditional English house above the white cliffs of Dover where the garden is equally chalky and barren the overall feeling is one of continual frustration and loneliness. Into this incendiary climate a cool and severely beautiful new governess appears, Miss Madrigal, played to perfection by Deborah Kerr. She is the most recent of many who have come and gone as Laurel systematically drives them all away with her outrageous behaviour and aggression - regularly released by lighting a bonfire in the garden and screaming as the flames ignite. Laurel's grand-mother and guardian, supremely played by Edith Evans, is determinedly blinkered as to the severity of Laurel's incipient psychosis and is more concerned with the smooth running of the house, relying on her over-worked butler, John Mills, to keep tabs on the day to day chores and duties as well as being Laurel's main companion. Laurel and Miss Madrigal meet their match in each other as Laurel delves and pries into the governess's mysterious past and Miss Madrigal identifies with and warms towards the unhappy girl. Hayley Mills gives an astonishing performance where the sinister and the vulnerable sides of Laurel's character are shown with great skill and emotion.