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The Nightcomers (1971)

Prequel to Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw", focusing on groundskeeper Peter Quint's slow corruption of the virtuous governess Miss Jessel and the children she looks after.

Director:

Michael Winner

Writers:

Michael Hastings, Henry James (characters)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marlon Brando ... Peter Quint
Stephanie Beacham ... Miss Jessel
Thora Hird ... Mrs. Grose
Harry Andrews ... Master of the House
Verna Harvey ... Flora
Christopher Ellis Christopher Ellis ... Miles
Anna Palk ... New Governess
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Storyline

Prequel to the Henry James classic "Turn of the Screw" about the events leading up to the deaths of Peter Quint and Ms. Jessel, and the the slow corruption of the children in their care. Written by Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two Children. Two Adults. One Unspeakable Crime.

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 February 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los que llegan con la noche See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"He really threw himself into these sex scenes," says Winner. "I mean Stephanie Beacham didn't stand a chance. He was pulling her all over the place and doing things to her, uhg." It's unclear just what "things" refers to, but none of this should surprise anyone familiar with Brando. See more »

Alternate Versions

For its original UK cinema release the film was heavily cut by the BBFC and removed most of the shots of the bound Miss Jessel during the sexual bondage scenes. Later video and DVD releases were fully uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Brando (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Taking careful notes from the grownups
9 November 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Although the sets and cinematography are scrupulously suggestive of the early 20th century in the United Kingdom and the performances quite good, The Nightcomers never quite gels as a Gothic horror classic. Maybe we see a bit too much of ourselves and don't like to think of the implications of what we're watching.

The children of a wealthy British family are left orphaned by the deaths of their parents in a motor car crash. A cousin who is the closest relation to the father Harry Andrews is at the estate to tidy up affairs, but has no desire to stay there or act as a parent to these two. Never mind, they are amply provided for with cook and governess who are Thora Hird and Stephanie Beacham. The father had a valet played by Marlon Brando and since there is clearly no need for one now he's relegated to the gardener's duties.

Brando's delightful Irish gardener Quint bonds with the kids. He's full of blarney and charm, but that cheerful exterior hides a rather complex and sadistic being. The kids catch him and Beacham in some kind of bondage game as Brando initiates Beacham into the finer points sadomasochistic sex. Both children take careful notes. The kids are played by Christopher Ellis and Verna Harvey.

In the end what happens sets the stage for Henry James's classic Gothic horror tale The Turn Of The Screw. That was brought to the screen ten years earlier as The Innocents which starred Deborah Kerr as the new governess for the kids. According to The Nightcomers, The Innocents would be the last thing anyone would have entitled that film.

Fine performances, wonderful sets and cinematography, yet the film just lacks a spark to consider it a classic. Marlon Brando's fans will want to see it though.


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