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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 (based on characters from 'The Turn of the Screw' by)
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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Winner was looking for funding a producing partner asked if if he thought Marlon Brando could play the Irish gardener Peter Quint, and he replied "Marlon could play the two children, the dog, the cat, the neighbor from the Caribbean, he can do anything." See more »

Quotes

Peter Quint: If you love someone, you want to kill them.
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 In Confidence: Michael Winner (2012) See more »

User Reviews

Failed oddity.
25 December 2002 | by barnabyrudgeSee all my reviews

The Nightcomers is an odd, depressingly dull film from the director of many bad movies Michael Winner. What distinguishes it from most other bad Michael Winner films is that it stars the great Marlon Brando, in one of the most curious roles of his career. Brando is excellent in this, but in spite of his efforts the movie still fails to ignite.

The story takes its inspiration (if that's the right word) from the Henry James classic The Turn of the Screw. It explores the reasons behind the childrens' disturbed behaviour in that literary masterpiece, concluding that they were affected by witnessing sexual games and acts of aggression in their infancy. The action takes place at a Victorian mansion, where the two children finds themselves drawn to the gardener (Brando), a strange, philosophising peasant who casts an evil aura over the entire household. In one particularly distasteful scene, Brando demonstrates his cruelty by showing the children how to explode a frog. In another, he is seen performing sexual bondage upon the governess of the house Stephanie Beacham.

There was probably a worthy film somewhere amidst this material. The central idea is interesting and the performances are interesting too. The key problem is Winner's fussiness as a director, constantly distracting the audience with his zooms and close-ups and bizarre camera angles. This is a film ripe for the remake factory. Just as long as Michael Winner doesn't get his hands on it again.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 February 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Nightcomers See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$440,654
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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