W: William Archibald & Truman
Capote [based on the novel "The Turn Of The Screw" by Henry James]
DP: Freddie Francis
Ed: James B. Clark
Mus: Georges Auric
PD: Wilfred Shingleton
Deborah Kerr (Miss Giddens), Megs Jenkins (Mrs.
Grose), Pamela Franklin (Flora), Martin Stephens (Miles), Peter Wyngarde (Peter Quint), Clytie Jessop (Miss Jessel), Michael Redgrave (The Uncle)
Based on the Henry James' novel "The Turn Of The Screw", The
Innocents is a genius revamping on haunted house ghost stories starring the impeccably pure Deborah Kerr.
Set in Victorian England, Kerr plays spinster governess, Miss
Giddens, who is hired to look after two orphan children at a secluded countryside estate.
While looking after the children, she finds them more
precocious than their age may suggest and that they are nowhere near as innocent as they appear to be.
Miss Giddens appears to see the ghostly figures of two people,
a man and a woman, around the reclusive estate and discovers that they bare resemblance to two recently deceased members of staff who were in a sadomasochistic relationship with each other and
she becomes convinced that these ghostly apparitions are corrupting the two young children.
The Innocents does an excellent job of playing tricks with the
audiences mind, as you're constantly wrestling with whether these ghostly visions are real or if it's the lead character who's going mad and allowing her own repressed feelings to come forth. The
film makes use of its eerie countryside locations, shadowy black & white photography, and particularly the creepy, atmospheric music (the song "O Willow Waly", which serves as introduction to
the film, is incredibly sinister).
2001's The Others clearly took this film as inspiration and
put a different twist on it, but this is still amongst the best and most original films of its kind. Certainly in the top 10 horror movies of the 1960's, when the genre was at its very