The Innocents

  • Directed by Jack Clayton
  • United Kingdom, 1961, 100 mins., English

Deborah Kerr’s startling mid-career performance as the conflicted and repressed governess Miss Giddens haunts this 1961 adaptation of Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw. Named one of the best British films of all time by Time Out, The Innocents places Kerr’s character in charge of two precocious children living in a large, country estate. After hearing of the fate of the previous governess and her lover, Giddens comes to believe the spirits of the dead linger beyond the grave. Magnificently captured by cinematographer Freddie Francis (The Elephant Man) and co-written by William Archibald (I Confess) and Truman Capote, The Innocents is a gothic horror tale for the ages, eschewing cheap scares and effects for an exercise in pure and sustained existential dread. “An elegant, sinister and scalp-prickling ghost story – as scary in its way as Rosemary’s Baby or The Exorcist.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.

Appears in: October After Dark

Genres: Horror, Gothic Horror