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The Innocents


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The Innocents + The Other (L'autre) (Bilingual) + The Changeling (Widescreen)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins, Michael Redgrave, Martin Stephens
  • Directors: Jack Clayton
  • Writers: Henry James, John Mortimer, Truman Capote, William Archibald
  • Producers: Jack Clayton, Albert Fennell
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Sept. 6 2005
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009X75EC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,159 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

Deborah Kerr stars in this "horrifying Gothic ghost tale" (Newsweek) based on Henry James' "The Turn Of The Screw,' a powerful psychological drama about innocence possessed by evil. Shortly after coming to live with orphans Flora and Miles in their dark, eerie mansion, the new governess (Kerr) mistakes their strange behavior for preciousness. But she soon comes to believe that the charming, beautiful children are possessed by evil, malicious spirits - the souls of their previous governess and estate manager who are now dead. With its shocking conclusion and sinister cinematic effects. The Innocents "catches an eerie, spine-chilling mood right from the start" (Variety) that never lets up.

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The definitive screen adaptation of Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, the 1961 production of The Innocents remains one of the most effective ghost stories ever filmed. Originally promoted as the first truly "adult" chiller of the big screen (a marginally valid claim considering the release of Psycho a year earlier), the film arrived at a time when the thematic depth of James's story could finally be addressed without the compromise of reductive discretion. And while the Freudian anxiety that fuels the story may seem tame by today's standards, the psychological horrors that comprise the story's "dark secret" are given full expression in a film that brilliantly clouds the boundary between tragic reality and frightful imagination.

In one of her finest performances, Deborah Kerr stars as Miss Giddons, a devout and somewhat repressed spinster who happily accepts the position of governess for two orphaned children whose uncle (Michael Redgrave) readily admits to having no interest in being tied down by two "brats." So Miss Giddons is dispatched to Bly House, the lavish, shadowy estate where young Flora (Pamela Franklin) and her brother Miles (Martin Stephens, so memorable in 1960's Village of the Damned) live with a good-natured housekeeper (Megs Jenkins). At first, life at Bly House seems splendidly idyllic, but as Miss Giddons learns the horrible truth about the estate's now-deceased groundskeeper and previous governess, she begins to suspect that her young charges are ensnared in a devious plot from beyond the grave.

Ghostly images are revealed in only the most fleeting glimpses, and the outstanding Cinemascope photography by Freddie Francis (who used special filters to subtly darken the edges of the screen) turns Bly House into a welcoming mansion by day, a maze of mystery and terror by night. Sound effects and music are used to bone-chilling effect, and director Jack Clayton, blessed with a script by William Archibald and Truman Capote, maintains a deliberate pace to emphasize the ambiguity of James's timeless novella. The result is a masterful film--comparable to the 1963 classic The Haunting--that uses subtlety and suggestion to reach the pinnacle of fear. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Henderson on May 1 2004
Format: VHS Tape
The Innocents, featuring an excellent performance by Deborah Kerr, is a perfect example of why less can be so much more when watching a psychological thriller. Even after forty years this masterpiece still delivers the thrills and scares. The Innocents not only makes the viewer think, but it provides many jolts which will keep any seasoned horror/suspense buff on his or her toes. This film is definitely worth seeking out, although, unfortunately, it has yet to appear on DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. O'DRISCOLL on May 1 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Without doubt, this is the definitive version of Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw." The acting of Deborah Kerr as the governess is superb, as are the performances of the actors playing the two posessed children. Filmed in atmospheric black-and-white, this is one film that deserves the full DVD treatment. My only reservation is with the title. While appropriate, it should have retained the title as given by Mr. James. Five stars!
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Format: VHS Tape
I saw this movie for the first time on cable last week; I was about to go to bed when I caught this from the halfway point, right when Deborah Kerr as the Governess, is playing hide and seek with the children and sees through a window, the ghost of Peter Quint. Beginning as a silhoette, he slowly glides into the reflected light from inside and fixes her with his dead stare. Then he glides away again, with only the light in his dead eyes shining in the darkness. It literally sent chills up my spine and made my eyes water! And I bow to any movie that can do that! I was completely transfixed from that point on and stayed up until the very end. You know a good movie when you're sad that it's over, and I was. I wanted it to go on and on! I think I would have watched it til dawn if it had lasted that long. Rare is a movie this affecting and atmospheric. It was literally a sensual pleasure, albeit a tension filled one--to take it in!
All of the ghost sightings are handled in a powerfully surreal way. The sight of Miss Jessel's ghost on a distant bank is inexplicably terrifying, maybe because her blank stillness is so incongruous with what we're used to in this genre, which usually depicts ghosts as being in various stages of raging histrionics. Somehow, the stillness of this one terrifies more. Her stillness creates an unbearable tension. You feel on the edge of your seat with the idea that she may suddenly look at you, or scream, explode somehow into violence, so that finally the very idea that she may move at all is unbearable, and it's a relief when the camera cuts away from her and she's off the screen. (Although as with any good suspense, you want it to come right back and scare you again!
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Format: VHS Tape
Adaptation of the story The Turn of the Screw, I really fell in love with this film and was totally hooked on watching it over and over.....
Deborah Kerr's character is hired as a Governess to care for two young children. Both children were mainly in the care of their very well-to-do Uncle that is not so great at taking care of anything but his own needs but his niece and nephew are looked after well inspite of his ego. Kerr's character is interviewed by the Uncle to care for his young family and was somewhat persuaded to take the job because of his flirtations win her over.
Little did she know that upon entering the job, the new Governess was quickly hurried to a mansion in the country away from everyone and anything. The children had a house-maid that watched over them but she couldn't be a Mother like the job entitled her to be. The children lost their parents when they were very young and they both went through two prior tenants that Kerr was instantly replacing as Governess. She was told that both tenants had died but not how within year of her new job.
Kerr fell in love with the children and quickly noticed how much they both loved one another as siblings. So much love, that they took on strange and frightining personalities that began to scare the Governess. Obligated to find the answer for the behavior, Kerr nearly met her own death and termination of her job while trying to take hold of the forces that were around her and beginning to take shape physically.
I loved this film and I will not reveal the entire story but I will say that it didn't " drag along " the story. It is worth it's weight and gold!!!!
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Format: VHS Tape
There have been some great horror films in the 20th century. Hitchcock was responsible for probably a half dozen himself. The more recent "The Others" comes to mind, and "The Sixth Sense". But nothing compares to Henry James' tale of horror in Turn of the Screw, aptly named THE INNOCENTS for film. Deborah Kerr is perfectly cast as the governess of two children who seem to be possessed by two tragic ghostly figures that only the governess can see. Creepy, haunting, a movie you probably don't want to watch alone, though I have. Great cast. Director Jack Clayton has the perfect touch. Though I am giving the film itself 5 stars, I wouldn't give the VHS version a high mark at all. The audience is forced to watch this magnificent film in the dreadful 'full screen' mode. All we see are mouths and noses at times. If the studio doesn't want to release the film on DVD, at least bring out a special 'wide screen' VHS version so we can see the movie as it should be seen. Or, better yet, release THE INNOCENTS on DVD. It deserves as much attention as most classics.
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