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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top 5 Ghosty Films
This adaptation of Henry James's "Turning of the Screw" never fails to scare my socks off. I have many favourite moments in this film, but I'm not going to tell you about them. You'll just have to watch it for yourself. If you're brave enough.
Published 12 months ago by D. G. Anderson

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3.0 out of 5 stars The Innocents
One of the most chilling movies i have ever seen. Set in england a governess who begins to feel that the two childreen under her care are about to be possessed by malignant spirits. The movie hasnt dated one bit and is as chilling as the day it was made. Highly Recommended for horror movie fans.
Published on Aug. 16 2000 by Knewace


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top 5 Ghosty Films, July 25 2013
By 
D. G. Anderson "gordonbennett" (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Innocents (DVD)
This adaptation of Henry James's "Turning of the Screw" never fails to scare my socks off. I have many favourite moments in this film, but I'm not going to tell you about them. You'll just have to watch it for yourself. If you're brave enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The devinitive version of "The Turn of the Screw", May 1 2004
By 
J. O'DRISCOLL (Cork, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Innocents (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STILL SCARES AFTER MORE THAN FORTY YEARS!!!, May 1 2004
By 
Daniel Henderson (Modesto, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Innocents (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Henry James, as he intended..., April 29 2004
By 
R. Gawlitta "Coolmoan" (Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Innocents (VHS Tape)
After "The Ininvited" (1944), this has to be the best ghost story ever. It may have been "bested" by Robert Wise's "The Haunting" (1963), but there's no excuse for this brilliant film NOT to be offered on DVD. The very classy, very wonderful Deborah Kerr has never been better. Anyone else out there craving a DVD of this exceptional film...?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very scary, April 3 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Innocents (VHS Tape)
This film is very scary. I once watched it when i was very young and i couldn't sleep for years!!!
I watched it recently and it was very good.
Highly recommendable!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mother May I?, Jan. 21 2004
By 
Mary F. Sibley (USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Innocents (VHS Tape)
(...)It would be wrong to contribute this film to a long list of ghost stories per se, for these ghosts as we perceive them, are far removed from the 'boo' variety that so many of us are aware of. Rather, perceptions that slip over the edge of the abyss and into the realm of the psychological variety deepen with each frame that the film presents.
Giddens is our guide into the unknown and it is through her eyes that we begin to see this as more than just another ghost story. Rather it is the door into Victorian society and the social caste system that was readily used. Levels were to be maintained and one was never to stray from their station in life. Is Giddens a reliable storyteller, or are we living through the frustrations of her own life and how she intends to project herself onto the rest of the world around her? Would we tend to call this tale a ghost story or would we see it for what it truly is -- one of a repressed and irrational person who has created this entire story to make up for her own sense of personal and professional failure in her life?
Sex, as we are well aware, was a taboo subject in the Victorian era. Are we witnessing the sexual meltdown of the spinster governess, Miss Giddens, or, are we a party to a real ghost story? The Innocents turns the screw on the viewer and thrusts the choice into our minds. We see what we want to see and perceive it as thus.
Performances by Deborah Kerr and Martin Stephens are chilling. Her nervous, wanting to please governess and Stephens' Stepford/Village of The Damned child lob off each other as they draw us ever closer to a masterful denouement. They have equally created a sense of evil that allows us to see the horror of the situation from within the story.
Jack Clayton, the director, has captured the atmosphere and darkness in The Innocents, which is based on the novella, The Turn of The Screw, by Henry James. The use of an all black screen at the beginning and the end of the film makes you wonder just what precisely is going to happen, and the showing of hands in prayer remains a puzzle until the very end.
The screenplay by Truman Capote and William Archibald encompasses the spirit of James's book, and it is held tightly in check, with an understanding of what is required and what is not.
Cinematography by Freddie Francis, in glorious black and white envelopes the tale by issuing forth the lights and shadows that are such a base requirement for any story claiming to have even a minute hint of terror about it. The blazing light of day, the play of light off water, the ebony black of night, the supposition of ghosts upon the living; all masterful and elegant touches that echo suppositions of eerie and otherworldly things and events.
The Innocents is chock full of horror. The supposed pureness of the children and the requisite combination of evil in the appearance of the apparitions and Miss Giddens behaviour, fathoms a nightmare quality that stays with the viewer long after the movie has ended. Giddens pursuit of truth as she wants to believe it, must wade through a quagmire of lies that will continue to mislead her until she has no further ground to trod.
This film is to be commended for its non-use of a lot of silly special effects that would have ruined the desired response that it sought to convey. Just try to forget the gossamer representation of Miss Jessel on the lake or the appearance of Quint on the tower top! It joins the club of psychological thrillers that need only the power of the mind to relay the subtleties of the story without a caravan of pyrotechnics to mar the proceedings. The Sixth Sense, The Uninvited and The Haunting (the Robert Wise version and NOT Jan de Bont mess!) are part of a special club indeed, and The Innocents joins them.
This film was overlooked when it was first released. It's such a gem as to beg to be seen for what it is -- an effective tale of not necessarily what you see or don't see, but what you almost see. . .
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Gothic Ghost Story, perfectly told, Jan. 14 2004
By 
Scott Coblio "kookoo guy" (West Hollywood, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Innocents (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!)
I was taken aback by both the unusual ending and the adult nature of the story; they both give this film an "ahead of its time" distinction. In addition, it's so artfully filmed and conceived, almost like Cocteau's "Beauty and the Beast", and definitely a sister to "The Haunting" which, up til now, had been my favorite ghost-themed film. (Not anymore! Much as I love "The Haunting", it looks like an episode of Scooby-Doo next to this masterpiece! ) Likewise, "The Others" which had been another favorite, doesn't shine quite as brightly now that I've seen this. Good as it is, "The Others" is really just a remake of this much earlier film with a few plot points tweaked and a new title tacked on. It's effective, but I think "The Innocents" is more so.
I was immediately obsessed enough with the story to buy the book it was based on ("Turn of the Screw") which I thought it served very faithfully, and the screenplay, co-written by Truman Capote, even managed to enhance and improve the original story.
Having purchased this film on VHS, I can attest that it's one of those rare films you can watch over and over without getting tired of it. There's always something new it it, and although it's sad and suspenseful, there's a lulling quality to it that is strangely comforting to curl up to with a bowl of soup and a blanket.
Bring on the DVD!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Among the finest films ever made!, Aug. 16 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Innocents (VHS Tape)
THE INNOCENTS is an incredible adaptation of Henry James' literary masterpiece THE TURN OF THE SCREW. The unforgettable performances, Jack Clayton's articulate direction, Freddie Francis' haunting photography, and Georges Auric's mesmerizing music score and sound design add up to a masterpiece. This is the template "ghost" film and has never been equalled in terms of quiet, psycholgical intensity, even though other similar films have apperared since (THE HAUNTING, and especially THE OTHERS). My favourite image is that of the dead Miss Jessel starring across the lake - it is for me the most effective because the audience never sees her up close, so her face is non-descript and left up to our wild imaginations late into the night.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful film and should be given more notice!, Aug. 4 2003
By 
K. Preston (Marietta, Georgia United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Innocents (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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5.0 out of 5 stars The best horror film ever made...Deborah Kerr is superb., June 25 2003
By 
Robert J. Willert (LOS ANGELES, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Innocents (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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The Innocents
The Innocents by Jack Clayton (DVD - 2005)
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