The Innocents is a 1961 British horror film based on the novella The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. The title of the film was taken from William Archibald's stage adaptation of James' novella. Directed and produced by Jack Clayton, it stars Deborah Kerr, Michael Redgrave and Megs Jenkins.
Miss Giddens applies for her first position as a governess for a wealthy bachelor, he is not concerned with her lack of experience and she gets the job. Once Miss Giddens arrives at the estate she starts to learn about the place and what has happened in the past.
“an angelic little child with a beguiling smile who appears to have a mysterious foreknowledge of her brother's imminent arrival, though he is not expected.” (Scheinfel 2007)The two young children in the film, Miles and Flora are smart young children, who are very misleading a the beginning of the film, but slowly through the film become more evil and cunning towards Miss Gidden.
Fig Two - Scene from the film.
“Wonderful adult horror, stylishly well-made and frightening on a couple of levels”. (Euker, 2005)The film suited black and white with the atmosphere of the film going well with the creepy soundtrack and laughs and cries of a little girl. There’s a few scenes in the film what capture thriller as well or even better than today’s thrillers, such scene were Miss Gidden is playing hide and seek with Flora and Miles and Miss Giddens searching down the corridor and a figure of a woman just walks past or when Miss Giddens is hiding behind the curtains and Quint comes from behind in the garden towards the window, simple but effective scenes what spoke the audience and leave them asking more questions.
“She was also suspiciously frustrated and sexually repressed. In short, she was what would be quickly labeled psychopathic in this more knowing day”. (Crowther, 2005) The sexual undertone in the film are small and often make the audience ask whats going on, but it feels as the director wanted this to throw them off, the scene where Miles kisses Miss Gidden but the kiss becomes more intimate, this gives the impression that Miles isn’t himself and in fact Miles is possessed by Quint and this is why the kiss is intimate and also the bird he shows be before the kiss has had its necked snapped. Quint was an intimate but brutal man and this shown in this scene through Miles. Miss Gidden’s sexual frustration is obvious as her background is told in the film and Quint knows this and tries this through the film with Miss Gidden.