Tuesday, November 27, 2012


After re-reading Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw" a couple of weeks ago, I decided to re-watch "The Innocents". This 1961 film is fairly faithful to the book with the same level of ambiguity throughout.
A governess (portrayed by Deborah Kerr and named Miss Giddens in the film but unnamed in the book), accepts a position to care for two children at a remote country estate. The children are angelic in appearance and manner, but the governess is unnerved by certain aspects of their behaviour.
She believes the children are possessed by the ghosts of the former governess and valet who were involved in a destructive relationship prior to their deaths.  
The audience (or reader, in the case of the book) is never quite sure if an actual haunting is occurring or if the governess is simply a very-highly strung, disturbed woman who is imagining all the unexplainable events.
Classic haunted house scenario - things going bump in the night, mysterious figures glimpsed in and around the house, strange noises etc. The scene where the ghostly figure of the previous governess "appears" across the lake has always freaked me out in a major way.
Beautifully filmed in black-and-white. Love it.
"Bly", the mysterious mansion where events take place.

Sweet little Flora (Pamela Franklin)

Charming little Miles (Martin Stephens)


librarygirl said...

I found reading TOTS like walking through treacle - so heavy going. The governess was a nutcase,I thought - that film looks very creepy - never seen it!

Anonymous said...

Creepy children are the worst!!!