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The Innocents (Blu-ray)

91 customer reviews

Price: £11.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Directors: Jack Clayton
  • Format: Dolby, HiFi Sound, PAL, Widescreen
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: BFI DVD
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Aug. 2010
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002KHMKHM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,433 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Jack Clayton's celebrated screen adaptation of Henry James's The Turn of the Screw is a brilliant exercise in psychological horror. Impressionable and repressed governess Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr) agrees to tutor two orphaned children, Miles and Flora. On arrival at Bly House, she becomes convinced that the children are possessed by the perverse spirits of former governess Miss Jessel and her Heathcliffe-like lover Quint (Peter Wyngarde), who both met with mysterious deaths.

The film's sinister atmosphere is carefully created - not through shock tactics, but through its cinematography, soundtrack, and decor: Freddie Francis' beautiful CinemaScope photography, with its eerily indistinct long shots and mysterious manifestations at the edges of the frame; an evocative and spooky soundtrack; and the grand yet decaying Bly House. Widely considered to be one of the greatest of all ghost stories on film.

Extra Features:

  • Filmed introduction and commentary with Professor Christopher Frayling
  • Original trailer for The Innocents
  • Naples is a Battle Field (Jack Clayton, 1944, 13mins) Rare and previously unseen RAF film
  • The Bespoke Overcoat (Jack Clayton, 1955, 33 mins) - Jack Clayton's first film as director - an Oscar and BAFTA award-winning short starring Alfie Bass and David Kossoff
  • Stills gallery including original costume designs, publicity posters, press books and production pictures
  • Extensive illustrated booklet including film notes by Jeremy Dyson (The League of Gentlemen)

Review

The best ghost movie I ve ever seen --Pauline Kael

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Numinous Ugo on 24 Nov. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In my youth the BBC ran a strand of films on Saturday evening entitled The Saturday Thriller. First off was Psycho, which was the first time I'd seen that movie, then came The Innocents which had a much greater effect on me. I have seen the former many times since and it is obviously a classic but I have only just seen The Innocents again and I was stunned at how creepy it really is, especially as I see more in it now than I did as a child.

At the time I first saw this movie my grandmother was living in a lodge house next to a rather neglected large country house, in front of the house was an area of long grass that was reminiscent of the scene where the figure of the previous, dead, nanny had appeared in the reed bed next to the lake in the film. I still get goose pimples thinking about the first time I stood there and remembered a scene from the film and ran back to my gran's house in terror. I never talked to anyone about it at the time but just recently found that my sister had had the same experience, scary indeed.

When I watched it again recently I was amazed at how powerful it is and only in a couple of places did the dramatic music and the histrionics snap me out of my suspended disbelief, this is a true classic of the genre but it is not comfortable viewing, leaving the audience unnerved for some time afterwards. I had over 40 years between viewings and I still remembered how creepy it was first time round.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Motion picture man on 16 Sept. 2010
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Once upon a time before special effects there was a fine art in cinema which used the viewer's mind to create effects which have not since been improved upon. Film makers during this period strived to maximise this through shot composition, art direction, light and shade, music score, simple editing, evocative cinematography and a style of acting to further enhance the desired effect in close relation to all of these disciplines and skills. 'The Innocents' is one the finest examples in this category. Engrossing and disturbing, always compelling. Lower the lights, open your mind and dare to let this black and white masterpiece contaminate you with endless psychological colour. You cannot fail to find yourself reflecting on its effect and feel the energy of its masterful delivery. Enhanced clarity in sound and vision via blu-ray.(I hope readers are not deterred from purchasing this disc due to some people receiving faulty discs, it is important to remember they are reviewing their experience and not the film. I suggest returning and requesting another if this happens, Amazon will accommodate I'm sure)
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64 of 67 people found the following review helpful By D. Kelly on 16 Dec. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"The Innocents" is director Jack Clayton's screen adaptation of Henry James's story "The Turn of the Screw" (1898). A brilliant and fascinating exercise in psychological horror. Impressionable and repressed governess Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr) agrees to tutor two orphaned children, Miles and Flora. On arrival at Bly House, she becomes convinced that the children are possessed by the perverse spirits of former governess Miss Jessel and her lover Quint (Peter Wyngarde) who both met with mysterious deaths.

The film's sinister atmosphere is carefully created through its cinematography, soundtrack, and design: Freddie Francis' beautiful photography, with its eerily indistinct long shots and mysterious manifestations at the edges of the frame; an evocative and spooky soundtrack; and the grand yet decaying Bly House.

Deborah Kerr gives the performance of her career and makes "The Innocents" an intensely unsettling experience. Are the ghosts the products of Miss Giddens' fevered imagination and emotional immaturity, or a displacement of her shock at the sexually precocious behaviour of ten-year-old Miles? Is she the protector or the corrupter?

Now widely considered to be one of the greatest of all ghost stories on film, "The Innocents" continues to inspire today's 'haunted house' movies, most notably "The Others" starring Nicole Kidman and directed by Alejandro Amenábar in 2001.

DVD Extras include a commentary with Professor Christopher Frayling, the original trailer for "The Innocents", the Oscar and BAFTA award-winning short film "The Bespoke Overcoat" directed by Jack Clayton, 1955, 33 mins (Clayton's first film as director) starring Alfie Bass and David Kossoff,

a stills gallery including original costume designs, publicity posters, press books and production pictures and a booklet including film notes by Jeremy Dyson (BBC's "The League of Gentlemen").
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76 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Mr. N. Scott on 17 Dec. 2006
Format: DVD
A masterpiece of ghost-story cinema and haunting Victoriana. Wonderful adaptation of 'The Turn of ths Screw'. Takes the stage play 'The Innocents' and transforms it into a cinematic tour-de-force of innocence, corruption, dark secrets and above all ambiguity. The great thing is the ambiguity - the viewer is left to make up their own mind. Are the children being used by the ghosts of the dead servants (as it seems they were used by the servants when alive), are the apparitions real, is it all in the imagination of the repressed and hysterical governess, have the children been abused and corrupted, is it all a work of psychological symbolism (with the old mansion and the ghosts being used as symbols of the abuse of the children's innocence)? There is evidence to support all theories, which is exactly what Henry James intended with his story. Unlike the modern horror films which throw everything at you and don't allow your imagination to work, this film uses suggestion and ambiguity and stimulates your imagination.

The screenplay ('90% by Truman Capote') and script make great use of the old house and the images of decay and corruption amid its beauty and ornate Victoriana to show the dark heart of the tale. The cinematography in black and white cinemascope is used to perfection. The direction and the acting are all perfectly fitted to the story. In all, this creates a wonderful, claustrophobic and chilling world.

The BFI release DVD package is a thing to treasure. Apart from the movie itself there is a filmed intro and a commentary by Christopher Frayling, both of which give loads of fascinating backgound info and interpretation, a copy of Jack Clayton's 1st ever movie, and a lovely booklet.

A real work of art.
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