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The Innocents (Blu-ray) 
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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.
- 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)
The best ghost movie I ve ever seen --Pauline Kael
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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").
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This girl s a creepy film. I enjoyed it but it's a bit screamy in places.Published 1 month ago by Samkd
The film is a marvelous black and white film. It Has the magic of black and white; It has the depth of buildings, inside and outside, only seen in shades of grey, particularly dark... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
This is still one of the best horrors. No blood and guts but plenty of tension and chills - very eerie. Great castPublished 2 months ago by p clayden
Very creepy and disturbing film-the song the little girl is constantly humming stays in the mind too. Not one to watch late on a dark night alone if you have a vivid imagination! Read morePublished 3 months ago by JacBanBoo
Another drop-dead beautiful blu ray restoration from the BFI. I wish I was British just so that some of my taxes would go to them. Read morePublished 3 months ago by T. Casey