A Twentieth Century Fox Film
Original Theatrical Release Date: December 25th, 1961 (USA)
Jack Clayton's 1961 British film is one of many adaptations of Henry James' Turn Of The Screw. And for my money, it's the best of the lot. This is psychological horror at it's best. The film was shot with a lot of deep focus and minimal lighting, and the style gives the film a rich atmosphere and eerie quality. This was certainly not being done much in cinema of the time. Cinematographer Freddie Francis would go on to direct some Hammer Films of his own, but he also was the Cinematographer on the equally exquisite The Elephant Man. He really was a one of a kind.
Star Deborah Kerr turns in a wonderful performance here, and we are right with her on her journey. The Innocents isn't the kind of movie that has any overt, jump at you scares, so it relies on the actors and the atmosphere. And it succeeds brilliantly. This picture's influence can still be seen in films today, some to varying success, but none more so than in Alejandro Amenabar's The Others from 2001.