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The Innocents (2005)

Deborah Kerr , Peter Wyngarde , Jack Clayton  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)

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Blu-ray 1-Disc Version $31.69  
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The Innocents + The Uninvited (Criterion Collection) + The Haunting
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Product Details

  • Actors: Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins, Michael Redgrave, Martin Stephens
  • Directors: Jack Clayton
  • Writers: Henry James, John Mortimer, Truman Capote, William Archibald
  • Producers: Jack Clayton, Albert Fennell
  • Format: Widescreen, NTSC, Anamorphic
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2005
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009X75EC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,187 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Innocents" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Includes widescreen anamorphic and full-screen versions

Editorial Reviews

Deborah Kerr stars in this "horrifying Gothic ghost tale" (Newsweek) based on Henry James' "The Turn Of The Screw,' a powerful psychological drama about innocence possessed by evil. Shortly after coming to live with orphans Flora and Miles in their dark, eerie mansion, the new governess (Kerr) mistakes their strange behavior for preciousness. But she soon comes to believe that the charming, beautiful children are possessed by evil, malicious spirits - the souls of their previous governess and estate manager who are now dead. With its shocking conclusion and sinister cinematic effects. The Innocents "catches an eerie, spine-chilling mood right from the start" (Variety) that never lets up.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
92 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, Inspired and Terrifying January 29, 2002
By Mad Dog
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
There have been several adaptations of The Turn Of The Screw, but none as effective as this 1961 gem. Working on the axiom that less-is-more, Clayton shows remarkable and deliberate restraint, and it pays off.
Kerr plays governess to two children one of which may or may not be the victim of possession. Anything more would be giving it away.
Certainly in the top ten list of Horror/Ghost story films of all time, The Innocents compares favorably with "The Haunting" (the original '63 version). Kerr's spectral visions are as solid as the furniture -- they're just harder to find, and lot scarier; the film is an example of how little one needs to resort to SPFX when one knows how to make drama.
On the down side the original was photographed in lush monochrome cinemascope, and the only version released to date (that I'm aware of) is pan-an-scan, so you're missing about 40% of the image.
Still, even in this limited form, "The Innocents" is as scary as anything that's come out of Hollywood inthe last twenty years (er, I mean deliberately scarey -- the remake of The Haunting was scarey for all the wrong reasons).
Please let there be a DVD soon!
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125 of 143 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this when it first came out, and the performances by the children, Miles and Flora, show acting skills far beyond their years. Calling Ms. Kerr, the governess, "Miss Giddons dear" and faintly mocking tones, they dominate the movie; their haunting and possession by the dead servants, Quint and Miss Jessel, are something to see. One of the scenes that scared me the most was the one where Flora is dancing, in the little stone gazebo, to the haunting music box theme, by the lake, and the dead Miss Jessel appearing, watching her from the middle of the lake, seemingly suspended on some water plants, looking sad in her black mourning dress. Flora seems to be dancing for her, and the effect is chilling. The entire movie has a neverending undercurrent of terror, albeit quiet terror, and you never know, literally, what is around the next corner of the vast house. Quint appears to Miss Giddons, outside a window, during a game of hide and go seek, and Miss Jessel glides eerily by a hallway, in her requisite black mourning dress. The housekeeper, Mrs. Gross, stands by the children and refuses to believe they are anything less than "innocent", while Miss Giddons adopts a more pragmatic (and accurate) view of how damaged and under the influence of these two entities the two children really are. Miss Giddons has a dramatic showdown with Flora, by forcing her to acknowledge the existence of Miss Jessel in the scene by the lake, and afterwards the traumatized Flora is taken away by the housekeeper and Miss Giddons is left alone in the house with Miles. Read more ›
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Innocents" is a convincing ghost story. October 16, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Is "The Innocents" a ghost story or a psychological drama? It depends on the viewer. A logically minded person will conclude that the governess is psychotic and the morbid history of the house and the children created the hauntings within her mind. However, imaginative viewers will conclude the obvious: the children are literally possessed by the deceased governess and her sadistic lover. There are contradictory clues within the movie that point to both solutions. For instance, if the children were not possessed how did Flora know that Miles was coming home? However, if the children were possessed why was the governess the only one to see or hear any evidence of the apparitions? Much of the reason "The Innocents" is such an effective suspense film is because of its ambiguity. This is much more effective than newer horror films such as "The Haunting" (1999) in which the ghosts literally tear down the house. "The Haunting" wasn't frightening at all. Successful movies about the supernatural know what to show and what to leave to your imagination. "The Innocents" is a convincing ghost story, because all reports or sightings of ghosts end with one of two possible explanations. Either there was a ghost or there wasn't, and it's up to each one of us to decide.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
There have been some great horror films in the 20th century. Hitchcock was responsible for probably a half dozen himself. The more recent "The Others" comes to mind, and "The Sixth Sense". But nothing compares to Henry James' tale of horror in Turn of the Screw, aptly named THE INNOCENTS for film. Deborah Kerr is perfectly cast as the governess of two children who seem to be possessed by two tragic ghostly figures that only the governess can see. Creepy, haunting, a movie you probably don't want to watch alone, though I have. Great cast. Director Jack Clayton has the perfect touch. Though I am giving the film itself 5 stars, I wouldn't give the VHS version a high mark at all. The audience is forced to watch this magnificent film in the dreadful 'full screen' mode. All we see are mouths and noses at times. If the studio doesn't want to release the film on DVD, at least bring out a special 'wide screen' VHS version so we can see the movie as it should be seen. Or, better yet, release THE INNOCENTS on DVD. It deserves as much attention as most classics.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting story
The beautiful Deborah Kerr, has her hands full with the two orphans she attempts to govern. The story at times, is a little confusing, but it almost all cleared up at the end. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Tom S
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Cinematography
there was a time when this movie was scary. That was a long time ago. That having been said, though, it is a beautifully filmed movie. And it is appealing in an odd way. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ethan Barbee
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of almost two dozen film and tv adaptations.
Henry James novella, The Turn of the Screw, has been dramatized on television, as tv movies, and as a number of theatrical films. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Arneblaze
5.0 out of 5 stars the innocents
another twist on Turn of the Screw. I enjoyed it but felt it lacked a little substance with regard to telling the story
Published 2 months ago by beetlejuice
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for Children
this is scary in two different ways..the "spooky" theme and the underlining story that is told about the corruption of the innocents. Read more
Published 2 months ago by bluzcandy2
5.0 out of 5 stars The only ambiguous ending that actually works.
It's like "It was a dark and stormy night." Even though it's not a bad first sentence, no one likes it anymore because it's so tired and used up. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Rev. Dummy Gladhands
5.0 out of 5 stars a good way!
There is nothing spookier than some strange child ...who may not be a child! The children are Flora and Miles; and Miles may not be who he seems to be. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dr.L.
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising
The sets are amazing and the movie is very true to the book. Do not let the trailer sway you. This is a very good movie with great acting. The kids do a wonderful job. Read more
Published 4 months ago by wg
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly one of the best horror/supernatural movies made
Possibly one of the best horror/supernatural movies made. Ever. Beautifully photographed, acted, directed. Read more
Published 4 months ago by D.B. Spalding
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as ( The Haunting ) In 1963.
First off I will mention the good things about this film. The mansion was definitely eerie. The acting was excellent. And the directing was superb with some pretty intense music. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dementia
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