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The Turn of the Screw (1974)

John Barron , Eva Griffith , Dan Curtis  |  NR |  DVD
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Barron, Eva Griffith, Jasper Jacob, Megs Jenkins, Anthony Langdon
  • Directors: Dan Curtis
  • Writers: Henry James, William F. Nolan
  • Producers: Dan Curtis, Tim Steele
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Mpi Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 27, 2002
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000060MVG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,810 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Turn of the Screw" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Lynn Redgrave, Jasper Jacob, Anthony Langdon. When a new governess learns that the previous nanny, Miss Jessel, died mysteriously, she gets caught up in a battle between Miss Jessel's ghost and the two orphaned children the ghost is trying to take control of. 1974/color/123 min/NR/fullscreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dissenting Point of View August 7, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Though I appear to be a minority, I'd like to praise this version of "The Turn of the Screw," not because I think it's an improvement over the 1961 film version, "The Innocents," but because I think it succeeds in the context of its own particular medium: videotape. True, this rendering of Henry James is not "cinematic" in the usual sense, but the very nature of videotape precludes the stylistic approach of celluloid. What this version lacks in the verisimilitude of exterior settings, it more than compensates for in terms of intimacy of atmosphere (the main virtue of videotaped productions), so that I encountered a mood of claustrophobia lacking in theatrical versions. In fact, this "Turn of the Screw," like Dan Curtis's 1968 version of "Jekyll and Hyde" (and like the BBC videotape of "Count Dracula") carries much of the directness of on-stage drama: precisely because of its technical lack of "polish," it draws the viewer into a more authentic sense of involvement. As for the acting, here, too, I have to partially differ, since I feel Lynn Redgrave gave a fine and measured performance (not over-the-top, as some reviews have stated). If I had any quarrel with the acting, it was with Jasper Jacob as "Miles," because the actor looked 4 or 5 years too old for the role. Still, his performance was passable, and as for Eva Griffith, her "Flora" was superb; Griffith's face, moreover, has remarkable sensuality for a child actress, which makes the gradual onset of libertine possession all the more believable. In short, this is one of my favorite adaptations of a famous horror novel which, whatever its flaws, is one I'd love to have on DVD.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars better than the rest September 12, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Despite a few nay sayers out there,this video was pretty darn good. It may not have a polished look,but then again,it was made for television. Within that contects,this version thrives like a vegetable in the rain. The sets are good as well as the acting,effects,and the frightning score by Robert Corbert.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Spooky Atmosphere Ruined by Gratuitous Violence February 22, 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Well-acted, eerie atmosphere, BBC-style British television spooker is all set to be near-perfect, of a quality right up there with The Changeling or the Woman In Black. But some viewers may be turned off by the relentless torturing of animals that the two kids get up to - far more so than the barely hinted at suggestions in The Innocents film version of this great Henry James story. I found this aspect spoiled what could have easily been otherwise an above-average haunted house movie relying on psychological chills in the best tradition of The Haunting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A review for The Turn of the Screw December 7, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
The Turn of the Screw is not a movie I would recommend renting on a Friday night. The monotonous scenes will put you to sleep. The same events keep reoccuring. Jane Cubberly sees the spirits of Miss Jessel and her evil lover, Peter Quint. She accuses Flora of seeing Miss Jessel, but she would always deny it. That goes on throughout the entire movie. You will also be annoyed with the generic music. Every time something bad was about to happen, you would hear a clamor of xylophone chords. The camera work also seemed very juvenile. Almost like a high-school student filmed it. There is a scene where Jane Cubberly is on a carriage with Luke. They are supposed to be moving, but it is plain to see there is a fake background and you can hear the poorly made sounds of horses galloping. I think this book should never have been made into a movie. It just seemed to ruin the book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Overlong and Inept Adaptation of Henry James May 4, 2008
Format:DVD
Lynn Redgrave is Jane Cubberly, a governess who takes over the care of two children Flora and Miles at Bly House. In this quiet country estate she experiences or sees strange things. By the time she knows the truths about her predecessor Miss Jessel and one Peter Quint, she is convinced that some evil force is out there, waiting for the chance to corrupt the two "innocent" children in her charge.

Dan Curtis directed this made-for-TV adaptation of Henry James' famous novella in 1974. The production is obviously low-budget and some images and sound effects are technically inept - in the "storm" scene there is no storm; the sun is shining somewhere up above. The menacing presence of "them" (you know what I am talking about) are not menacing enough; they look like actors with special make-ups - but that is not really the problem of this version.

In spite of some nice visual tricks, Dan Curtis' film is not creepy or psychologically insightful enough. The ambiguity of the original book is totally gone. Look how the governess talking back to her employer, the children's uncle, calling him "dreadful." Her repressed sexual desire is part of her (over)eagerness to "protect her" children, but the film discards one of the most intriguing parts of James' story.

Instead, materials are added to the plot that should be simple, but they result in the film's most unconvincing (and sometimes boring) scenes. When young boy Miles should be a "perfect" and "innocent" child, in her eyes at least, the film describes him as cold-hearted animal torturer. Clearly the boy is not "innocent" in the way the governess would want him to be (neither is Flora, who can be insensitive to the dead frog), but Ms. Cubberly is too slow to understand what is so obvious to us.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Well Done Theatrical Stage Style Version of a Gothic Classic
What a number of viewers of this program fail to realize is that this adaptation of the classic Henry James novel was videotaped in its entirely on location at a centuries-old... Read more
Published 16 months ago by FAN OF THE GREAT STUFF
5.0 out of 5 stars The best ghost story ever...
With superb, almost supernatural acting and the direction of Dan Curtis, this story
is brought to the not very faint-hearted to be viewed in good company on dark shadowy... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Hans B
1.0 out of 5 stars Be warned: Poor audio!
MPI's DVD edition of this video feature has serious audio problems: the dialogue is distorted and impossible to make out, like a radio with very poor reception. Read more
Published on March 8, 2006 by Peter W. Many
2.0 out of 5 stars Are you serious
Although the plot stayed somewhat close to the Henry James' story the director certaintly took his creative license and ran. Read more
Published on November 25, 2001
2.0 out of 5 stars Turn of the Screw and Its setting elements
The majority of the feature takes place in the countryside near Essex, in Great Britain. The haunted grounds of Bligh House give one the idea of mystery. Read more
Published on December 10, 1999 by Alec Austin
2.0 out of 5 stars The Reality of Turn of the Screw
Turn of the Screw is a horror film based on the idea of two deceased adults who have come back from the dead to try to steal the soul's of two children whom they knew while they... Read more
Published on December 10, 1999 by Jenny M
1.0 out of 5 stars Not The Best Movie of the Year
The movie The Turn of the Screw is definetely not one fit for the years top ten list. With its fake scenery, bad music, and bad acting, the movie keeps getting worse, right from... Read more
Published on December 9, 1999 by Marie Brooks
1.0 out of 5 stars To Be Technically Impaired
Henry James's The Turn of the Screw is a movie that is more technically impaired than my Uncle Floyd who still uses an abacus to do his accounting. Read more
Published on December 9, 1999 by Sweetie_Pie_1
1.0 out of 5 stars A review for The Turn of the Screw
The Turn of the Screw is not a movie I would recommend renting on a Friday night. The monotonous scenes will put you to sleep. The same events keep reoccuring. Read more
Published on December 7, 1999 by Heidi Quaerna
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