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Turn of the Screw [VHS] (1974)

John Barron , Eva Griffith , Dan Curtis  |  NR |  VHS Tape
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: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Mpi Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: October 19, 1994
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6303320597
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #648,715 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful susupense movie October 26, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I have thought about this movie 25 years. I am almost to scared to watch it again. Any one will certainly find this a gripping tale.
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4.0 out of 5 stars On a par with Psycho for sheer psychological terror January 31, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this movie as an original in 1974, but 25 years later I can still remember the haunting scenes. This movie leaves you questioning what you saw, and from one minute to the next 'sure' you know who the real evil is --- only to be turned 180 degrees within a few minutes. Very disturbing. Of the Alfred Hitchcock genre in terms of building up terror without a spot of blood.
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Format:DVD
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 estate in England. With the video format, a high degree of intimacy is realized and, as a result, the production feels very much like a stage play. The only exception is the outdoor portions of the program, which are shot on grainy 16mm film that gives a totally different visual impact.
Additionally, some reviewers fail to understand that the music score includes frequent use of eerie percussion cues, which several people on Amazon have mistakenly referred to as sound effects. The music very much adds to the moody, mysterious atmosphere.
This program was shot for ABC-TV's "Wide World of Entertainment" series, originally airing in 1974. It is not a British production but was shot in England. The late Lynn Regrave was a fine actress and viewers should look at this like a stage play and not expect a cinematic film experience. On that level it succeeds admirably considering the budgetary limitations. The richness of shooting in a genuine old estate - no phony studio sets here -- is another plus.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 17 months ago by Hans B
2.0 out of 5 stars Overlong and Inept Adaptation of Henry James
Lynn Redgrave is Jane Cubberly, a governess who takes over the care of two children Flora and Miles at Bly House. Read more
Published on May 4, 2008 by Tsuyoshi
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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