Bruce Purkey Reviews “Gloriously Atmospheric” ‘The Innocents’

The Innocents (1961), directed by Jack Clayton, may be unfamiliar to those younger than 35, but it is a gloriously atmospheric film that deserves to be seen by the modern movie-going audience. With so many of us looking for streaming options, while we spend more time at home, what better time to watch some movies that one might not normally consider?

The innocents concerns a governess, Deborah Kerr, as she takes on a new assignment, caring for two young orphans, Miles (Martin Stephens) and Flora (Pamela Franklin). At first, it seems too good to be true. What could go wrong at a sprawling, country estate, with two incredibly polite and friendly children? But, of course, in movies like this, things undoubtedly take a turn.

The movie is an incredibly creepy slow-burn, that can manage to disturb even modern audiences. The story is adapted from Henry James’ novella, The Turn of the Screw, by Truman Capote and William Archibald. This is only elevated by fantastic cinematography by a master of the craft, Freddie Francis. For my further thoughts, check out my Youtube review.

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