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“Love? Oh, I suppose that’s what she called it. But it was more like a sickness. A fever that leaves the body burned out and dry.” That’s not most people’s idea of love. Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, Jeff Mohr, and listener guest host Bill Gabriel – as they try to figure out who or what is innocent in The Innocents (1961).
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 87 – The Innocents (1961)
A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.IMDb
- Director: Jack Clayton
- Henry James (based on the story “The Turn of the Screw”)
- William Archibald (screenplay) and
- Truman Capote (screenplay)
- John Mortimer (additional scenes & dialogue) (brought in to “Victorianize” the script)
- Cinematographer: Freddie Francis (director of photography)
- Editor: Jim Clark
- Deborah Kerr as Miss Giddens
- Michael Redgrave as The Uncle
- Peter Wyngarde as Peter Quint
- Megs Jenkins as Mrs. Grose
- Martin Stephens as Miles
- Pamela Franklin as Flora
- Clytie Jessop as Miss Mary Jessel
- Isla Cameron as Anna
The Innocents may be the definitive film version of Henry James’ “The Turn of the Screw.” Bill recalls which scene gave him a memorable scare when he was a 10-year-old boy and he places The Innocents as one of his top four ghost movies. Jeff is amazed by the cinematography of Freddie Francis and the way he deals with and utilizes Cinemascope’s 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Martin Stephens’ performance as Miles impresses Chad as does the writing, most of which was done by Truman Capote. Whitney is also impressed with the writing and how The Innocents is able to keep the viewer guessing as the ambiguous nature of the story is maintained from beginning to end.
If you haven’t seen The Innocents, you should correct that situation as soon as possible. At this writing. this masterpiece is available to stream on YouTube or on physical media as a Criterion Blu-ray.
Chad, Whitney, and Jeff give a big Grue-Crew thank you to Bill Gabriel! His film pick, research, and passion for the subject made this episode a joy!
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. The next episode in their very flexible schedule, chosen by their next super-secret guest host, will be The Black Scorpion (1957).
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To each of you from each of us, “Thank you so much for listening!”