Monday, September 12, 2011

Review: The Innocents (1961)

IMDb Synopsis: A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

Can I just start off by saying this film was fantastic? I hadn't heard that much about it prior to viewing, but I was quite blown away by how much I enjoyed it. The Innocents is a film that truly defines "classic horror".

I've always been a big fan of Deborah Kerr, and I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said this was the best of her performances I've seen so far. I'm quite surprised she did't get a Best Actress Oscar nomination in 1962. The whole cast itself was marvelous, including Megs Jenkins, Martin Stephens and Pamela Franklin.  

I can't finish this review without mentioning the direction and cinematography. Between director Jack Clayton (who also made Room at the Top and The Pumpkin Eater) and cinematographer Freddie Francis, The Innocents contains a very Hitchcockesque quality to it, which few films can pull off. Also worth noting are the Victorian-style costumes by Sophie Devine, who also made similar costumes for films such as Long Day's Journey Into Night and Great Expectations.

Overall, The Innocents is a wonderful and haunting film that I'd recommend to suspense/horror fans, or just classic film buffs in general. If you'd like to watch it, you can do so here.

5/5 stars


  1. I love this film! It's probably my favorite Kerr performance. The opening credits are haunting.

  2. A beautifully done, subtle movie - the cinematography is gorgeous, and the scenes with the ghosts are genuinely terrifying.

  3. the best version of "TURN OF THE SCREW"...bolstered by a great director and cinematographer!!

  4. I agree with you on all counts, Meredith, "The Innocents" is a true masterpiece, contains not one flaw and delivers subtle but inescapable chills.