Similarly, Andrew Pulver placed the film at number 11 in The Guardian's list of the best horror films of all time. The film was, and still is, one of my favorites, and I consider it as one of the best-photographed films I have ever done. The strength of Franklin and Stephens performances had to be the product of great direction. The tradition of a ghost story for Christmas seems to be a Victorian one, popularised by Charles Dickens. There may even be faint traces of a response to the incarnation that Christmas celebrates, the ghost in the stories standing for a spiritual remnant that lingers once our bodies are consigned to the earth. This is the premise of Henry James's The Turn of the Screw 1898 , one of the best of all literary ghost stories, and the source for one of the very best ghost films, Jack Clayton'sThe Innocents 1961.
During the 1950s, she was busy acting on stage and had considerable critical success in two plays by Emlyn Williams, Light of Heart 1940 and The Wind of Heaven 1945. In that sense, Clayton and the writers leave enough enigmas to keep the story from feeling didactic. We glimpse her at a distance, across the lake, awkwardly standing among the reeds; black-dressed, her hair dank, her eyes scoured out by shadows. Yet a sense of mystery and ambivalence still exists regarding the children. Clayton's output was also compromised by the inherent riskiness of the film business. Capote's screenplay with uncredited contributions from was mainly adapted from 's stage version of the story.
The Innocents had its world premiere at the in London on 24 November 1961. So throughout preproduction, Jack designed the film in Academy ratio basically 4. If asked, the children might declare it is the latter, terrorised as they are by Miss Giddens's insistence that they own up to their supposed hidden knowledge. Deborah Kerr was a highly respected Scottish film and television actress. Clayton died in hospital in Slough, England from a heart attack, following a short illness, on 25 February 1995. Adapted from his own novel by it starred as a who struggles with the emptiness of her life, and it again featured a score by Georges Delerue. But, those assumptions are unfair to the horror genre which encapsulates so many others.
All he cares about is that Miss Giddens accept full responsibility for the children, never troubling him with whatever problems may arise. Played with charming grace by Pamela Franklin, Flora has become accustomed to being alone and creating her own make believe world to pass the time at Bly. The film's casting similarly alerts us to echoes of other works. In the biography Deborah Kerr by Eric Braun, director Jack Clayton recalled how The Innocents and the casting of Deborah Kerr as Miss Giddens came about. By a fortunate coincidence, Clayton was contracted to make another film for 20th Century Fox, as was actress , whom Clayton had long admired, so he was able to cast Kerr in the lead role as Miss Giddens, a repressed spinster who takes a job in a large, remote English country house; there working as the governess to an orphaned brother and sister, Giddens gradually comes to believe that her young charges are possessed by evil spirits. These hesitancies in trusting our perceptions take us to the heart of James's story.
The kids in the film were far more horrific characters than any of the people portrayed in any of my films. It is a dark, brooding story that was gently and lovingly handled by Jack Clayton. The film was nominated for two , including Best British Film and Best Film. Nowadays this is not necessary. We look at her, but fail to know how we see her. Several years later, Clayton was about to commence preparation as director for his second feature film and decided to follow a different path that would set a pattern for the rest of his short lived career.
Fifty Classic British Films, 1932-1982: A Pictorial Record. Clayton also directed 1964 , 1967 and the high profile adaptation of F. Though he receives top billing, appears only in the beginning of the film in a cameo role as the children's uncle. Cinematographer Freddie Francis creates a rich visual presentation that captures the lighter and darker aspects of the remote setting. Each candle had up to four wicks in it, each made by the props. Clayton, who had previously made films associated with the , took on the project specifically to avoid being typecast as a New Wave director, and to work in a different genre. In 2012, co-star Shawn Carson recalled the harrowing experience of having to film the new scene, which was entirely done using real, live spiders.
The great problem of ghosts on stage is the solidity, the fleshiness of the spectre; for all that make up and lighting can do, an actor must embody them. In 1977, as compensation for the cancellation of Silence, Fox offered Clayton the chance to a new science fiction script co-credited to David Giler and , but Clayton turned down the film , and it was ultimately given to who, like Sydney Pollack before him, scored a career-making hit. Were I the film's director, I would have ordered the sound of wind blowing through the branches instead. Now this was long before I read the notes on Henry James and found that somebody else also imagines that Henry James wrote it this way—sort of almost hallucinations the governess had. I was first introduced to this film at a movie night for a production company I read scripts for. In the job interview, the great Michael Redgrave plays with this range and his character almost teases Miss Giddens. He handled the cast, especially the two children, with great respect and patience.
She also forges a friendship with Mrs. I think you are far too pretty to be a governess. Among the many film versions, however, most agree that The Innocents 1961 , directed by Jack Clayton, is the most elegant, evocative and frightening of them all. It was so detailed and oh-so creepy. Story wise, it actually reminded me of films like and.
The scene unfolds as if the filmmakers are entirely sympathetic to Miss Giddens, who comes from a poor family in rural England. Its cancellation was a bitter blow for Clayton, who was an ardent fan of the genre, and had long hoped to direct a western. Grose, the housekeeper who sort of, maybe believes Miss Gibbons. Clayton evidently met Bradbury ca. We used a massive number of dimmers on the picture. How could a film do something similar when it shows us, the viewer, the ghosts through what we might think is an objective lens? The film begins in bright sunlight as Miss Giddens, the governess, arrives at the house and walks through the gardens, meeting Flora on the way.