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  1. #61
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    This is one of the two genuinely frightening films I saw as a boy. The other is The Night of the Hunter.



    The ghosts in The Innocents are the most convincing and disturbing I have seen and the film has an atmosphere of evil that I have not seen anywhere else on a consistent level. Charles Laughton accomplishes the same effect in parts of The Night of the Hunter, but in The Innocents it is maintained all the way through.



    Deborah Kerr was a great actress - not just a gifted or attractive actress, but truly great. Her governess is entirely real and complex, and as frightening as the ghosts.

  2. #62
    Senior Member Country: UK RogerThornhill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimR
    The ghosts in The Innocents are the most convincing and disturbing I have seen and the film has an atmosphere of evil that I have not seen anywhere else on a consistent level.
    It's a truly memorable movie and very unsettling to watch. I was quite young when I first saw it and the image of the ghost standing in the reeds really shook me, I felt as if someone had just tipped a bucket of ice over me. That scene seemed very simple but it's genuinely chilling. I watched it a few months ago and I felt that my DVD player might have been possessed by it.

  3. #63
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerThornhill
    It's a truly memorable movie and very unsettling to watch. I was quite young when I first saw it and the image of the ghost standing in the reeds really shook me, I felt as if someone had just tipped a bucket of ice over me. That scene seemed very simple but it's genuinely chilling. I watched it a few months ago and I felt that my DVD player might have been possessed by it.
    Yes, I know just what you mean. I had the same response to that scene. I couldn't get it out of my head for several days.



    The ghost in the reeds is just far enough away so that it's not possible to see details, but it is close enough to be really frightening. That is brilliant direction.

  4. #64
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimR
    Yes, I know just what you mean. I had the same response to that scene. I couldn't get it out of my head for several days.

    The ghost in the reeds is just far enough away so that it's not possible to see details, but it is close enough to be really frightening. That is brilliant direction.
    I agree. In the second scene where she appears in the reeds the figure is more obvious but there's a lovely touch at the end. After Flora is led away screaming the governess turns back to look at the reeds. In every other horror film the figure would have disappeared...

    ... but in this case it's still there.

  5. #65
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Davies
    I agree. In the second scene where she appears in the reeds the figure is more obvious but there's a lovely touch at the end. After Flora is led away screaming the governess turns back to look at the reeds. In every other horror film the figure would have disappeared...

    ... but in this case it's still there.
    Well observed. Yes, there is no relief the way there is in ordinary 'horror' films. It is the work of gifted people who took the story seriously.

  6. #66
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I feel sure I read somewhere that although 20th Century-Fox insisted that all their films were to be shot in CinemaScope (as was this film), Jack Clayton fought for it to be filmed in black and white and he was right. Colour would have killed it.

  7. #67
    Senior Member Country: UK RogerThornhill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan

    I feel sure I read somewhere that although 20th Century-Fox insisted that all their films were to be shot in CinemaScope (as was this film), Jack Clayton fought for it to be filmed in black and white and he was right. Colour would have killed it.
    It's certainly much more effective in black and white than it could ever have been in colour. The lighting is wonderful and the film has a wonderfully artistic look.








  8. #68
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Excellent frame captures there, Roger. Here is the original black and white poster from the January, 1962, edition of Photoplay magazine to go with them.




  9. #69
    Senior Member Country: UK RogerThornhill's Avatar
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    I wish that I had kept my copies of Photoplay, the ones from around that time must make really fascinating reading now. Especially where some of the articles can be viewed in hindsight.

  10. #70
    Senior Member Country: Spain Rowdon's Avatar
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    I agree that The Innocents maintains its atmosphere throughout - very similar to the book, where your fear comes from what is not said or 'shown' - so it's much more your fear...





    BUT ... I think the scene where a beetle crawls out of a cherub statue's mouth is just silly horror, and breaks the atmosphere for a moment for the sake of a shock.

  11. #71
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerThornhill

    I wish that I had kept my copies of Photoplay, the ones from around that time must make really fascinating reading now. Especially where some of the articles can be viewed in hindsight.
    Yes, I have a very large collection of Photoplay's from the 1950's and 1960's, as well as a complete run of ABC Film Review from 1950 to 1970. There are some fascinating articles in them to do with film production and that goes for my large but incomplete sets of Picturegoer; Picture Show and Films and Filming. You can also find loads of contemporary film posters in them, too, which is how I am able to upload them on here.

  12. #72
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    BELOW: The old Decca single released in early 1962.




  13. #73
    Senior Member Country: UK RogerThornhill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan

    BELOW: The old Decca single released in early 1962.
    It's a very atmospheric little piece and it's simplicity fits the movie perfectly.

  14. #74
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Does anyone know Benjamin Britten's opera 'The Turn of the Screw'? The first act is superb; the moment when we first glimpse Quint and he calls/sings Miles' name is a really spine-tingling moment. But in the second act the ghosts just appear on stage like any other character, and 90% of the drama, tension and sinister atmosphere evaporates.

  15. #75
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    The scene where Deborah Kerr is hiding in the bay window and turns round to see Peter Wyngarde in the window always makes me jump out my skin. It's interesting that a comparison was made with the Robert Wise version of The Haunting in an earlier post, as the Wyngarde in the window moment and the banging noise along the corridor in The Haunting stand out for me as two really frightening film scenes from my childhood.

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Lovell

    The scene where Deborah Kerr is hiding in the bay window and turns round to see Peter Wyngarde in the window always makes me jump out my skin. It's interesting that a comparison was made with the Robert Wise version of The Haunting in an earlier post, as the Wyngarde in the window moment and the banging noise along the corridor in The Haunting stand out for me as two really frightening film scenes from my childhood.
    I agree - both films have that eerie feeling which is simply done, but very effective.

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