Are the Ghosts Really Real?

         I particularly took an interest in Jack Clayton's 1961 film version of William Archbald's 1950 play, The Innocents, based on Henry James's 1898 novella, The Turn of the Screw, because of it being somewhat of a "ghost story," as some would call it. Some might beg to differ whether the ghosts in the play and film The Innocents are real. In real life today, some people believe that ghosts are real. I, however, do not believe in ghosts; but for the sake of a movie, the ghosts do seem believable. It is believed that in the film and in the book that the ghosts are friendly ghosts. I do not believe that the ghosts in the book or in the film would hurt anyone. I think that the ghosts in both are very friendly ghosts who want to help the children.

         In the movie, the ghosts and children interact in positive ways to fend off the meddling Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr), who is bent on separating the children, Flora (Pamela Franklin) and Miles (Martin Stephens), from the influence of the ghosts, Miss Jessel (Clytie Jessop) and Peter Quint (Peter Wyngarde) because she wants to control the children herself. Also, she is very attracted to Miles, which is wrong. In the book, it is shown that the unnamed governess and Miles are also attracted to one another. I think that in the movie that Miss Giddens is much more attracted to Miles than in the book. Thus, I believe that Miles and Flora want to be protected from Miss Giddens, and the ghosts will help to do that. In return, the children want to help the ghosts in their dealings with Miss Giddens to help fend her off and destroy her attempt to control the children.

         The music and sound effects help to make the ghosts seem more real in this movie. For one, there are many recurring of the different music in the film. The music in this film was a great part of this film. I really enjoyed the music being in this film for the suspense of what was going to happen was shown. The music was played eight times or more in this film. I really enjoyed seeing how the film makers worked the ghosts in with the music. They made the piano play without anyone sitting there and playing it. Maybe this was the ghost sitting and playing the piano, reminding the others of their presence.

         Also, the sound effects in this movie were good. The house creaked all throughout the movie. This was one of the effects of showing the old house. Also, another effect in the house was an echoing laugh all throughout the film. Maybe this was a person that used to live in the house, which the ghosts are now laughing about an issue. Both the music and the sound effects tie in with the ghosts being present in the house.

         I believe that both Miles and Flora were chosen to maybe help the ghosts out. I think that maybe Flora and Miles were very helpful to the ghosts. I also think that maybe the ghosts helped to protect Miles and Flora from the governess. I think that maybe Miss Giddens took care of the children, but also may have done something bad to the children if the ghosts did not protect them. The ghosts may protect Miles and Flora from the governess controlling the children as she could have without the ghosts' protection.

         In conclusion, I do not believe that in real life the ghosts are real. I do believe that in the book and also in the film that ghosts do exist in both of these. I think that the ghosts are there to protect the children from Miss Giddens. Also I believe that the children are there to be an asset and helpful to the ghosts. Even though those ghosts are not real in "real life" I do believe for the fairy tales of a book and a film that they exist here.

Michelle Loveridge

Table of Contents