The Innocents: Ignorance Is Bliss

         When one simply does not like the storyline of a movie, it is at the most difficulty to objectively critique a movie for all the elements a movie should be critiqued. In the case of The Innocents, directed in 1961 by Jack Clayton and based on Henry James’s 1898 The Turn of the Screw, the script was very unbelievable, from comments of ghosts, to the dialogue between woman and child. The dialogue was not effective, making the movie not only hard to believe but also uninteresting to watch.

         The actors, for the most part, were not well cast. Martin Stephens, who portrayed Miles, and Pamela Franklin, who played his sister, Flora, were the only characters that were believable, but the main character was poorly cast. Deborah Kerr, who acted the governess, was much too old for this position as a young caretaker of children. The book portrayed this role as a woman in her twenties who had no experience with children. But the actress in the movie was old enough to be a grandmother, hardly a believable character. The children acted appropriately for their roles; they were “creepy” acting, which was exactly now they needed to be

         The setting was appropriate for the movie. The home where most of the movie took place was very large, with almost an endless amount of rooms. The scene in the attic where the children show up and Miles “playfully” chokes the governess is a good example of the appropriateness of the setting. There were also some scenes outside by a pond with tall weeds is also a good setting for the sighting of the female ghost, Miss Jessel, portrayed by Clyde Jessop.

         Overall the art direction (setting) was appropriate but the casting and dialogue was not. I did not enjoy this movie at all, but I will give credit where credit is due. There were some parts of the movie that were effective; however, for the most part, the movie was a dud

Brooke Dunbar

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