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"The Innocents" (original) starring Deborah Kerr

Event title "The Innocents" (original) starring Deborah Kerr
Beginning Date Saturday October 20th, 2018 AM 9:15
Ending Date Saturday October 20th, 2018 PM 7:30
Location Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre
Contact Colin Egan
Description “The Innocents” (original) Staring Deborah Kerr, Megs Jenkins, Pamela Franklin, Martin Stephenson, Michael Redgrave. Directed by Jack Clayton. 1961, 100 mins. B&W.

$8 Adults / $6 Seniors & Kids

There are no demonic monsters, screaming corpses, oceans of blood, nor even the occasional decapitation head – and yet “The Innocents” is a genuinely scary movie. That’s because the hint of something wrong and the suggestion of evil played against an atmospheric backdrop can sometime conjure up feelings of fear and dread deep inside us that are far more powerful than the most graphic CGI effects – just ask anyone who’s listened to a ghost story in the shadowy light of a campfire. Not that the backdrop of “The Innocents” is just a flickering flame; it’s a bleak English country estate and mansion. Bold but minimal lighting and deep focus were used to great effect by cinematographer Freddie Francis to achieve a distinct, slightly unnerving, and sometimes even claustrophobic atmosphere – a particularly impressive trick given that he was shooting in the very wide screen CinemaScope aspect ratio. Based on Henry James’s novella “The Turn of the Screw” “The Innocents” begins as Deborah Kerr, playing a 19th century British governess, takes as her very first assignment the care of Flora and Miles, two children whose parents are dead and are now in the charge of their wealth but completely disinterested uncle. He makes it clear he wants nothing to do with them, so the welfare of the children will be solely Kerr’s problem. At first she finds the children to be little darlings, but soon the governess begins to feel that there’s something unwholesome behind their beatific smiles. Truman Capote, whose work often dealt with repressed sexuality and other psychological ills, was brought in as co-screenwriter, and reworked much of what had already been written so that the lines between how much of what occurs may be supernatural, and how much may be in the mind of the governess are deliberately blurred. The result is a constant sense of uncertainly and edginess. Director Clayton found a pacing that creates a confining intensity that plays well with Francis’ cinematograph and allows Kerr to magnify her performance, adding to a sense of delirium.
Whether compared to other psychological horror films, or over the top gore and splatter slasher films, “The Innocents” remains one of the most remarkable exercises in creating a true sense of terror on screen in all of cinema.

Categories Art & Entertainment
Last Modified Tuesday October 30th, 2018
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