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del bosque
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Innocents, The (1961)
30. Jan 2004 at 18:50
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Older board members will remember how good Martin Stephens - a buttoned-up sixties Britboy (a prototype Mark Lester) - was in The Innocents based on Henry James' classic novella "The Turn of the Screw", so I post this link to a readable article from the London Guardian.  

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It made me really long to see this some time on DVD.  By the way, I wonder how often James' story has appeared on TV and cinema versions ?  One other version that springs to mind is the recent "Presence of Mind", highlighted on B.O.Y.S. the other week by schorcshi.

The original article also had a nice profile of the serious-featured Martin, not alas included in the on-line version  Angry
« Last Edit: 05. Jul 2008 at 17:39 by Zabladowski »  
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Sir Jacob
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Re: Jack Clayton's "The Innocents"
Reply #1 - 30. Jan 2004 at 19:41
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That was an interesting article, del bosque.  Thanks for linking us to it.  Smiley

I can't believe the online version of that article didn't mention the name of Martin Stephens even once, though.  Why do they think Michael Redgrave and Deborah Kerr were more important to that film than Martin?  Shocked

Love,
Sir J
  
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Re: Jack Clayton's "The Innocents"
Reply #2 - 31. Jan 2004 at 16:04
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Thanks for that article, del bosque!  I well remember seeing 'The Innocents' for the first time, and the second and third, back in the 60's.Smiley  It was like a soul-feast for me at a time when I desperately needed one.

Yeah, much of the unrevealed horror in the movie lay in the inner lives of the children as influenced by the deceased Quint and Jessel.  I thought the kids in the film did a great job of expressing that.  But the writer did seem more focused on film technique, apart from actors, to make his points.  But I agree, Sir Jacob, he should have mentioned Martin Stephens.

I agree with the writer regarding the scene of Miss Jessel's apparition in the middle of the lake.  That was one of the most powerful ghostly images ever caught on film and it hit something deep inside me. Well, okay, it scared hell out of me - in a delicious way!  That scene is a good rebuttal to Stephen King's contention (paraphrasing) that it is all well and good and desireable to approach horror in a subtle and suggestive manner but sooner or later you've got to show the monster and it is always a let-down when you do.  That certainly wasn't the case here!  They showed the somber spectre of the woman and it was, if anything, even scarier than I, at least, could imagine.

That article is rich in materiall for discussion, but I'm feeling talked-out.  Wink  

p.s. I remember a very good version of 'The Turn of The Screw' on tv, Playhouse 90, I think it was, back in the late 50's. It starred Ingrid Bergman as the governess.
  
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Re: Jack Clayton's "The Innocents"
Reply #3 - 01. Feb 2004 at 01:14
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Very interesting article. Thanks.

Even though I'm not part of the "older member" crowd, I did see The Innocents and like it a lot.

To fans of that movie, I highly recommend The Others if you haven't seen it. It is very similar in tone and the film is partly inspired by Henry James' story, though it takes off in a completely different direction.

Oh, and it features this pale little guy, James Bentley:

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Re: Jack Clayton's "The Innocents"
Reply #4 - 01. Feb 2004 at 05:00
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Very interesting article.

I've seen 'The Innocents' many times, the first time being when I was in my early teens. Very well done film... a must watch.

Martin Stephens was quite remarkable, giving a very passionate performance which was a striking contrast to his very unemotional and contained role in Village of the Damned which I saw on TV for the umpteenth time last week.

I'd certainly love to see The Innocents on the big screen again.
  
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del bosque
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Re: Jack Clayton's "The Innocents"
Reply #5 - 05. Sep 2005 at 18:26
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This is a good opportunity to dig up an old thread because the DVD of Jack Clayton's The "Innocents" is being released today on DVD, quite cheaply as well.  I haven't seen any reviews but the word from the websites is that it is a very good DVD transfer.  Somebody, someday should do a comparison of the many Miles who have appeared on screen and stage.  One recent version is Greg Cipes' Miles in  episodes 7 & 8 of series 1 of the HBO TV western Deadwood, a much older and more quietly cynical teenager in thrall to his sister Flora. This one is more of an allusion to the Henry James story, a play on what Miles and Flora could have progressed to and could be the most intriguing version.
« Last Edit: 06. Sep 2005 at 18:23 by del bosque »  
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del bosque
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Re: Jack Clayton's "The Innocents"
Reply #6 - 08. Oct 2005 at 20:18
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On arrival, the DVD of this superb film turns out to be a thing of wonder.  The startling pre-credits opening has Flora singing in the wilderness in complete darkness. What is really noticeable is Martin Stephen's pitch perfect acting: he manages to portray a boy who at the same time as being in league with ghostly presences is also utterly unaware of the possibility of ghosts.  His line-readings are a wonder to listen to - I don't think the crop of nowadays boys come anywhere near his screen presence, as good as they are:  Culkin 1 (Mac); Elijah; HJO; Balty Getty.  Hey, just a second, having mentioned them they do seem kind of acceptable...
  
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Re: Jack Clayton's "The Innocents"
Reply #7 - 09. Oct 2005 at 00:33
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Glad to hear that the DVD is well presented. It is a 'must have'. This is a story that will obviously be filmed many more times in the future but I can't imagine that this version will be improved upon.

  
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Re: Jack Clayton's "The Innocents"
Reply #8 - 12. Oct 2005 at 01:28
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I will put this one on my list.
  
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Re: Jack Clayton's "The Innocents"
Reply #9 - 23. Oct 2005 at 16:47
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A very belated thank you, del, for this alert. Wonderful! I see it is available in region 1. I am going to break down and buy this DVD for keepers. Smiley
This is one of my all time favorite movies and, in my opinion, the very best in the ghost/supernatural genre.
  
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