The Innocents (1961)

35mm film, CinemaScope, black and white, 2.35:1
mono, English

A British horror film directed by Jack Clayton. Production began on 6 February 1961 1Variety 5 April 1961 p.17

Plot Summary

A governess takes up a new position looking after a young boy and girl in a remote mansion house. Initially disturbed by the brother's strange behaviour, she is soon being terrified by eerie visions as the start to behave increasingly erratically. She learns that her predecessor had entered into an affair with the family's former manservant Peter Quint and that the malignant spirits of the two lovers are trying to pervert the innocence of the children.


Directed by: Jack Clayton
© MCMLXI [1961] Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Twentieth Century-Fox presents a CinemaScope picture. Released by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Executive Producer: Albert Fennell
Produced by: Jack Clayton
Production Manager: James Ware
Screenplay by: William Archibald, Truman Capote
Additional Scenes & Dialogue by: John Mortimer
Based on the story “” by Henry James
Script Editor: Jeanie Sims
Assistant Director: Michael Birkett
Continuity: Pamela Mann
Director of Photography: Freddie Francis
Camera Operator: Ronald Taylor
Focus Puller: Bernard Ford [uncredited]
Supervising Floor Electrician: Maurice Gillett
Camera Grip: Ray Jones
Editor: James Clark
Assistant Editor: Mary Kessel
Music Composed by: Georges Auric
Conducted by: W. Lambert Williamson
Sound Recordists: A.G. Ambler, John Cox
Boom Operator: Ken Ritchie
Dubbing Editor: Peter Musgrave
Westrex Recording System
Costumes Designed by: Motley
Make-up: Harold Fletcher
Hairdresser: Gordon Bond
Art Director: Wilfred Shingleton
Set Dresser: Peter James
Lenses: Bausch & Lomb
Locations: Sheffield Park Garden, East Sussex, England, UK [uncredited]
Made at: Shepperton Studios, England
Unit Manager: Claude Watson

Deborah Kerr (Miss Giddens)
Peter Wyngarde (Peter Quint)
Megs Jenkins (Mrs Grose)
Michael Redgrave as the uncle
Martin Stephens (Miles)
Pamela Franklin (Flora)
Clytie Jessop (Miss Jessel)
Isla Cameron (Anna)
Eric Woodburn [the coachman – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

Les Innocents – French title
Kauhujen linna – Finnish title
De Oskyldiga – Swedish title
Schloß des Schreckens – West German title
Suspense – Italian / Spanish title
De Uskyldige – Danish title

See also
Believe (2000)
The Nightcomers (1972)
The Others (2001)
Quella villa accanto al cimitero (1981)
Rorret (1988)


Hotdog no.77 (July 2006) p.57
“Despite the fact that everyone talks like Noel Coward, it's intensely claustrophobic and downright terrifying – full of brooding shadows, unsettling imagery, hints of pre-teen sexuality and, as referenced heavily in The Others, a jittery, negligee-clad heroine with only a candelabra to protect her from the darkness.” – from an illustrated review by Ian Winterton


American Cinematographer vol.86 no.12 (December 2005) p.14 – illustrated DVD review (DVD Playback: The Innocents by Kenneth Sweeney)
Bedabbled! No.6 (March 2022) pp.16-19 – illustrated article (Notes made by candlelight: Some nocturnal lines on The Innocents by Martin Jones
Castle of Frankenstein no.11 p.36
Castle of Frankenstein 1967 Annual p.6
Cinefantastique vol.13 no.5 (June/July 1983) pp.50-55 – article
The Daily Cinema no.8540 (24 November 1961) p.8
Empire no.244 (October 2009) pp.170-171 – illustrated article (The top 10: Creepy kids by Bob McCabe)
Film Comment vol.34 no.1 (January/February 1998) pp.68-73 – illustrated article (Romancing the stones by Donald Chase)
The Film Daily vol.119 no.112 (13 December 1961) p.5
Film International vol.4 no.1 (2006) p.77 – DVD review (Short Takes: The Innocents by Michael Tapper)
Film Quarterly vol.15 no.4 (Summer 1962) p.22
Film Reader no.4 (1979) pp.201-213
Film Review no.654 (March 2005) p.129 – illustrated note (Film facts by Grant Kempster)
Filmkritik no.7 (July 1962) p.331
Films and Filming vol.8 no.3 (December 1961) p.14
The Hollywood Reporter vol.168 no.10 (13 December 1961) p.3
Hotdog no.77 (July 2006) p.57 – illustrated review by Ian Winterton
Kine Weekly no.2825 (23 November 1961) p.25
Literature/Film Quarterly vol.5 no.3 (Summer 1977) pp.198-215
Literature/Film Quarterly vol.15 no.1 (1987) pp.28-35 – illustrated article
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.29 no.336 (January 1962) p.5
Motion no.3 (Spring 1962) p.34
Motion Picture Herald vol.225 no.12 (20 December 1961) p.388
Positif no.569/570 (July/August 2008) p.159 – illustrated DVD review (Notre sélection DVD: Les Innocents de Jack Clayton by Eithne O'Neill)
Premiere vol.19 no.3 (November 2005) pp.116-117 – DVD review (HomeGuide: The Innocents by Claire Evans)
Sight & Sound vol.17 no.3 (March 2007) p.83 – DVD review (Reviews: The Innocents by Matthew Leyland)
Sight & Sound vol.30 no.3 (Summer 1961) p.114
Sight & Sound vol.31 no.1 (Winter 1961/1962) p.39
Sight & Sound vol.8 no.1 (January 1998) pp.16-19 – illustrated article (The James gang by Philip Horne)
Supernatural no.1 (January 1969) pp.44-46 – illustrated article (Television fantasy by Stan Nicholls)
Variety 5 April 1961 p.17 – credits (Hollywood production pulse)
Variety 6 December 1961

Diário de Notícias 9 February 1999 p.54 – review

The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.142
The Book of Horror: The Anatomy of Fear in Film by Matt Glasby pp.19-21 – illustrated credits, review
Classic Horror Films and the Literature That Inspired Them by Ron Backer pp.253-256
The Encyclopedia of Novels Into Films second edition by John C. Tibbetts and James M. Welsh pp.469-470 – credits, review (by U.W. [Ulrich Wicks])
English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.19, 111-113, 121, 122, 151, 164, 218, 364
Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.131, 193, 271, 317
Feature Films, 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-language and Major Foreign-language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.220
The Films of Freddie Francis by Wheeler Winston Dixon pp.3, 56, 62-66, 80-81, 143
and Angels in Hollywood Films by James Robert Parish p.206 – credits
The Horror Film Handbook by Alan Frank pp.79-80 – credits, review
Kinematograph and Television Year Book 1963 p.119 – credits (Films trade shown 1961-1962)
by Walt Lee p.218 – credits
Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.279
Sixties Shockers by Mark Clark and Bryan Senn pp.235-237
The Straight Story from Moby Dick to Glory by Freddie Francis with Tony Dalton pp.x, 87, 90, 95-102, 104, 106, 110, 115, 122, 148, 183, 195, 227, 266, 267
Top 100 Horror Movies by Gary Gerani pp.66-67 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976 by Gary A. Smith p.134

Other sources
BFI Southbank Guide December 2021 p.27 – illustrated listing