Sunday, 22 September 2013

'The Innocents' discussed

Radio 3 has been running a series of shows about movie soundtracks, mostly focusing on film scores. But here, in the series Night Waves, you can hear a more general discussion of The Innocents, a classic film adaptation of Henry James' 'The Turn of the Screw'. Among the guests on the panel are Christopher Frayling, Jeremy Dyson, and Peter Wyngarde. The latter reveals that director Jack Clayton turned down two more famous actors before giving him the role of Quint. Listen and find out who those stars were...

Meanwhile, here's a sample o' the film.


Oscar Solis said...

It took me years to finally see this one. In the meantime, I saw other versions of the story and while some had admiral qualities the fact remains that I've yet to see a better version of "The Turn of the Screw" than "The Innocents".

The photography is stunning and is a lesson in how to photograph a film in black and white.

I love the restraint that director Jack Clayton shows. He never goes for the cheap scare.

The only downside to the film is that it's doubtful an audience of today could sit still for it as it doesn't have cheap scares, isn't loud and requires more from the viewer than the majority of ghost movies of today which all seem to use the same script with the same twist ending (oh, they've been dead this whole time. Wow, who knew...).

valdemar said...

I'm not that keen on the original story, because I find Henry James almost unreadable - a clear case of more being less. I agree that subtlety isn't very popular with modern horror audiences. I suspect I was spoiled as a lad because, as well as the Hammer/Corman horror movies on TV, I also had a lot of good TV drama that tended to be subtle, in part because no effects were available!

Oscar Solis said...

I have to agree with you regarding Henry James. The ideas are great but he does take forever to get to the point. I suppose he was being paid by the word.

Regarding subtlety in films: it has become a lost art across all genres, unfortunately.

valdemar said...

I love the thought of James being paid by the word. I know Dickens was a penny-a-line man, but at least he tried to make most of the lines interesting. And yet... If James was trying to deal with issues of sexual attraction and/or deviance his endless waffling might make some kind of sense. Possibly. Still boring, though.