The Innocents ★★★★½

3 of 33 for HoopTober 4.0

Do you have an imagination? [...] Good, truth is very seldom understood by any but imaginative persons and I want to be quite truthful.

Richly textured Gothic iconography and a master's lesson in ambiguity. Seeds of doubt planted with subtle gestures in the only exchange Miss Giddens has with Miles and Flora's uncle, Deborah Kerr masterfully expresses the self-doubt of the wet behind the ears Giddens living without her family for the first time. Pauses of uncertainty before answering and broken eye contact. Freddie Francis' use of CinemaScope, deep focus, and obscured edges haunts the manor like the spirits of Quint and Grose. A beetle crawls from the mouth of a child's statue debauching something beautiful and innocent like Quint debauches Miles, or Grose with Flora. A haze of fog, lingering dissolves, countless disorienting and distorted images overlay illustrating the deterioration of Miss Giddens psyche. Or, rather, is the manor corrupting its occupants?

Thank goodness for HoopTober's "terrible oversight" rule because not only had I never seen Jack Clayton's The Innocents but I had never even heard of it!

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