Cinema: Evil Emanations

The Innocents (20th Century-Fox). Henry James once deplored The Turn of the Screw as a "shameless potboiler." There is irony in the confession. For in this little novel the creative flame that boils the pot rushed up from black abysses of religion seldom plumbed in this author's insuperably civil art. Though the book is known to schoolboys merely as a grand ghost story, it is experienced by mature readers as a demonological document of shuddery profundity. Some of that profundity is sacrificed to saleability in this film, which derives partly from the book, partly from William Archibald's stage version of the...

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