What shall I sing to my lord from my window? What shall I sing for my lord will not stay? What shall I sing for my lord will not listen? Where shall I go when my lord is away? Whom shall I love when the moon is arisen? Gone is my lord and the grave is his prison. What shall I say when my lord comes a calling? What shall I say when he knocks on my door? What shall I say when his feet enter softly? Leaving the marks of his grave on my floor. Enter my lord. Come from your prison. Come from your grave, for the moon is a risen. Welcome, my lord.
Martin Stephens as Miles recites a poem for Deborah Kerr’s Miss Giddens from THE INNOCENTSdirected by Jack Clayton (1961) and written by William Archibald, Truman Capote, and John Mortimer after the Henry James novella The Turn of The Screw (1898). It’s been attributed that Capote was responsible for a great deal of the script.
This movie is pretty terrifying and seems to run under the radar as I’ve only just become of aware of it and it is really a great film. The disturbingly erotic come antagonistic tension between the prepubescent Martin Stephens and Deborah Kerr is very noticeable regardless if there are ghosts and the possible possession of the boy by a deceased letch, or that Miss Giddens is a truly unhinged governess from the start. It’s pretty explicit and present and that adds an additional layer of horror to a story already containing themes of possible child abuse and sexual knowledge. This is juxtaposed against Miss Giddens’ typical late Victorian Era quest to preserve the children’s “innocence” if it is still intact. Great psychological horror.