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The Turn of the Screw
is a 2009 British television film directed by Tim Fywell
Tim Fywell is an English television and film director. Fywell started his career in British television, directing episodes of Brookside. In 2003 his made his feature debut with I Capture the Castle, an adaption of the novel that goes by the same title by Dodie Smith...
, and loosely based on the 1898 novel of the same name
The Turn of the Screw is a novella written by Henry James. Originally published in 1898, it is ostensibly a ghost story.Due to its ambiguous content, it became a favourite text of academics who subscribe to New Criticism. The novella has had differing interpretations, often mutually exclusive...
by Henry James
Henry James, OM was an American-born writer, regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. He was the son of Henry James, Sr., a clergyman, and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James....
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...
, 1921. At a hospital receiving the war wounded and sick, a psychiatrist tries to help a young woman. One morning she finally manages to talk to him and whispers "I saw the devil
". The surprised psychiatrist asks her to relate what happened at the mansion where she worked looking after two children. She begins to tell him everything. A few months earlier, the young woman, Ann, had been hired by a rich aristocrat to care of his orphaned nephew, Miles, and niece, Flora. Arriving at the mansion, Ann becomes the housekeeper, where she first meets Flora. Later, there are unexplained apparitions. A few days later, Miles, a very nice boy and good student, arrives at the mansion. Once the children have arrived, Ann discovers that they often make strange gestures. She learns that Miles cannot go back to school because he was expelled for good reason. After talking with one of the housemaids, she learns that the previous governess, Emily Jessel, and her lover, Peter Quint, both died under strange circumstances. She believes the children are possessed by the spirits of these two people.
- Michelle Dockery
Michelle Dockery is an English actress of stage and screen. She has become best known for her role as Lady Mary Crawley in the ITV drama series Downton Abbey...
as Ann, the governess who is currently incarcerated in a mental asylum, after believing she had seen the Devil and that her two pupils were possessed. She tells her story to Doctor Fisher.
- Sue Johnston
Susan "Sue" Johnston, OBE is a BAFTA nominated English actress best known for playing Sheila Grant in the long-running soap opera Brookside , Grace Foley in Waking the Dead from 2000 to 2011 and Barbara Royle in the BBC comedy The Royle Family between 1998 and 2000, and again in 2006, 2008, 2009,...
as Mrs Sarah Grose, the mysterious and formidable housekeeper at the house at which Ann goes to work. She is a very secretive woman who cared for Flora before Ann was taken on as governess.
- Josef Lindsay as Miles the elder child in Ann's care, who has returned home from boarding school in Essex. Ann believes that the spirit of Peter Quint possesses Miles, and in an attempt to save him, the boy suffers a fit and dies in Ann's arms.
- Eva Sayer
Eva Sayer is a British child actor. She is best known for playing Cindy Williams in EastEnders.-Career:She first appeared in one episode of the Inspector Morse spin off "Lewis" as Anna Mallory in early 2007....
as Flora the younger child in Ann's care, who had previously been in the care of Mrs Grose. Ann believes that the spirit of Emily Jessell possesses Flora.
- Dan Stevens
Daniel Jonathan Stevens is a British actor.-Education:Stevens was educated at Tonbridge School, an independent school in the market town of Tonbridge in Kent, in South East England, followed by Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he read English...
as Dr. Fisher, a young psychiatrist to whom Ann tells her story.
- Mark Umbers
Mark Umbers is an English actor known for his work in theatre, films, and television.Born in Harrogate, Yorkshire, Umbers was brought up in Wetherby. In 1991 he enrolled at Oxford University to study Latin and Greek Literature and Philosophy...
as The Master, Ann's employer, whom she fantasises about, and Miles and Flora's uncle, the handsome owner of Bly, who charms Ann at their first meeting, half-promising to come and visit Bly, if she 'does well' in her role as governess.
- Nicola Walker
Nicola Walker is an English actress, best known for her starring roles in various British television programmes from the 1990s onwards, particularly as Ruth Evershed in the spy drama Spooks. She has also worked in theatre, radio and film....
as Carla, a young maid at the house where Ann is taken on. She was a conquest of Peter Quint's, and became mentally ill as a result of his attacks upon her. She commits suicide after jumping of the roof of the house, yet Ann is insistent that it was the ghost of Peter Quint who pushed her off. Mrs Grose reveals that Carla had tried to kill herself the year before.
- Edward MacLiam
Edward MacLiam is an Irish actor. He graduated from RADA in 2001 and is currently playing Greg Douglas in medical drama series Holby City. In 2010 he appeared in the BBC Medical drama series Holby City as Greg/Cal Douglas....
as Peter Quint, an employee of the house who had sexual relationships with several female servants, including the previous governess Emily Jessell. His ghost appears to Ann at the window and on the roof of the house numerous times. He also appears in her dreams in a sexual context. Ann believes that his spirit possesses Miles.
- Katie Lightfoot as Emily Jessel, the previous governess who died in strange circumstances, supposedly by drowning herself according to Mrs Grose. She was in a sexual relationship with fellow employee Peter Quint. Ann believes her spirit possesses Flora.