The Turn of the Screw (1999) short review


Jodhi May stars in this adaptation of the Henry James ghost story, as a governess sent to care for two children under mysterious circumstances. At first all is well, but when she starts to see ghosts things get a bit more complicated. It’s all very Victorian, and (for those like me who hadn’t read the book) you really have to take it on a Victorian level to understand what happens at the big climax. Colin Firth has an itty bitty part at the beginning as May’s charming employer. The costumes, while not terribly varied (because of the main character’s class) are a beautiful look at middling class 1840s wear.


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

One Response

  1. Michael L. McQuown

    The earlier version with Deborah Kerr was really creepy. When the little boy kisses her — not as a child would — it’s far more scary than erotic. Kerr’s reaction is beautifully played.