The Innocents

Movie poster for a film titled The Innocents showing a woman holding a candelabra.
The Innocents
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The Innocents (Jack Clayton, UK, 1961): Starring Clytie Jessop (1929–2017), b. Sydney, NSW

Clytie Jessop made her film debut as the ghost of Miss Jessel, while starring alongside Deborah Kerr, a 6-time Academy Award nominee.

While Jessop’s role was brief, the haunting image of her as the dead governess standing in the bulrushes left a lasting impression on viewers. Her ghostly face is highlighted in the centre of the poster.

Jessop carved a niche in horror, starring in 2 subsequent films directed by acclaimed cinematographer and director Freddie Francis.

In 1986, Jessop wrote, directed and produced the Australian film Emma’s War (1987).

A yellow-tinged and anxious Deborah Kerr, a wraith-like couple emerging from a candle flame, the tagline ‘You’ll get the shock of your life’ bordered by jagged red hatch marks – these design elements add up to a fitting poster for a psychological horror film.  

Notes by Michelle Davenport