Michael Winner’s The Nightcomers is a prequel of sorts to Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw. The 1971 release is a sexually charged gothic thriller with Marlon Brando and Stephanie Beacham.This is the type of film which could only have come from Winner, as it’s a film which oozes with the director’s perverse cinematic style and while it’s not necessarily a bad film, it’s certainly an odd one.
It’s doubtful that The Nightcomers would ever be made today. The world was a different place back in 1971 and therefore I guess it was okay to have a pair of kids partake in some bondage play! It makes for uneasy viewing but one of the interesting things about cinema is how you can view the world and morals through different spectrums.
A curiosity piece rather than essential viewing, The Nightcomers isn’t Marlon Brando or Michael Winner’s best work (although it’s probably a career high for Stephanie Beacham). It’s an interesting take on Henry James’ source material, although the added kink means that it’s more of an erotic drama than a highbrow literary adaptation. It highlights the rebellious nature of Winner and Brando, two men who could run riot when they weren’t kept on a tight leash.