Previous parts of the screenplay can be found here…

The Turn of the Screw (Pt. 1)

The Turn of the Screw (Pt. 2)


DOUGLAS: Yes. She told me, later, she did. But his smooth flattery of her capabilities and, moreover, the generous salary, quite overwhelmed her misgivings. And besides, the late governess had died not in the care of her duties, as would be gruesome, indeed, but outside.

ELIZA: Did she ever learn the history of the young woman that came before her?

DOUGLAS: Doubtless, the story will tell. But, I’m afraid that is all I can relate to you this evening. I suggest we all turn in for the night.

HENRY: Hear. Hear. We will be in for a long night, full of suspense, by this time tomorrow night, I suspect.

The party of listeners gathers quietly, heading for their separate rooms.


A small group of the party sit around the breakfast table. The sun shines in through the windows. A few individuals slowly join the group. Various lighthearted chit-chat takes place.

A male servant walks into the room, carrying a package, tapping Douglas on the shoulder to gain his attention. Douglas turns to the man handing him the package.

HENRY: You look a little pale, Douglas? Could that be the story?

DOUGLAS: It is indeed. My man sent it over by the morning carrier, apparently.

MRS. GRIFFIN: Oh, do start it this morning, once everyone has joined us! Will you?

DOUGLAS: I don’t see why not. It couldn’t hurt to start things off cheerfully. It is, after all, how things started for our heroine.

All eyes rest on Douglas, except one person. Eliza’s eyes scan the table.

ELIZA: Isn’t this every one? Nobody is missing, are they?

HENRY: Indeed, Douglas, nobody appears to be missing!

DOUGLAS (wary): I suppose there’s no reason to put it off.

Douglas unwinds the packaging from around the story and slowly pulls a stack of loosely bound pages from the envelope.

DOUGLAS: Let’s move to the parlor, shall we?

HENRY: All right, Douglas, if you insist. But your turn is coming next. You can’t put it off any longer.

They all laugh.

DOUGLAS: All right, all right!

They all exist for the parlor.


Everyone finds their former seats around the room. Douglas stands by the fireplace as before, holding the manuscript before him.

HENRY: Is everyone ready to resume?

There is a general reply of agreement.

DOUGLAS:  She writes, “I remember the whole beginning as a succession…”



DOUGLAS (cont’d): …Of flights and drops. A seesaw of the right throbs and the wrong.”

The young lady of before sits, hand on hat, in the back of a bumping carriage. The scene outside is idyllic countryside in summer. She sits alone, jostled heavily by the swinging of the carriage. A particularly large bump jostles the carriage and the woman falls sideways in her seat with a small YELP of surprise.


DRIVER: Are you okay, miss? It sounded like you might have taken a fall?

LADY: I’m quite alright! (to herself) I think.

She picks up her hat, which had fallen to the floor of the carriage and sets it back on her head, a little crookedly.

LADY (cont’d): Do you know how much longer it is to the estate?

DRIVER: we’re coming up on it now, miss.

LADY: Really?

She turns and maneuvers her upper half out the window to see.

LADY (cont’d): Why, it’s beautiful!

The carriage comes up the gravel drive of an enormous estate surrounded by well-kept grounds and manicured gardens. Rose bushes frame the entrance and a pair of maids who wait for the arrival of the new governess. As the carriage gets closer an older woman (MRS. GROSE) walks out holding the hand of a fair-haired little girl (FLORA) in a white lace dress. A pink ribbon encircles the little girl’s waist in a bow.

The new governess, not waiting for the driver, opens her own door and flies out of the cab of the carriage, her hand still attempting to hold her hat on her head.

LADY: You must be Mrs. Grose!

Mrs. Grose almost drops the little girl’s hand as if about to surround the new governess in a familiar hug of gladness at her arrival, but holds back.

MRS. GROSE: Yes, miss. And what a joy it is to have you here at last.

The child, Flora, fidgets noticeably in secure hold of Mrs. Grose’s hand.

LADY: And you must be Flora.

Both adults look down on the tiny, angelic form of the little girl Flora. She appears delighted to see her new governess.

FLORA: Yes, miss, and I’m so glad that you have come to be my governess! (she turns to Mrs. Grose) Might I show her the house, and the grounds?

MRS. GROSE: You must ask the new lady that, young miss, as she is to be mistress of Bly now.

LADY: Thank you Mrs. Grose! I feel part of the place already, but, as you have been here the longer and know the ways, I think, I’ll defer to your judgement for the moment.

Flora gazes at Mrs. Grose for an answer.

MRS. GROSE: Go ahead, dear child. You may do as you please. I could never say no to your sweet smile, even so.

FLORA: Thank you Mrs. Grose!

Flora drops the hand of Mrs. Grose, quickly grasping the hand of her new governess and dragging her out to the gardens.

FLORA (cont’d): Wait until you see everything, miss!

Flora pulls her governess across a path through high hedges and they emerge on the other side to a hill, covered in shade giving trees, all overlooking a large pond. Beyond it, the gravel road approaching the estate curves past the opposite bank.

The two stare out across the pond sparkling at their eyes. Flora tugs on the governess’s hand and pulls her away once more, back through the garden to the house itself.

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