The Innocent (1993 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Innocent
The Innocent poster.jpg
Original film poster
Directed by John Schlesinger
Produced by Norma Heyman,
Wieland Schulz-Keil,
Chris Sievernich
Written by Ian McEwan
Starring Anthony Hopkins,
Isabella Rossellini,
Campbell Scott
Music by Gerald Gouriet,
Anthony Hopkins
Cinematography Dietrich Lohmann
Edited by Richard Marden
Distributed by Miramax
Release dates
September 16, 1993 (UK)
September 1, 1995
Running time
119 min.
Country Germany / United Kingdom
Language English
Box office $525,955

The Innocent is a 1993 John Schlesinger film. The screenplay was written by Ian McEwan and based on his novel of the same name.


The film takes place in 1950s Berlin at the height of the Cold War and centres around the joint CIA/MI6 real-life[1] Operation Gold: building a tunnel under the Russian sector of Berlin.


Release and reception[edit]

The movie spent twelve months in studio quarantine, then was released—a poor Hollywood sign—without advance screenings for critics.[2] In The New York Times, film critic Caryn James wrote, "It's not a good omen for 'The Innocent' that the prototypical Yank turns out to be Anthony Hopkins, the shy Englishman Leonard is played by the American Campbell Scott and the German woman who intrigues them is Isabella Rossellini...But 'The Innocent,' which has been on the shelf for at least a year and was dumped in theaters yesterday without advance screenings, eventually overcomes its obstacles and almost lives up to its promising pedigree. You can trust Ian McEwan, who wrote the screenplay from his 1990 novel, to turn this fraught political situation into a dark, paranoid love story. And you can count on the director John Schlesinger (whose most famous film is 'Midnight Cowboy' and most recent is the efficient thriller 'Pacific Heights') to bring it to life with a commanding sense of its increasingly complex elements. What begins as a low-key tale of espionage, with allies spying on each other and everybody's motives in doubt, becomes a tense and suspenseful love story with Hitchcockian overtones."[2] Rita Kempley in the Washington Post, on the other hand,[3] called the movie "baffling." She continued, "The acting proves as inconsistent as Schlesinger's ability to build and release suspense. In full swagger, Hopkins seems to be doing Teddy Roosevelt in preparation for the title role in 'Nixon.' Rossellini recalls her mother, Ingrid Bergman, in an airport farewell scene that echoes 'Casablanca.' It doesn't detract from the actress's work, but it does invite negative comparisons. Talk about amounting to a hill of beans."


  1. ^ Rebecca Lieb, "The Innocent," Variety, September 19, 1993.
  2. ^ a b Caryn James, "Anthony Hopkins as a Brash Yank," The New York Times, September 2, 1995.
  3. ^ Rita Kempley, "The Innocent," The Washington Post, September 2, 1995.

External links[edit]