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Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  5 November 1964 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 3,983 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 25 critic

A psychic convinces her weak-willed husband to kidnap the child of a wealthy couple, so she can use her abilities to locate the child and thus achieve fame.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Myra
Margaret Lacey ...
Woman at first Seance
Marie Burke ...
Woman at first Seance
Maria Kazan ...
Woman at first Seance
Lionel Gamlin ...
Man at Seances
Marian Spencer ...
Mrs. Wintry
...
Billy
Godfrey James ...
Mrs. Clayton's Chauffeur
Judith Donner ...
Amanda
Ronald Hines ...
Policeman Outside Clayton's
Hajni Biro ...
Maid at Clayton's
Mark Eden ...
Mr. Clayton
Nanette Newman ...
Mrs. Clayton
Diana Lambert ...
Sheila - Mr. Clayton's Secretary
Frank Singuineau ...
Bus Conductor
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Storyline

Myra and Billy Savage are a married couple living in London. Myra works as a medium, she who holds weekly meetings - séances - for a regular group of customers, while Billy supports her in these ventures as he does not otherwise work due to his asthma. "Arthur" is her spirit guide, he who was their stillborn son. Myra is the dominant in the couple, Billy the weak minded follower. Myra, with Billy's support, devises a scheme to raise her public prominence as a medium: kidnap Amanda Clayton, the adolescent daughter of a wealthy couple, and using her psychic powers provide information to the Claytons and the police of Amanda and the requested ransom money's whereabouts. Myra and Billy view this scheme as a victimless crime, if a crime at all, as they don't plan on harming Amanda and they are returning the requested ransom. To carry out the scheme successfully, they will have to: kidnap Amanda; convince Amanda that her temporary captivity is not out of the ordinary, while having her not ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 November 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

An einem trüben Nachmittag  »

Box Office

Budget:

£143,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bryan Forbes looked for that house with the turret as a film location; when he went to the owner for permission, she asked who was in the film. When told that an American actress named Kim Stanley, the woman blanched, stepped back, and said that Stanley was one of her oldest friends whom she had not seen in 17 years. See more »

Goofs

As Myra looks outwards through the rain spattered window of a child's nursery, the rain falls unnaturally onto the panes - in two bursts - as though it were sprays from a hose or watering can. See more »

Quotes

Myra Savage: What we are doing is a means to an end. Now you agree with the end, don't you? Well then you must agree with the means! You can't have one without the other.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Others (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Hear my Prayer
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played by George Thalben-Ball (as Sir George Thalben-Ball) (organ)
Sung by Ernest Lough
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Powerful Performances in an Unexpected Story
24 April 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

An unsuccessful psychic and spiritualist has grown frustrated with her lack of celebrity--and so devises a plan to bring herself the fame she craves. She and her husband will kidnap a child. When the police are baffled and press coverage has reached a fevered pitch, she will have a "vision" that will lead to the child's recovery and the reap the rewards of publicity. But no sooner is the plan underway than there are complications--and in this instance the complications are the characters themselves.

Everything about Brian Forbes' SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON is understated yet oddly moody. The story, although unusual, is told in a direct sort of way; although it offers an occasional twist, the plot avoids tricky devices. The script is very natural sounding, the black and white cinematography avoids undue cleverness, and the background music is discreet. This throws all attention on the characters--and Kim Stanley and Richard Attenborough offer amazing performances, with Stanley the very personification of rising madness and Attenborough painfully accurate as her emotionally dependent husband.

The interplay between Stanley and Attenborough is justly famous, and the two stars are well supported, most particularly by Judith Donner as the kidnapped child and Nanette Newman as her distracted mother. The film has a dreamy, claustrophobic quality that many will find fascinating; some, however, may consider it a bit talky and its conclusion an anticlimax. But if you are in the mood for a psychological thriller that really is psychological, you couldn't pick a better choice for rainy day viewing. Recommended.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


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