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Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964)

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Reviews: 53 user | 24 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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Title: Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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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 | Thriller

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

In one of the scenes, Richard Attenborough passes a street ad promoting stage musical 'Oh, What a Lovely War!'. Five years later, Attenborough directed a movie adaptation of the musical (see Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)). See more »

Goofs

From 17:32 to 18:00, positions of Myra's hands alternate 5 times with changes in the point of view. See more »

Quotes

Myra Savage: So bright after a séance. Brightness just seems to fall from the air.
See more »

Connections

Version of Seance (2000) 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

 
Should Kim Stanley have won the Oscar?
16 January 2007 | by See all my reviews

One of the best British films of the 1960's, "Seance on a Wet Afternoon" is now available on DVD through general distribution. This should help the film to gain the wider appeal that it deserves.

This succeeds on all levels - extraordinary direction with riveting tracking shots, evocative cinematography, great set pieces, a winding plot, and amazing acting from the two leads. The showy yet introspective role of Myra Savage might be one to elicit histrionics and stern looks in the wrong hands, but the character is immensely deepened and supplemented by Kim Stanley's superbly rich "Method" performance. Stanley is matched by Richard Attenborough's Bill Savage, attenuated and subordinated by his wife's unstable, grasping personality.

Much has been said about Stanley's performance as a deserving Academy Award winner. This is difficult to judge. Most of the awards presented in 1965 were for lighter films, and it is difficult to find fault with Julie Andrew's now legendary performance as "Mary Poppins". Deeper inspection of past Awards shows a predilection toward films of an escapist nature during certain times, such as "Going My Way" during the dark, uncertain days of World War II 1943/1944. Could the same be said of the tumultuous aftermath of Kennedy's assassination and other upheavals? Under any circumstance, this film is a masterpiece with no small debt to the acting of Stanley and Attenborough. Seek this out and you will be richly rewarded - 10 out of 10.


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