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Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964)

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.



(novel), (written for the screen by)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
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
Godfrey James ...
Mrs. Clayton's Chauffeur
Judith Donner ...
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


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 young 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 be ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

5 November 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Al filo del abismo  »

Box Office


£143,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Simone Signoret and Deborah Kerr were initially considered for role played by Kim Stanley. See more »


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 »


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 »


Featured in Schwartz: Seance Is a 'Wicked' Mistress (2011) See more »


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

Kim Stanley is fantastic!
18 June 2004 | by (Santa Clarita, CA) – See all my reviews

This little seen film stars one of America's greatest actresses in one of Britian's greatest thrillers. Kim Stanley was an excellent Method actress. I agree that she very much reminds me of Geraldine Page, another brilliant actress. The way she says her lines, or uses her hands and face is very much like Page. (Ironically, Page turned down this role!)

I'm not going to get too much into the plot because I don't want to give too much away. If you want to know more about the plot, then check out some of the other comments. Let's just say great acting by the entire cast, and a good tense story, make for a night of suspense. So turn out the lights and enjoy!

PS: If you're looking for a copy of this video don't forget to check your public library.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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