7.9/10
4,698
61 user 26 critic

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.

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(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

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 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

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

5 November 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Al filo del abismo  »

Box Office

Budget:

£143,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During filming, Richard Attenborough developed kidney stones and was unable to work for an entire day. Since filming was on such a tight schedule, director Bryan Forbes got into costume played his role for some shots. See more »

Goofs

During the final seance, there is a close up of a man's hand with a pinkie ring and gray sleeve, who is not at the table. It is a repeated shot from the previous seance, when the gray-jacketed man took part. See more »

Quotes

Myra Savage: You know what I sometimes wish? I sometimes wish I *were*... ordinary. Like you. Dead ordinary. Ordinary and *dead* like all the others.
See more »

Connections

References 55 Days at Peking (1963) 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
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User Reviews

 
Truly, Madly, Deeply
5 March 2007 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

The first hour is one of the most riveting pieces of film ever to hit the screen. The pace, the mood, Attenborough and, of course, Kim Stanley! Then, something happens on the second half, it feels rushed, at least, that's what it felt to me. Once that aside, what a treat! Bryan Forbes signed some startling British movies of that period but you hardly hear his name mentioned. I mean, "Whistle Down The Wind", "The Wrong Box", "The L Shapped Room", "King Rat". Here he touches some kind of zenith. I heard that originally, Forbes and producer Richard Attenborough, had toyed with the idea of making the couple a "queer" one. Alec Guinness and Tom Courtenay. As fun as the idea may sound I'm glad they didn't go ahead with that. It would have deprive us of Kim Stanley and of Richard Attenborough in what could be, arguably, his best performance. He made of Billy's weakness a separate entity. Painful, creepy. Stanley is, goes without saying, sublime. Another superlative characterization in her far too brief film gallery. We can actually see what she's feeling and what she's feeling is so all consuming so strong and so fragile that we feel she's about to fall at any moment and we will too, with her. For those of us who love great acting - This is unmissable.


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