7.9/10
4,773
61 user 25 critic

Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964)

A medium and her husband stage a kidnapping in order for her to pretend to solve the crime and achieve fame.

Director:

Writers:

(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
...
Woman at first Seance
Maria Kazan ...
Woman at first Seance
Lionel Gamlin ...
Man at Seances
Marian Spencer ...
Mrs. Wintry
...
Bill
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
...
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

Taglines:

Was it magic... or murder they planned See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 November 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Al filo del abismo  »

Box Office

Budget:

£143,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an early draft of the screenplay, Billy and Myra were both male, with director Bryan Forbes planning to cast Alec Guinness and Tom Courtenay as the homosexual couple. Both actors turned the film down, however. 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: So bright after a séance. Brightness just seems to fall from the air.
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Connections

Edited into The Clock (2010) 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

 
Kim Stanley is a knock-off and this film a masterpiece.
5 April 2002 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

This is an almost forgotten masterpiece by British director Bryan Forbes in which everything is unique.

The sound track is macabre and chilling, the story and setting: simply adorable (the atmosphere of the old house is comparable to the one in Wise's "The Haunting"), the cinematography is great, and the editing almost perfect.

The greatest plus, whatsoever, is Kim Stanley's acting. Perfection would be the right word to describe it. Regarded as being "America's finest actress", she proves what Method acting can be like in this stunning, electric performance. It's so sad that her filmography is that short! Equally good is Richard Attenborough as Stanley's weak husband. Both actors deliver a tour-de-force duel in acting -- it's great to watch!

I highly recommend this film which still -- in times of "Hannibal", and "Scream" -- gives us chills. It's the best entertainment you can get!


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