7.9/10
4,783
62 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.

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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
...
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:

Two of the greatest performers you will ever see... See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

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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

Simone Signoret and Deborah Kerr were initially considered for role played by Kim Stanley. 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: So bright after a séance. Brightness just seems to fall from the air.
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Connections

References Billy Liar (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

 
Lies bring forth the Truth
17 October 2002 | by (Los Angeles, U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

A deeply conventional moral emerges from a denaturalized plot involving a phony psychic, her meek husband, and a manipulative police superintendent. While Kim Stanley and Richard Attenborough acquit themselves spectacularly as the couple undone by overweening ambition of a childless wife, the film is indelibly marked by an all too brief final appearance of Patrick Magee, a stage actor seen to fair advantage on film only infrequently, and nearly always in supporting parts. Watch this favorite actor of Samuel Beckett, the originally intended performer of Krapp's Last Tape, in a performance of trenchant subtlety, enforcing Law through measured duplicity and chilling subterfuge.


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