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Secret Ceremony (1968)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  23 October 1968 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,078 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 17 critic

A woman and the girl she insists is her long-lost daughter are caught in a web of insanity and deception in this powerful psychological thriller.

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(short story "Ceremonia secreta"),
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Title: Secret Ceremony (1968)

Secret Ceremony (1968) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Leonora
...
Cenci
...
Albert
...
Hannah
Pamela Brown ...
Hilda
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Storyline

Leonora, a prostitute, mourns the death by drowning years earlier of her daughter. She encounters a strange waif-like girl, Cenci, who bears a strong resemblance to her lost child. Cenci is herself struck by the great resemblance of Leonora to her own mother, whose death the mentally unstable Cenci has been unable to accept or even acknowledge. The two women quickly develop a symbiotic relationship, moving in and out of the illusion that each is the lost loved one of the other. The complicating factor is the arrival of Albert, Cenci's stepfather, whose incestuous attachment to her may well be the cause of her mind's unbalance. With Albert's arrival, no one in the strange trio is safe. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's time to speak of unspoken things... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ceremonia secreta  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the film aired on NBC several years later, it was not only heavily edited to sanitize some of the seamier sexual suggestions but also included newly shot footage (none involving any of the actors who appeared in the actual film), including a prologue and epilogue in which a psychiatrist character discussed the characters' failings and attempted to explain away the truncated film's many plot holes. Among other major changes was the profession of Elizabeth Taylor's character, who somehow morphed from a prostitute in the theatrical release to a wig model in the TV version. See more »

Quotes

Leonora: I had a daughter once, a very unusual child.
Albert: What happened to her?
Leonora: She vanished.
[snaps her fingers]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very cryptic film.
7 August 2002 | by See all my reviews

The idea (already described in other reviews) is both improbable and audacious, and the film is initially intriguing, but ultimately goes nowhere. There is a difference between not pandering to your audience and completely shutting it out, which is what director Losey has done here (especially regarding Mia Farrow's character and what she is all about). However, Robert Mitchum has a very challenging role - he plays a totally reprehensible character - and pulls it off beautifully. By the way, the previous reviewer is right on the money about the editing goof in the slapping scene; unacceptable for a director with such a big name. (**1/2)


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