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Secret Ceremony (1968)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  23 October 1968 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 1,144 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 18 critic

A penniless woman meets a strange girl who insists she is her long-lost mother, and becomes enmeshed in a web of deception, and perhaps madness, 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 6.5/10

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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

Robert Douglas and Michael Strong were not in this film, appearing only in scenes added to it for American TV showings. These scenes were shot in Hollywood by a different director and crew several months after the film's cinema release. Joseph Losey neither authorized nor approved of these changes, which he described as "absolutely illegal". This severely amended version was, fortunately, withdrawn from circulation eventually. See more »

Quotes

Hannah: Crazy people never look their age.
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User Reviews

 
Interesting, much underrated film
24 October 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Secret Ceremony" was critically lambasted on its release - undeservedly so. Having come on the heels of another Elizabeth Taylor/Joseph Losey collaboration - the truly awful "Boom" - I suppose the critics were sharpening their knives again.

Admittedly, "Secret Ceremony" is probably an acquired taste. I first saw it on network TV in its mutilated form, with new non-Losey scenes filmed to supposed "explain" what was happening. Nevertheless, what remained of the original film was good enough that I sought out the uncut original.

The story is bizarre but consistently intriguing, and the Taylor/Farrow combination works. Taylor is very good in this film; I think it's one of her best performances (her scene at the very end is excellent). I highly recommend this film for those with eclectic, adventurous tastes.


19 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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