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Secret Ceremony (1968)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  23 October 1968 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,087 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: Shall we order now?
Cenci: I think I'd like an enormous piece of red meat.
See more »

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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.


18 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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