6.5/10
1,248
31 user 20 critic

Secret Ceremony (1968)

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.

Director:

Writers:

(short story "Ceremonia secreta"),
Reviews
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

Julie Christie turned down the role of Cenci. See more »

Quotes

Leonora: There were two mice fell in a bucket of milk, one yelled for help and drowned, the other kept pedaling around until, in the morning, he found himself on top of butter.
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User Reviews

 
Farrow and Taylor at their maddest, baddest and very best
6 July 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I have liked this film since first seeing it upon its original release. It seems a little slow at times now and I'm really not sure I think very much of any of Robert Mitchum's, for me, lazy performance. In part, I feel this is not just his fault, as I understand that in the original story, some street kids (this was in Mexico) broke in and raped the Farrow character. So in the original her fear and excitement/obsession over sex is caused by this and not by any suggestion of impropriety on the part of Mitchum, playing her step-father. Seems to me this would have worked much better had the original scenario been retained. But never mind, we have what we have and we still have a most spooky and atmospheric movie, with Farrow and Taylor at their maddest, baddest and very best. Eerie location shooting in the art nouveaux decorated mansion and plenty happening to keep the hairs raised at the back of the neck. Unpredictable, worrying and well worth catching


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