6.5/10
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35 user 21 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"),
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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Pamela Brown ...
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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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No one admitted the last 12 minutes. 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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The house used as principal location for this film was also used in the 1997 film version of "The Wings Of The Dove". See more »

Quotes

Cenci: My virginity is the only thing I possess.
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User Reviews

 
A Gothic Triangle
16 April 2017 | by See all my reviews

What an unexpected, odd, treat. Films that travel undetected, spotted by accident - as it was in my case. I was reading about this startling Argentinean writer, Marco Denevi, when I discovered that one of his short stories had been adapted for the screen, directed by Joseph Losey of "The Servant" fame and with a cast to die for. Elizabeth Taylor as a prostitute that takes advantage of a peculiar girl, played with real zest by Mia Farrow who mistakes her for her mother, and Robert Mitchum, as the disruptor. This classy if bizarre production also includes Pamela Brown and Peggy Ashcroft in the cast. I enjoyed the weirdness thoroughly. It unsettled me and made me wonder how this film had been received in 1968. Apparently not very well. The one thing that made people talk about Secret Ceremony at the time was an infamous still with Elizabeth Taylor and Mia Farrow in a bathtub together. For lovers of the odd and unique this is a real treat.


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