7.9/10
5,033
62 user 25 critic

Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964)

A medium and her husband stage a kidnapping in order for her to pretend to solve the crime and achieve fame.

Director:

Bryan Forbes

Writers:

Mark McShane (novel), Bryan Forbes (written for the screen by)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kim Stanley ... Myra Savage
Margaret Lacey Margaret Lacey ... Woman at First Seance
Marie Burke ... Woman at First Seance
Maria Kazan Maria Kazan ... Woman at First Seance
Lionel Gamlin Lionel Gamlin ... Man at Seances
Marian Spencer Marian Spencer ... Mrs. Wintry
Richard Attenborough ... William Henry 'Bill' Savage
Godfrey James Godfrey James ... Mrs. Clayton's Chauffeur
Judith Donner Judith Donner ... Amanda Clayton - The Child
Ronald Hines Ronald Hines ... Policeman Outside Clayton's
Hajni Biro Hajni Biro ... Carla - Maid at Clayton's
Mark Eden ... Mr. Charles Clayton
Nanette Newman ... Mrs. Clayton
Diana Lambert Diana Lambert ... Sheila - Mr. Clayton's Secretary
Frank Singuineau Frank Singuineau ... Bus Conductor
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Storyline

Myra and Billy Savage are a married couple living in London. Myra works as a medium, she who holds weekly meetings - séances - for a regular group of customers, while Billy supports her in these ventures as he does not otherwise work due to his asthma. "Arthur" is her spirit guide, he who was their stillborn son. Myra is the dominant in the couple, Billy the weak minded follower. Myra, with Billy's support, devises a scheme to raise her public prominence as a medium: kidnap Amanda Clayton, the young daughter of a wealthy couple, and using her psychic powers provide information to the Claytons and the police of Amanda and the requested ransom money's whereabouts. Myra and Billy view this scheme as a victimless crime, if a crime at all, as they don't plan on harming Amanda and they are returning the requested ransom. To carry out the scheme successfully, they will have to: kidnap Amanda; convince Amanda that her temporary captivity is not out of the ordinary, while having her not be ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Was it magic... or murder they planned See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Al filo del abismo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£143,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Attenborough (Billy) and Gerald Sim (Beedle) were brothers-in-law in real life. Attenborough was married to Sim's elder sister Sheila Sim from 1945 until his death in 2014. See more »

Goofs

From 17:32 to 18:00, positions of Myra's hands alternate 5 times with changes in the point of view. See more »

Quotes

Myra Savage: So bright after a séance. Brightness just seems to fall from the air.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Found (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Hear my Prayer
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played by George Thalben-Ball (as Sir George Thalben-Ball) (organ)
Sung by Ernest Lough
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Truly, Madly, Deeply
5 March 2007 | by littlemartinarocenaSee all my reviews

The first hour is one of the most riveting pieces of film ever to hit the screen. The pace, the mood, Attenborough and, of course, Kim Stanley! Then, something happens on the second half, it feels rushed, at least, that's what it felt to me. Once that aside, what a treat! Bryan Forbes signed some startling British movies of that period but you hardly hear his name mentioned. I mean, "Whistle Down The Wind", "The Wrong Box", "The L Shapped Room", "King Rat". Here he touches some kind of zenith. I heard that originally, Forbes and producer Richard Attenborough, had toyed with the idea of making the couple a "queer" one. Alec Guinness and Tom Courtenay. As fun as the idea may sound I'm glad they didn't go ahead with that. It would have deprive us of Kim Stanley and of Richard Attenborough in what could be, arguably, his best performance. He made of Billy's weakness a separate entity. Painful, creepy. Stanley is, goes without saying, sublime. Another superlative characterization in her far too brief film gallery. We can actually see what she's feeling and what she's feeling is so all consuming so strong and so fragile that we feel she's about to fall at any moment and we will too, with her. For those of us who love great acting - This is unmissable.


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