7.9/10
5,339
67 user 26 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, 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, 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 able to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two of the greatest performers you will ever see... 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

In the London Underground there is poster ad that reads "People with interest in the future, 3 1/2 (percent)" which is obviously a bank's ad for a savings program, but is also synchronistic in light of the plot involving a psychic. See more »

Goofs

During the final seance, there is a close up of a man's hand with a pinkie ring and gray sleeve, who is not at the table. It is a repeated shot from the previous seance, when the gray-jacketed man took part. See more »

Quotes

Myra Savage: What we are doing is a means to an end. Now you agree with the end, don't you? Well then you must agree with the means! You can't have one without the other.
See more »

Connections

References West Side Story (1961) 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

Excellent psychological horror
6 April 2001 | by thomandybishSee all my reviews

This great, seldom-scene movie stars Kim Stanley as an unbalanced woman who holds seances in her home and concocts a plot to gain celebrity with her so-called "powers". With the help of her husband, she plans to kidnap the daughter of a wealthy couple, then use her "powers"to reveal the girl's whereabouts. As the story unfolds, the audience is shown the reasons behind the woman's emotional problems and the growing inevitability of disaster that her plan holds. Richard Attenborough gives a great performance as he teeters between the desire to fulfill his unhappy wife's scheme and the knowledge that the deed they are doing is wrong. Reccommended for those who want a shiver without the gore. Thought provoking.


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