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The Third Secret (1964)

The first secret is what we don't tell people, the second secret is what we don't tell ourselves, and the third secret is the truth. The death of a psychologist is investigated by his teenage daughter and a former patient.

Director:

Charles Crichton
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Boyd ... Alex Stedman
Jack Hawkins ... Sir Frederick Belline
Richard Attenborough ... Alfred Price-Gorham
Diane Cilento ... Anne Tanner
Pamela Franklin ... Catherine Whitset
Paul Rogers ... Dr. Milton Gillen
Alan Webb Alan Webb ... Alden Hoving
Rachel Kempson ... Mildred Hoving
Peter Sallis ... Lawrence Jacks
Patience Collier ... Mrs. Pelton
Freda Jackson ... Mrs. Bales
Judi Dench ... Miss Humphries
Peter Copley ... Dr. Leo Whitset
Nigel Davenport ... Lew Harding
Charles Lloyd Pack Charles Lloyd Pack ... Dermot McHenry
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Storyline

A prominent London psychologist seems to have taken his own life, causing stunned disbelief amongst his colleagues and patients. His teenage daughter refuses to believe it was suicide, as this would go against all of the principles for which her father stood, therefore she is convinced it was murder. She enlists the help of a former patient to try to get to the truth. The truth, however, turns out to be surprising and disturbing. Written by Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It starts like a shot, never lets up - see it from the beginning! See more »


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 1964 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Third Secret See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hubris Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical film debut of Dame Judi Dench (Miss Humphries). See more »

Goofs

While on the beach, young Catherine is telling Alex that she knows the names of her father's patients. We hear her say she knows "four" names, but her lips show she is saying the word "five". Likely, "four" was dubbed over "five" upon the decision to remove Patricia Neal's character from the story. See more »

Quotes

Catherine Whitset: [Stedman is sitting alone in a darkened television studio as Catherine Whitset enters and indicates the broadcasting equipment] It's very complicated, isn't it?
Alex Stedman: It has to be.
Catherine Whitset: Why?
Alex Stedman: It saves people from having to think about what they're really doing. They have to concentrate on how to do it.
Catherine Whitset: That's therapy. It doesn't really help.
Alex Stedman: Therapy.
[pause]
Alex Stedman: Are you looking for anyone? I believe they've all gone home.
Catherine Whitset: You haven't.
Alex Stedman: How did you get in?
[...]
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User Reviews

 
Solid craftsmanship vs. wordy screenplay
3 June 2010 | by film_butcherSee all my reviews

Just to elaborate on certain comments about Pamela Franklin; she was born in 1950, and 'The Third Secret' was made in 1964, which made her... 14. Not 18, although she may have seemed precociously mature for her age - but then, that's very much part of the fabric of the film. Her scenes with Boyd carry a sexual tension that film-makers and society in general were brave enough to confront at that time. Indeed, don't films from the 60s and 70s (until Star Wars brought serious cinema crashing down) seem terribly grown up? Although Charles Crichton was an Ealing man, his work here is more reminiscent of the Woodfall school of British realism, and light years away from his comedic timing in 'The Battle of the Sexes'. It's hard to deny that the dialogue gets a bit stodgy at times - a pity, since the screenplay contains a great many sly clues to the solution which can get lost amidst the psycho-babble. This was made at a time when much of the UK's cinema was in the hands of serious craftsmen and women - their films are exemplary lessons in thoughtful, considered cinema. However, in this case, fine technique fails to overcome a wordy screenplay, although it's a close-run thing.


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