6.8/10
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21 user 10 critic

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.

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 her father stood for, 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 both surprising and disturbing. Written by Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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For Maximum Enjoyment...Se It From The Very Beginning! See more »


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1964 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Al treilea 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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Margaret Leighton was originally announced for a supporting role. 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

 
Spooky and erotic
26 December 2005 | by foxfirebrandSee all my reviews

Pamela Franklin is at her precocious best in this tale of "psychoanalytical" intrigue with boundary-crossing sexual overtones. Precocity often took her into territory it's now fashionable to call "inappropriate," such as the schoolgirl love interest she played with a randy old artist in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie." Though understated and implicit in "The Third Secret," her emotionally-troubled character's relationship with Stephen Boyd's character is in this same vein. All of 18 when I saw this in theatrical release, I was captivated. The movie is still a guilty pleasure, though you have to suspend a lot of disbelief to get back in that naive early-60s groove when sexuality was still portrayed indirectly through characters who were not exactly the Free Spirits that populated such films later in the decade.

Look for a spooky cinematic trick toward the end of the film, when Stephen Boyd's character is just starting to unravel the big Secret. Pamela makes a statement about how many patients her father had-- Stephen thinks he misheard her, and asks her to repeat what she said. Watch carefully for the "subliminal" trick, which could easily go unnoticed-- it made the hair on my arms stand up.

Hokey in parts, and based on some then-commonplace misconceptions about psychiatric disorders, the movie still works if you can accept it on its own terms. At the very least its understatement is a refreshing change from the noise-saturated frantic bombast of today's not-so-spooky films, with their mindless reliance on sensory overload and oh-so-special effects.


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