6.5/10
1,523
37 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"), (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: M Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Fran walks into a piano bar for pizza. She comes back home with Joe, the piano player. Joe plans on winning $5,000 and leave Las Vegas. Fran waits for something else. Meanwhile, he moves in with her.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Warren Beatty, Charles Braswell
X, Y and Zee (1972)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The venomous and amoral wife of a wealthy architect tries, any way she can, to break up the blossoming romance between her husband and his new mistress; a good-natured young widow who holds a dark past.

Director: Brian G. Hutton
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Caine, Susannah York
Boom! (1968)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Explores the confrontation between the woman who has everything, including emptiness, and a penniless poet who has nothing but the ability to fill a wealthy woman's needs.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Noël Coward
Night Watch (1973)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Ellen Wheeler, a rich woman, is recovering from a nervous breakdown with the help of her husband and a good friend. One day, while staring out the window, she witnesses a murder. But does ... See full summary »

Director: Brian G. Hutton
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Laurence Harvey, Billie Whitelaw
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A man sells his soul to the devil in order to have the woman he loves.

Directors: Richard Burton, Nevill Coghill
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Andreas Teuber
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Bizarre tale of sex, betrayal, and perversion at a military post.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Brian Keith
Accident (1967)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

At Oxford, Austrian student Anna is dating fellow student William whom she plans to marry but she ends up sleeping with two unhappily married Oxford professors instead.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Stanley Baker, Jacqueline Sassard
The Sandpiper (1965)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A free-spirited single mother forms a connection with the wed headmaster of an Episcopal boarding school in California.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Eva Marie Saint
BUtterfield 8 (1960)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A Manhattan call girl has a tragic affair with a rich married man.

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Laurence Harvey, Eddie Fisher
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

What is real and what is fiction? Faced with writer's block with his novel, Lewis Fielding turns to a film script about a woman finding herself after his wife Elizabeth returns from Baden ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Glenda Jackson, Michael Caine, Helmut Berger
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Unjustly condemned to Devil's Island and condemned to death, Dr. Gaudet's life is spared when his surgical skills save the life of the commandant's daughter.

Director: William Clemens
Stars: Boris Karloff, Nedda Harrigan, James Stephenson
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A law school graduate is hired by a top law firm but hides from them a secret about a problem he has--he is so allergic to alcohol that one whiff of it and he passes out like a light.

Director: Norman Krasna
Stars: Van Johnson, Elizabeth Taylor, Percy Waram
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Pamela Brown ...
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ceremonia secreta  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

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

Leonora: [Describing her attempted suicide, to Cenci] "You'll be sorry when I'm dead, Bernard," I said to myself. "It may be a mortal sin, but it'll break your lousy heart, Bernard," I said to myself. I dressed up in all my finery, I even had my hair done up in curls. I set the table for two, with candles... and I swallowed every goddamned thing I could lay my hands on: aspirin, disprin, veganin, codeine, the lot. I lay down on the sofa, the music was playing, I drifted off down a cool river toward the ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A bizarre fantasy world concocted by two disturbed women
16 February 2001 | by See all my reviews

Interesting film about two women who use each other to concoct a fantasy world of instability that ends in tragedy. Mia Farrow is an unstable young heiress whose mother has died. Elizabeth Taylor is a middle aged hooker whose daughter died in childhood. Farrow spies Taylor on a bus and is struck by her physical similarity to her mother. Farrow, in a long brown wig, resembles Taylors daughter. Taylor reluctantly allows Farrow to take her home, feed her tea and sausages, and slowly comes to fill the role of the dead mother, even dressing in the woman's clothes and confronting some thieving elderly aunts. The psychological charade is complicated when the two go on holiday as mother and daughter and happen to encounter Farrow's stepfather, played by Robert Mitchum.

A fascinating psychological study of two damaged women and their own disturbed inner worlds, SECRET CEREMONY is a great movie for anyone looking for something different. Elizabeth Taylor gives a nuanced performance in this film, despite having chomped scenery unchecked in some other films from this era(BOOM, X Y AND ZEE). Highly recommended.


16 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 37 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial