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Seance On A Wet Afternoon [1964] [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Kim Stanley, Richard Attenborough, Nanette Newman, Margaret Lacey, Patrick Magee
  • Directors: Bryan Forbes
  • Producers: Richard Attenborough, Bryan Forbes, Jack Rix
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Jun. 2006
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FAOAVA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,660 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Kim Stanley plays a crooked medium who has become slightly unhinged since the death of her son. Craving money and publicity, she concocts a scheme with her weak-willed husband (Richard Attenborough). The pair kidnap a wealthy young girl, collect the ransom, then use Kim's powers to help the parents locate the child.

From Amazon.co.uk

An intensely claustrophobic nail-biter to rival prime Hitchcock, 1964's Séance on a Wet Afternoon is a classic British thriller written and directed by Bryan Forbes. Set largely in an imposing Gothic house in north London, the film stars Richard Attenborough as Bill Savage, a man struggling to maintain his marriage to his increasingly unbalanced wife, Myra, played in an Oscar-nominated performance by the little-known but brilliant Broadway actress Kim Stanley. Myra, who believes she is a medium, plans a scheme that will make her famous, involving kidnapping then "psychically" locating a little girl. Attenborough (who won a BAFTA) and Stanley are both superb in what is part riveting battle of wills, part nerve-wracking kidnap thriller with, just possibly, a touch of the supernatural.

Gerry Turpin's precise b/w cinematography and John Barry's chilling score add significantly to the atmosphere of dread, and if the plot has one or two gaping holes, Forbes's direction covers them deftly. Forbes explored female delusion again in The Whispers (1967) and The Mad Woman of Chaillot (1969); the film also marked a major entry in his long-term collaboration with John Barry and with his wife, the actress Nanette Newman. Séance clearly had an influence on Attenborough's own directorial contribution to the genre, the highly unsettling Anthony Hopkins vehicle, Magic (1978).

On the DVD: Séance on a Wet Afternoon is presented in an excellent 16:9 transfer, anamorphically enhanced for widescreen televisions, that effectively captures the brooding look of Gerry Tupin's BAFTA-nominated cinematography. Unfortunately the print used, though generally very good, does show some damage, including some instances that appear to run through the best part of a reel. Though noticeable and sometimes distracting, they barely mar this gripping film. The mono soundtrack is fine, though there is the very occasional touch of distortion. The disc comes with optional English subtitles, the excellent original trailer and a new and first-rate 33-minute interview with Bryan Forbes in which he engagingly explains every aspect of the making of the film. --Gary S Dalkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I caught this one afternoon on tv and was gripped; the acting is unnerving, and the script and photography first class, and very atmospheric. I found the film frightening as it moved along, and the heartbreak of the Parents whose child the couple have kidnapped could really be felt. Made in 1964, the film is in B/W, and shows a London that has gone now-this adds to the atmosphere of the film , and Ive ordered it on a dvd to keep. You will not be disappointed with this pyschological thriller. First class all the way.
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By Kona TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Nov. 2005
Format: DVD
This is an exquisite little movie, made unforgettable by its two talented stars. Kim Stanley plays Myra, a woman who became delusional years ago when her only child was still born. She now claims that she's a psychic medium and that Arthur, her son, speaks to her from beyond. She's married to Billy (Richard Attenborough), a weak and brokenhearted man who knows his wife is mentally ill, but is unable to help her. They decide to kidnap the daughter of a wealthy couple, collect the ransom, and then Myra will offer her psychic services to the couple to help "find" the little girl. Billy knows it's a bad plan, and he's even more worried when Arthur "tells" Myra that he wants the little girl to join him.
Set in a big, dark house in London, the movie is certainly creepy and suspenseful, but more than anything, it is achingly sad. We feel for the suffering parents of the girl, for Myra, who doesn't know she is insane, and especially for Billy, who has lost control of his life completely. Richard Attenborourgh's performance is a master class in the art of acting. A sobering, insightful study of two unhappy people.
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Format: DVD
Currently the only opportunity to see the genius of Kim Stanley on DVD. She was the greatest american actress of her generation and Bryan Forbes plays suitable tribute to her in the dvd extra interview. Her performance is extraordinary even the brilliance of Richard Attenborough seems dimmed in her presence. A truly wonderful British film, great script, photography, direction and truly unbelievable performances from the 2 lead actors. A great piece of cinema, wonderful.
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Format: DVD
Seance on a Wet Afternoon, 1964, is a taut, 115 minute black and white classic of British film making, a riveting crime drama/ thriller that was unfortunately little-seen at its release and is even little less known now. It was written by well-known director Bryan Forbes, based upon a novel by Mark McShane, and directed by Forbes, Chaplin [DVD], The Stepford Wives [DVD], King Rat [DVD] [2005], with his usual economy, precision and dispatch. The crisp black and white cinematography was by Gerry Turpin.

The film stars the American Kim Stanley, who made only a few movies, including The Right Stuff [1984] [DVD] [1983], Frances [DVD], and The Goddess (1958) (Region 2), and this one, for which she received a Best Actress Oscar nomination. And the Oscar winning British Lord Richard Attenborough, winner of two Oscars, nominated for many more, esteemed for both his acting and his directing skills, (Gandhi [DVD] [1982],
...Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Myra (Kim Stanley) knows she is distend for greatness and the second rate psychic she seems to be. She enlists (heavily influences) her week-willed husband Billy (Richard Attenborough) into a scheme that seems perfectly innocent; they will barrow a child Amanda (Judith Donner) and then Myra will use her psychic ability to find the child for the parents. Myra gets fame, her husband will get a new car and everyone will be happy.
Every thing will go as planned if you do not take in account that there is something strange going on. And it is snowballing.
The film was shot in black and white which gives it a spooking and depressing feel. There is sixties English background music including "Hear my Prayer" Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. Then again there are plenty of places where they do not play any background and the natural sounds or lack of can also be spooky.
Kim Stanley was nominated for two Oscars - one for portraying the medium with a secret.
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Format: DVD
A fake medium enlists the help of her husband, played by Kim Stanley and Richard Attenborough, respectively, to kidnap a child, in an attempt to prove to the outside world that she's real. Her theory is, is to lead the police to the child, but as the film progresses, the story gets even darker. After kidnapping the child, and sending a ransom to the parents, the child is then kept prisoner at their house.

This is a really good British film from the 60's directed by Brian Forbes, made by Beaver Films, which Brian Forbes and Richard Attenborough co-owned.
If you enjoy old British films from this period, you will enjoy this one.

Filmed in Black & White, the Picture Quality is very good, and the image is sharp.
The transfer is in 1.78:1, which is almost the same as the films original aspect ratio of 1.66:1.
The sound is presented in it's original mono.

Recommended.
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