Secret Ceremony (1968)

Secret Ceremony (1968, GBR) C-109m. **** D: Joseph Losey. Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Mia Farrow, Robert Mitchum, Peggy Ashcroft, Pamela Brown. Brilliantly acted chamber piece about Farrow and Taylor, whose meeting on the bus one day marks the beginning of a highly unusual relationship. Psychotic, girlish Farrow takes Taylor for her dead mother, who looked just like her. Taylor, in turn, accepts this role play hesitantly; Farrow's resemblance with her own (dead) daughter is striking. The arrival of Farrow's stepfather, lecherous Mitchum, puts a strain on their odd relationship. Completely fascinating psycho drama, difficult to watch but psychologically valid, with excellent direction by Losey (ACCIDENT), a must for cineastes. Farrow's performance is breathtaking. Scripted by playwright George Tabori, who adapted the novel Ceremonia Secreta by Marco Denevi. Appropriately bizarre score by Richard Rodney Bennett. Beware edited 101m. version.


© Ron Altman