Sťance on a Wet Afternoon - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sťance on a Wet Afternoon Reviews

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½ November 10, 2015
chilly, subdued masterpiece
February 25, 2015
Great performances, suspenseful premise, but I feel like it chickens out at the end just a bit. The climax is a great work of acting craft but perhaps not as exciting as the rest of the film. Not sure if that's a bad thing.
December 15, 2014
This one never really grabbed me for some reason, and I can't exactly put my finger on why. The whole plot set-up might be a bit alien to me, with a foolish husband going to any lengths to try to help his kooky wife convince the world of her psychic gifts, which eventually results in kidnappings and that sort of thing.

I think I might've been expecting more of a horror setting instead of the psychological territory this one goes into.

½ October 24, 2014
A mix between thriller and chamber piece that would have been impossible to produce any time after 1980 - Stanley and Attenborough are two masters at the top of their game, and they don't let you forget it once.
½ June 11, 2014
For most of the time its one of the most superbly crafted suspense films to be seen, with superior performances doing far more than simply carrying the story along, but it all winds down rather sleepily, de-fusing the nail biting tension that's been so well paced. It all ends on a rather bland sigh of relief; no wonder the Brits loved it so. Kim Stanley steals the show. Perfect for a rainy day.
½ April 28, 2014
Monday, April 28, 2014

(1964) Sťance on a Wet Afternoon

If viewers were to take the first half hour of this movie, and then watch the last thirty minutes should be able to pin point it's major flaw on the way they were caught. Written and directed by Bryan Forbes adapting the novel by Mark McShane starring the great Richard Attenborough as Billy married to his sťance practicing wife, Myra played by Kim Stanley plotting to kidnap the young daughter of a wealthy family for a specific amount of money.

If there's any reason to watch this, it would be because of the brilliant acting of Kim Stanley and Richard Attenborough, but in terms of consistency it would only get 50% which is the rating I'm giving it right now. Now, I would've liked this movie, had producers had not cowered into doing the right thing. As a realist, and if viewers are not made aware, the way the young girl was kidnapped in the first place was a little queer, since in this movie all Bill had to do was send the chauffer driver on a wild goose chase, and that was it. I mean, it's not like Bill was wearing a disguise upon talking to the chauffer before stealing his car with the girl inside, conveniently leaving the keys inside. And that their was no description made by the chauffer to the police or anything else for that matter. Therefore, the movie is asking viewers to concoct that part away just for a little bit just so the girl can be successfully kidnapped, and to me that isn't possible. Perhaps, back on those days a description for a possible interest wasn't even considered.

And viewers also get to see the correlation between the girl that was being kidnapped and the psychological connection Bill and Myra had upon losing their own child which the room they had used to keep her in was initially supposed to be used for their child's room had it not died. For instance, there should be more grasp into common sense about what child they had lost and how it had died in the first place which was never revealed.

2 out of 4 stars
½ April 27, 2014
Fascinating portrait of a deranged woman who wants to prove she is "special" at too great a cost for even for loving and timid husband. Kim Stanley shines in one of her rare film appearances.
½ April 25, 2014
lost my review again!
Super Reviewer
March 12, 2014
Another hidden gem. The whole scheme makes this story run very very well. It is always a good sign when you hope that the bad guys get away with their evil plot.
July 20, 2013
Mystical thriller with the plot being supported by great acting. Regardless the plot was a little weak, but it had some tense moments. I especially enjoyed the tour through some of the London underground.
July 16, 2013
A slow burn of creepy.
Super Reviewer
½ April 10, 2013
"Sťance on a Wet Afternoon" is a low-budget psychological thriller that deals with a dominating medium, her asthmatic husband and her plot to kidnap a wealthy couple's child in order to make her famous. The best reasoning I can think of it to give it a watch is the performances of Kim Stanley and Richard Attenborough, who are both just terrific in their roles. (Attenborough actually outdoes Stanley, whose performance garnered her an Oscar nomination.) Other than that, it's a pretty much by-the-numbers thriller.
Super Reviewer
December 31, 2012
Kim Stanley is a wild cat capable of driving any sanity standard out of its boundaries! Flawless performances and an eerie cinematography elegantly decorate this dark-toned, top-notch thriller exceptionally written and perfectly adapted from an unknown novel. Underrated British gem of 1964.

November 14, 2012
Seance on a Wet Afternoon is undoubtedly a masterpiece of 60's cinema. The film's clever artifice and dark humor have rarely been equalled in common contemporary "kidnapping" charades. Kim Staley is a manipulative yet strangely comic figure, fabricating her abilities as a "psychic medium", and wielding mind tricks designed for an elaborate scheme for a ransom pay. The originality of the film does not lie only in Staley's incredible performance, for the mystery and suspense evoked may equal any detective or film noir of the period. Inspired by the novel, the film describes the reality of the "common man as criminal", ordinary and not the least bit evil. For a change, the "criminals" are well-liked and possibly favored, as they are characters whose consolations lie not in rebellion or evil, but in the demonstration of their own compelling vitality.
½ July 15, 2012
Absolutely gripping story of a phony medium who billies her husband into kidnapping a child so she can get a reward for use her psychic powers to help the police "find" the child. Brilliantly acted by Attenborough, as a put upon husband, and Stanley, as the mentally ill phony psychic. The film is also smartly directed by Brian Forbes, who adapted the novel for film as well. I loved how the film had an edge to it, with story elements I would never see Hollywood having the guts to do today, which really made this film feel quite unique. All around a great film!
½ June 24, 2012
A little slow in the beginning, but picks up and ends strong.
Super Reviewer
½ April 21, 2012
A powerhouse, a haunted house, of a psychological thriller as a curious London couple plan and execute the kidnapping of a wealthy family's daughter. Stanley and Attenborough deliver pitch perfect performances as the couple with an ugly past.
March 20, 2012
Strange movie in which a middle-aged couple (Kim Stanley and Richard Attenborough) scheme to earn a living by conducting sťances to bring back the spirit of the dead or perhaps find answers in situations of mystery. This couple, however, takes their scam one step further by going to a private school and kidnapping the daughter (Judith Donner) of a wealthy family and holding her for ransom. At the same time, the couple conduct sťances with the police to try and find this girl when she is being held hostage in their own house. Their plan, however, backfires when the little girl becomes very ill. Quite peculiar and interesting movie that isn't a total success, but it does warrant a viewing, especially because of Kim Stanley's odd, amusing performance. Nicely filmed and strange score add to the effects of this film.
February 22, 2012
Truly, Madly, Deeply!!
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