Secret Ceremony (1968)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Family Drama, Psychological Drama  |   Run Time - 109 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom , United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Synopsis by Dan Pavlides

This psychologically twisted tragedy begins when the boozy prostitute Leonora (Elizabeth Taylor) encounters a young woman on a London bus. Cenci (Mia Farrow) looks very much like Leonora's late daughter. The two lonely women start talking and seem to get along quite well, so Cenci invites Leonora to stay at her house. The two return to the rambling Gothic mansion that appears to be haunted. The wealthy younger woman plays the daughter and Leonora the mother, developing a close (maybe too close) relationship. With the return of Cenci's stepfather Albert (Robert Mitchum), he reveals to Leonora that Cenci is a mentally disturbed nymphomaniac who contributed to the breakup of her mother and himself. Cenci orders Leonora to leave before she commits suicide with an overdose of sleeping pills. A shaken Leonora pays tribute at the coffin of her dead companion, but the sight of the lecherous Albert causes her to pick up a knife and attack him in this macabre murder melodrama. Farrow was coming off the immense success of Rosemary's Baby. Taylor reprised her role of the pill popping, booze guzzling whore that she played in Butterfield 8 , for which she won an Oscar, and the drunken, promiscuous professor's wife in Who's Afraid Of Virginia Wolf?. Taylor's off screen behavior at the time of this release has to raise the question; Does art imitate life, or is it the other way around? Either way, on or off the screen, Elizabeth Taylor always puts on a memorable performance.



daughter, incest, niece, prostitute/prostitution, stepfather