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"Secret Ceremony" (1968)


jaragon
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I had wanted to see this film ever since I read about it in the "Bad Movies We Love" book but the authors made it sound a lot more fun that  it is.   Cenci (Mia Farrow) mistakes Leonora (Elizabeth Taylor), a middle-aged prostitute, for her recently deceased mother. Leonora, who has lost a child, accepts Cenci's bizarre invitation to move into her mansion, live with her and act as her mother. At first, the two live happily together, but when Cenci's stepfather, Albert (Robert Mitchum), returns to the estate, Cenci's shocking past begins to unravel.  Taylor looks fabulous .  Robert Mitchum has a very fake looking beard  and Mia Farrow is over the top.  Joseph Losey made many great films but I have no idea what he had in mind when he made this one .  I love how Universal tried to market it as horror film

 

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I always wondered whether movies like this reflected Elizabeth's personal taste or whether she was somehow talked into them in order to "keep up with the times." For such an illustrious career, it ended pretty badly. I don't think TCM has ever shown The Driver's Seat (1974) but Night Watch (1973) has shown up a few times recently and it's a real mess. The Only Game in Town (1970) was probably her last to have the look and feel of a "real" movie. The industry (and the audience) was changing all around her so I guess she can't really be blamed, but it's sad watching most of them. 

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22 hours ago, DougieB said:

I always wondered whether movies like this reflected Elizabeth's personal taste or whether she was somehow talked into them in order to "keep up with the times." For such an illustrious career, it ended pretty badly. I don't think TCM has ever shown The Driver's Seat (1974) but Night Watch (1973) has shown up a few times recently and it's a real mess. The Only Game in Town (1970) was probably her last to have the look and feel of a "real" movie. The industry (and the audience) was changing all around her so I guess she can't really be blamed, but it's sad watching most of them. 

Taylor might had thought she was doing a prestige movie because Joseph Losey was directing.  Taylor actually comes out the best- she looks great and wears fabulous clothes.  Robert Mitchum seems to be out of it and seriously they could not get him to grow a real beard instead of the fake one.  Farrow is just ridiculous in an impossible role- personally I can't stand when adults have to play children or in this case a child like person.  I found the movie boring even with the daring subject matter . I  imagine this all must have seemed a lot more shocking in 1968. 

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