Seance on a Wet Afternoon
This is a great suspense film with great performances and some very subtle humor. Sir Richard Attenburough and Kim Stanley play a couple who have lost a child named Arthur and regularly hold seances to communicate with him. Arthur tells her of a way to scheme a fortune from a rich family. Attenburough plays Bill, a weak minded husband under the control of his wifes every whim. Their relationship is often sad, sometimes funny, and even creepy at times. Kim Stanley is slightly off her rocker and her performance is really amazing. Attenburough is equally good and very sympathetic. The first ten minutes are a bit talky but the dialogue telegraphs calamity and then builds at a nice pace increasing the tension steadily until the end. The film was made in 1964, shot in black and white and was directed by Bryan Forbes who directed the originl Stepford Wives. I thought the Stepford Wives generated some great scenes with an oddly compelling mood. This film has the same eerie feel to it but the pacing and performances are much better. I believe all of the tense moments in the film are un-scored and there is some interesting use of music within the film by the characters as a way of distinguishing sanity.