I often find many Losey films that I have seen quite.... odd, but genuinely memorable. If I'm reading Secret Ceremony correctly - we have some downright despicable characters that are attempting to forge bonds with a mentally unbalanced young girl, Cenci (Mia Farrow), hoping to align themselves with her inherited money. We have Leonora (Elizabeth Taylor), who appears similarly on the brink of a breakdown - she continues to propagate Cenci's delusion that she is her mother - who is actually recently deceased. Next we have Albert (Robert Mitchum), her wandering, academia, step-father who openly professes physical desire for her - finally we have two thieving aunts (Peggy Ashcroft and Pamela Brown) who loot the spoils of the momma's death. All-in-all a disgusting group. It doesn't appears a big stretch for Farrow to play the wacko and Liz, even a bit heavy, looks damn good. Mitchum might be at his worst and Losey's disparate style has some appeal upon reflection but during initial viewing can be tedious. It seems to be a film trying too hard to be misunderstood - and succeeding in that vein. Losey and Taylor completists may get the most benefit. Others may find it too weird.
Theatrical Release: October 23rd, 1968
DVD Review: Universal Pictures Video (UK) - Region 2 - PAL
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|Distribution||Universal Pictures Video (UK) Home Video - Region 2 - PAL|
Average Bitrate: 4.48 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
Although non-anamorphic, a black border around the frame (further limiting resolution) and a reasonable amount of dirt and digital noise showing through - this image is not too bad. Colors and contrast seem fairly good and detail is certainly acceptable. I'll wager if transferred at 16X9 enhancement and cleaned a little it would look quite outstanding. But as it stands it is only shines on a cathode ray tube. Optional subtitles are bit big and clunky and there are no extras. I'll stick with what I said about the film - for Losey and Taylor completists only.