Secret Ceremony

A psycho-sexual pendulum that swings violently between Greek tragedy and V.C. Andrews-grade high camp, Secret Ceremony is a perfect late-’60s relic: dark, sumptuous, lyrical, and often completely bananas. The film’s central pairing is incredible to witness: Elizabeth Taylor is a damaged, regal hooker ostensibly adopted as a replacement mother by heiress/waif Mia Farrow, who plays her role with delicious perversity and a frighteningly childlike manner. The folie a deux begins the moment Taylor is pulled in to Farrow’s gorgeous, sprawling London mansion (the true third main character in the film: a designer’s wet dream that houses a palpable, sinister history of death, incest, and betrayal). Within moments of meeting, the two women fuse into a makeshift family, as they slip into mutually-enabled insanity, role-playing their respective traumas — and within hours, they’re cackling and crying hysterically together in a bathtub, comparing the sounds they make during orgasm. Co-starring a grotesquely nonchalant Robert Mitchum, and directed by unending aplomb by Joseph Losey (Boom!, Accident, The Servant), this pulsating ball of Pinter-esque discomfort cannot be missed.
Dir. Joseph Losey, 1968, 35mm, 109 min.

Watch the trailer for “Secret Ceremony”!
YouTube Preview Image