6.5/10
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23 user 16 critic

The Third Secret (1964)

The first secret is what we don't tell people, the second secret is what we don't tell ourselves, and the third secret is the truth. The death of a psychologist is investigated by his teenage daughter and a former patient.

Director:

Charles Crichton
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Boyd ... Alex Stedman
Jack Hawkins ... Sir Frederick Belline
Richard Attenborough ... Alfred Price-Gorham
Diane Cilento ... Anne Tanner
Pamela Franklin ... Catherine Whitset
Paul Rogers ... Dr. Milton Gillen
Alan Webb Alan Webb ... Alden Hoving
Rachel Kempson ... Mildred Hoving
Peter Sallis ... Lawrence Jacks
Patience Collier ... Mrs. Pelton
Freda Jackson ... Mrs. Bales
Judi Dench ... Miss Humphries
Peter Copley ... Dr. Leo Whitset
Nigel Davenport ... Lew Harding
Charles Lloyd Pack Charles Lloyd Pack ... Dermot McHenry
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Storyline

A prominent London psychologist seems to have taken his own life, causing stunned disbelief amongst his colleagues and patients. His teenage daughter refuses to believe it was suicide, as this would go against all of the principles for which her father stood, therefore she is convinced it was murder. She enlists the help of a former patient to try to get to the truth. The truth, however, turns out to be surprising and disturbing. Written by Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>

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For Maximum Enjoyment...Se It From The Very Beginning! See more »


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 1964 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Al treilea secret See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hubris Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical film debut of Dame Judi Dench (Miss Humphries). See more »

Goofs

While on the beach, young Catherine is telling Alex that she knows the names of her father's patients. We hear her say she knows "four" names, but her lips show she is saying the word "five". Likely, "four" was dubbed over "five" upon the decision to remove Patricia Neal's character from the story. See more »

Quotes

Catherine Whitset: [Stedman is sitting alone in a darkened television studio as Catherine Whitset enters and indicates the broadcasting equipment] It's very complicated, isn't it?
Alex Stedman: It has to be.
Catherine Whitset: Why?
Alex Stedman: It saves people from having to think about what they're really doing. They have to concentrate on how to do it.
Catherine Whitset: That's therapy. It doesn't really help.
Alex Stedman: Therapy.
[pause]
Alex Stedman: Are you looking for anyone? I believe they've all gone home.
Catherine Whitset: You haven't.
Alex Stedman: How did you get in?
[...]
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User Reviews

 
THE THIRD SECRET (Charles Crichton, 1964) ***
3 March 2009 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

After a distinguished 15-year service for British cinema, director Charles Crichton (like several of his contemporaries) defected to TV at the start of the 1960s and only made the occasional feature film thereafter – the most notable of which were this star-studded psychological thriller and his Oscar-nominated swan song, A FISH CALLED WANDA (1988). Irish actor-turned-Hollywood star Stephen Boyd plays the lead, an expatriate American newsman, who is engaged by precocious teenager Pamela Franklin to delve further into the mystery surrounding the would-be suicide of her celebrity psychiatrist father. She firmly believes that he was murdered by one of his very exclusive clientèle and pinpoints knighted Judge Jack Hawkins, mousy art dealer Richard Attenborough (who has a very young Judi Dench for his assistant) and insecure secretary Diane Cilento as the main suspects; a fourth was initially to have been played by Patricia Neal but her entire subplot was dropped prior to the film's release! After some initial trepidation (he does not want it known that he was also being treated by the dead psychiatrist) and anguish (feeling betrayed by the psychiatrist for abandoning him, he demolishes the latter's office in front of his daughter's very eyes!), Boyd approaches the 3 ex-patients who, understandably, are unwilling, unable or just too distraught (Cilento herself commits suicide after realizing the real reason why Boyd had slept with her) to be of any real use to him in the investigation. Consequently, when all available avenues seem to have led to a dead end, Boyd becomes cognizant of the possibility that the truth might be much closer to home than he at first suspected. Indeed, Franklin seems inexplicably hostile to her guardians (Rachel Kempson and Alan Webb) and bonds with Boyd instead through a game of 'complete the quotation' scribbled on walls (which she used to play with her late father). Co-written by its producer Robert L. Joseph, the film is, perhaps necessarily given the subject, full of pretentious chat but is also cleverly decked out with a Freudian dream sequence and the afore-mentioned starry cameos…which, actually, makes Pamela Franklin's outstanding performance all the more remarkable an achievement. Besides, in view of how the plot eventually works out, it is hard not to presume the influence of Orson Welles' fascinating MR. ARKADIN aka CONFIDENTIAL REPORT (1955) or the anticipation of Richard Rush's much-maligned COLOR OF NIGHT (1994)...


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