The Third Secret (1964)

  |  Crime, Drama, Mystery

The Third Secret (1964) Poster

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.


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3 June 2010 | film_butcher
| Solid craftsmanship vs. wordy screenplay
Just to elaborate on certain comments about Pamela Franklin; she was born in 1950, and 'The Third Secret' was made in 1964, which made her... 14. Not 18, although she may have seemed precociously mature for her age - but then, that's very much part of the fabric of the film. Her scenes with Boyd carry a sexual tension that film-makers and society in general were brave enough to confront at that time. Indeed, don't films from the 60s and 70s (until Star Wars brought serious cinema crashing down) seem terribly grown up? Although Charles Crichton was an Ealing man, his work here is more reminiscent of the Woodfall school of British realism, and light years away from his comedic timing in 'The Battle of the Sexes'. It's hard to deny that the dialogue gets a bit stodgy at times - a pity, since the screenplay contains a great many sly clues to the solution which can get lost amidst the psycho-babble. This was made at a time when much of the UK's cinema was in the hands of serious craftsmen and women - their films are exemplary lessons in thoughtful, considered cinema. However, in this case, fine technique fails to overcome a wordy screenplay, although it's a close-run thing.

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