Exploring “Seance on a Wet Afternoon”: Plot, Cast, Ending Explained, and Where to Watch


Released in 1964, “Séance on a Wet Afternoon” is a captivating British thriller directed by Bryan Forbes. The film is based on Mark McShane’s 1961 novel and boasts a stellar cast including Kim Stanley, Richard Attenborough, Nanette Newman, Mark Eden, and Patrick Magee. The story revolves around a mentally unstable medium who persuades her husband to kidnap a child, aiming to use her alleged psychic abilities to solve the crime and gain fame.


The central character, Myra Savage, portrayed by Kim Stanley, is a psychic medium who lives with her husband, Billy, played by Richard Attenborough. The couple’s existence revolves around the spirit of their deceased son, Arthur. Myra’s desire for fame leads her to convince Billy to kidnap Amanda, the daughter of a wealthy couple, with the intention of returning her after demonstrating her psychic abilities to the police. However, as the plan unfolds, Myra’s mental health deteriorates, leading to a dark and suspenseful turn of events.

Ending Explained

The intricate plan devised by Myra Savage takes a dark turn as her mental stability unravels. Initially believing in her ability to communicate with the spirit world, Myra orchestrates the kidnapping of Amanda, intending to gain fame as a psychic medium. However, as her mental health deteriorates, the plan veers towards harming Amanda. The film’s climax reveals the tragic stillbirth of Myra’s son, Arthur, deepening the understanding of her fragile mental state. Myra’s confession during a critical séance and her symbolic cradling of a cloth reflect the culmination of her long-standing grief and emotional turmoil.


The main cast of “Séance on a Wet Afternoon” includes Kim Stanley as Myra Savage, Richard Attenborough as Billy Savage, Nanette Newman as Mrs. Clayton, Mark Eden as Charles Clayton, and Patrick Magee as Superintendent Walsh, among others.

Where to Watch

You can stream “Seance on a Wet Afternoon” on platforms like Max Amazon Channel, Max, and Criterion Channel. Check the availability on these platforms and enjoy the suspenseful thriller at your convenience if you have a subscription to any of these services.


“Séance on a Wet Afternoon” remains a noteworthy entry in the thriller genre, offering a captivating exploration of human psychology and the repercussions of obsessive behavior. The film’s atmospheric intensity, stellar performances, and profound exploration of grief and distorted motivations contribute to its enduring appeal.


Is “Séance on a Wet Afternoon” based on a novel?

Yes, the film is based on Mark McShane’s 1961 novel of the same name.

Did Kim Stanley receive any accolades for her performance in the film?

Kim Stanley’s compelling performance in “Séance on a Wet Afternoon” earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

Where can I watch “Séance on a Wet Afternoon”?

You can stream the film on platforms such as Max Amazon Channel, Max, and Criterion Channel.

What are some of the themes explored in the film?

The film explores themes of deception, blurred realities, the consequences of actions fueled by distorted motivations, and the profound impact of grief on human psychology.

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