The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

Secret Rites

This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.


Secret Rites 1971 18

47 mins United Kingdom Director. Derek Ford

Part Mondo movie, part countercultural artefact, this strange mid-length 'documentary' by sex film director Derek Ford lifts the lid on witchcraft in 1970s Notting Hill. Mystery band The Spindle provide the groovy, psychedelic sounds while tentative occult enthusiast Penny and a serious-sounding narrator introduce the viewer to three unusual, secret ritual acts. Far out.

Alex Sanders and his wife and collaborator Maxine often appeared in the press in the 1970s, performing nude rituals. Maxine takes a back seat on this occasion but does appear in the more sedate pub scene, dragging on a cigarette. Alex's title King of the Witches came in part from his 1967 biography, which Penny refers to. Her interest in Wicca appears questionable, though - she featured in the Frankie Howard TV comedy Up Pompeii! and worked as a model.

Start watching in: 30 days

Finish watching in: 48 hours

Directed by

Derek Ford


Alex Sanders

Lee Peters




Sex Unavailable on DVD The Pleasure Principle Other Grooves






United Kingdom

Read lessRead more


View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts

Never ask | Ask me later