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The Witch (1954)
"La bruja" (original title)

 |  Drama, Fantasy, Horror  |  1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 38 users  
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Thieves break into a scientist's laboratory to steal a secret formula, and in the process they kill his daughter. Enraged, he develops a formula that will turn an extremely ugly woman into ... See full summary »



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Title: The Witch (1954)

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Cast overview:
Lilia del Valle ...
La Bruja / Condesa Nora
Ramón Gay ...
Julio Villarreal ...
Doctor Boerner
Charles Rooner ...
Gunther Strecker
Fernando Wagner ...
Luis Aceves Castañeda ...
José René Ruiz ...
(as Rene Ruiz 'Tun Tun')
Ángel Di Stefani ...
(as Angel Stefani)
Guillermo Hernández ...
Asesino de Mirtha (as Guillermo Hernandez Lobo Negro)
Guillermina Téllez Girón ...
Diana Ochoa
Emilio Garibay
José Pardavé ...
Miembro salón de justicia


Thieves break into a scientist's laboratory to steal a secret formula, and in the process they kill his daughter. Enraged, he develops a formula that will turn an extremely ugly woman into a spectacular beauty, and then uses the woman to take his revenge on those responsible for his daughter's murder. Written by

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1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Witch  »

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User Reviews

A fantastique frightmare from Mexico's Golden Age
16 January 2013 | by (NYC suburbs) – See all my reviews

Borrowing heavily from its uber-influential neighbors to the north, Mexico's Epoca De Oro (1930s - 1950s) can best be described as "Hollywood in a fun house mirror", an era as passionate and extravagant as its people and unafraid to blend baroque religious symbolism with primitive superstition. A prime example is LA BRUJA with lovely Lilia del Valle, the exotic star of many a cabaretera ("noir musicals" for lack of a better description). Blending Cinderella, FRANKENSTEIN, and Tod Browning's FREAKS, it's about a kindly doctor who invents an antibiotic that an unscrupulous trio of businessmen attempt to steal from him by breaking into his lab and killing his daughter. Hellbent on revenge, the doc asks Paulescu, a "king of the gypsies" figure, to borrow his horribly deformed servant who he turns into a ravishing beauty using another secret formula he'd been working on. Playing Pygmalion to her Galatea, he transforms the hag into the ravishing Countess Nora Novak who lures two of the thieves to their deaths before trouble brews big time when she falls in love with the third...

If Hollywood had made this it would have been with Acquanetta at Universal for the Saturday matinée crowd but south of the border, this wasn't a horror movie as much as a "romantic fantasy" of the kind audiences couldn't get enough of. The witch, shunned and mistreated by all, is first and foremost a woman who has never known kindness and she's torn between her duty to the doctor who made her desirable and the handsome man who loves her. Set in the Balkans, the tale is atmospherically filmed in black and white with quite a few WTF? moments, most notably Paulescu's "Night Court", a motley crew of cripples, misfits, and outsiders who band together to mete out justice to evildoers. This was obviously a star vehicle for Lilia del Valle (looking a bit like Hollywood's Faith Domergue) who's transformed from sympathetic monstrosity under lots of Lon Chaney makeup to cold-blooded killer garbed in the latest gowns, jewels, and furs to a woman in love who's willing to sacrifice all. Played straight, LA BRUJA is fantastique fun all the way around and an enjoyable introduction to Mexico's "Golden Age".

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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