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The Witches (1966)

2:16 | Trailer
Following a horrifying experience with the occult in Africa, a schoolteacher moves to a small English village, only to discover that black magic resides there as well.



(screenplay), (novel) (as Peter Curtis)



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Complete credited cast:
Gwen Mayfield
Kay Walsh ...
Stephanie Bax
Alan Bax
Ann Bell ...
Linda Rigg (as Ingrid Brett)
John Collin ...
Valerie Creek
Gwen Ffrangcon Davies ...
Granny Rigg (as Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies)
Duncan Lamont ...
Bob Curd
Dr. Wallis
Ronnie Dowsett
Carmel McSharry ...
Mrs. Dowsett
Viola Keats ...
Mrs. Curd
Shelagh Fraser ...
Mrs. Creek
Bryan Marshall ...


An English school teacher outposted in Africa has a run in with the local witch doctor and suffers a nervous breakdown. After recovering back in England she takes a job teaching in a small country town hoping to make a new start for herself. All goes well at first, until she starts to hear some disturbing stories about the town. She soon discovers the town is home to a coven of witches and they plan to sacrifice a local girl in one of their rituals. Written by Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

February 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Devil's Own  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Joan Fontaine reportedly purchased the film rights to Norah Lofts' novel (written under the nom-de-plume of Peter Curtis) and brought the project to Hammer. See more »


Featured in The World of Hammer: Wicked Women (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

For Joan Fontaine Or Hammer Completists Only
13 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Witches" is a different type of Hammer picture. There are no vampires, zombies, monsters or crumbling Carpathian villages to be found, and the story takes place in as charming and sunny an English village as one could ever hope to find. In this tale, Joan Fontaine (pushing 50 here but still very beautiful) is convalescing from a nervous breakdown that she suffered after her teaching stint in the African voodoo country. She comes to the aforementioned quaint English town to begin her new job as headmistress in a small private school, and soon becomes embroiled in that town's witchcraft, devil practices, and the attempted sacrifice of one of her girl students. Unfortunately, what sounds smashing in synopsis turns out to be a rather slow-moving film, and not at all scary or suspenseful. What should have been the most exciting section of the picture--the coven/sacrifice at the end--is just ridiculous, with a bunch of old-timers flouncing around and flailing like so many epileptic jackasses, and with a silly-looking head priestess with a multicandled headpiece. Still, the picture DOES have its small merits. Fontaine, here in one of her last film roles, is well cast and acts impeccably, and the beautiful shots of the English countryside will surely make you want to pack up and move. Still, I didn't care for this Hammer outing as much as I had hoped, and still don't understand what happened to Kay Walsh's character at the end, or why the presence of Fontaine's teacher was necessary. Bottom line: This picture is for Joan Fontaine or Hammer Films completists only. Others would be well advised to watch "Rebecca" or "Horror Hotel" for the 10th time and call it a night.

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