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The Witches
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The Witches (1966) More at IMDbPro »

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The Witches -- US Home Video Trailer from Hammer

Overview

User Rating:
5.9/10   1,244 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Nigel Kneale (screenplay) and
Norah Lofts (novel)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Witches on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
February 1967 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
WHAT DO "THE DEVIL'S OWN" DO AFTER DARK? See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
"Half-baked but fair fun!" See more (41 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Joan Fontaine ... Gwen Mayfield
Kay Walsh ... Stephanie Bax

Alec McCowen ... Alan Bax
Ann Bell ... Sally Benson
Ingrid Boulting ... Linda Rigg (as Ingrid Brett)
John Collin ... Dowsett
Michele Dotrice ... Valerie Creek
Gwen Ffrangcon Davies ... Granny Rigg (as Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies)
Duncan Lamont ... Bob Curd

Leonard Rossiter ... Dr. Wallis
Martin Stephens ... Ronnie Dowsett
Carmel McSharry ... Mrs. Dowsett
Viola Keats ... Mrs. Curd
Shelagh Fraser ... Mrs. Creek
Bryan Marshall ... Tom
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yemi Ajibade ... Mark (uncredited)
Kitty Atwood ... Mrs. McDowall (uncredited)
John Barrett ... Mr. Glass (uncredited)
Roy Desmond ... Dancer (uncredited)
Catherine Finn ... Nurse (uncredited)
Prudence Hyman ... Stephanie's Maid (uncredited)
Lizbeth Kent ... First Villager (uncredited)
Artro Morris ... Porter (uncredited)
Willie Payne ... Adam (uncredited)
Charles Rea ... Police Sergeant (uncredited)
Ken Robson ... Dancer (uncredited)
Brian Todd ... Dancer (uncredited)
Don Vernon ... Dancer (uncredited)
Rudolph Walker ... Mark (uncredited)
Terry Williams ... Dancer (uncredited)
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Directed by
Cyril Frankel 
 
Writing credits
Nigel Kneale  screenplay and
Norah Lofts  novel "The Devil's Own" (as Peter Curtis)

Produced by
Anthony Nelson Keys .... producer
 
Original Music by
Richard Rodney Bennett 
 
Cinematography by
Arthur Grant 
 
Film Editing by
Chris Barnes 
 
Casting by
Irene Lamb 
 
Production Design by
Bernard Robinson 
 
Art Direction by
Don Mingaye 
 
Makeup Department
George Partleton .... makeup
Frieda Steiger .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
Charles Permane .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Tringham .... assistant director
Terence Churcher .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Feliks Sergejak .... scenic artist (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Roy Hyde .... sound editor
Ken Rawkins .... sound recordist
Charles Wheeler .... boom operator (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Peter Diamond .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Cecil Cooney .... camera operator (as Cece Cooney)
Eddie Collins .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Tom Edwards .... still photographer (uncredited)
David Harcourt .... camera operator (uncredited)
Bob Jordan .... focus puller (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Molly Arbuthnot .... wardrobe supervisor
Harry Haynes .... wardrobe master
 
Editorial Department
James Needs .... supervising editor
Tony Lenny .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Philip Martell .... musical supervisor
 
Other crew
Anne Deeley .... continuity
Denys Palmer .... choreographer
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Devil's Own" - USA
See more »
Runtime:
90 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Certification:
UK:12 (DVD rating) | UK:X (original rating) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This is Joan Fontaine's last big screen film.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
"Half-baked but fair fun!", 17 October 2003
Author: jamesraeburn2003 from Poole, Dorset

Schoolteacher Gwen Mayfield (Joan Fontaine) suffers a breakdown in Africa brought on by witchdoctors who wanted her out of the country. Having returned to England and recovered fully, she accepts the job of headmistress at a private church school in a remote village. Here she discovers that ancient voodoo rights are still being practiced, and that one of her pupils is to be sacrificed so that someone may have an after life.

Hollywood actress Joan Fontaine had won an Oscar in 1940 for her appearance in Alfred Hitchcock's Suspicion, which also starred Cary Grant but by this stage parts worthy of her talents were hard to come by. In the early sixties she bought the rights to a novel called The Devil's Own by Peter Curtis (the pseudonym for Nora Lofts) and suggested that Hammer should make it in the hope of re-establishing her career. However, the film turned out to be a box office disappointment and she made only a few TV movies thereafter. Fontaine is the sister of another veteran Hollywood actress Olivia De Haviland. Joan Fontaine had director approval for The Witches and she subsequently worked with Frankel on the stage. Frankel began his film career as a documentarist for the "Crown Film Unit" and had previously worked for Hammer on the critically acclaimed Never Take Sweets From A Stranger. During the sixties he was kept busy on TV working on a number of cult shows such as A Man In A Suitcase, Randall & Hopkirk Deceased and The Champions.

The Witches comes across as being somewhat half-baked. The script by Nigel (Quatermass) Kneale fails to generate enough tension or horror to really get the juices going, and insufficient character development prevents Fontaine from getting the most out of her part but I must be fair and say that with what she does have to do she does extremely well. Kay Walsh (Nancy in David Lean's Oliver Twist) is excellent as the laid back journalist Stephanie Bax. The film is also let down by the risible voodoo sabbat climax, which provides more giggles than shudders but there is still a lot to enjoy here. Director Cyril Frankel directs the picture with skill and the appeal of dastardly deeds going on in the seemingly tranquil and remote English countryside comes off very well in the picture's favour. Frankel is greatly aided by veteran Hammer cameraman Arthur Grant whose lighting uses the picturesque locations to full effect.

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