6.9/10
7,241
139 user 128 critic

The Conqueror Worm (1968)

Witchfinder General (original title)
Unrated | | Biography, Drama, Horror | May 1968 (UK)
A young soldier seeks to put an end to the evils caused by a vicious witch hunter.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Horror thriller set in 17th century England about the children of a village slowly converting into a coven of devil worshipers.

Director: Piers Haggard
Stars: Patrick Wymark, Linda Hayden, Barry Andrews
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A European prince terrorizes the local peasantry while using his castle as a refuge against the "Red Death" plague that stalks the land.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Jane Asher
Comedy | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Shakespearean actor takes poetic revenge on the critics who denied him recognition.

Director: Douglas Hickox
Stars: Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, Ian Hendry
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the sixteenth century, Francis Barnard travels to Spain to clarify the strange circumstances of his sister's death after she had married the son of a cruel Spanish Inquisitor.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, John Kerr
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A man's obsession with his dead wife drives a wedge between him and his new bride.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Elizabeth Shepherd, John Westbrook
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Devil worshipers plan to convert two new victims.

Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Christopher Lee, Charles Gray, Nike Arrighi
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Aristocrat Julian Markham keeps his disfigured brother, Sir Edward, locked in a tower of his house. Sir Edward occasionally escapes and causes havoc around the town.

Director: Gordon Hessler
Stars: Vincent Price, Alister Williamson, Christopher Lee
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Charles Dexter Ward arrives at a small village to visit the house he inherited from his ancestor who died there 100 years ago.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Debra Paget, Lon Chaney Jr.
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

In Elizabethan England, a wicked lord massacres nearly all the members of a coven of witches, earning the enmity of their leader, Oona. Oona calls up a magical servant, a "banshee", to ... See full summary »

Director: Gordon Hessler
Stars: Vincent Price, Essy Persson, Hilary Heath
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A doctor, scientist, organist, and biblical scholar, Anton Phibes, seeks revenge on the nine doctors he considers responsible for his wife's death.

Director: Robert Fuest
Stars: Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, Hugh Griffith
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Three tales of terror involve a grieving widower and the daughter he abandoned; a drunkard and his wife's black cat; and a hypnotist who prolongs the moment of a man's death.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Maggie Pierce, Leona Gage
Horror

A witch hunter in 17th century England is responsible for the death of hundreds of women. A remake of the 1968 film, 'The Conqueror Worm'.

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
John Lowes
Hilary Heath ...
Sara (as Hilary Dwyer)
...
Nicky Henson ...
Swallow
Tony Selby ...
Salter
...
Fisherman
Godfrey James ...
Webb
Michael Beint ...
John Trenaman ...
Harcourt (as John Treneman)
Bill Maxwell ...
Gifford
Paul Ferris ...
Paul (as Morris Jar)
Maggie Kimberly ...
Elizabeth
Peter Haigh ...
Lavenham Magistrate
Edit

Storyline

England is torn in civil strife as the Royalists battle the Parliamentary Party for control. This conflict distracts people from rational thought and allows unscrupulous men to gain local power by exploiting village superstitions. One of these men is Matthew Hopkins, who tours the land offering his services as a persecutor of witches. Aided by his sadistic accomplice John Stearne, he travels from city to city and wrenches confessions from "witches" in order to line his pockets and gain sexual favors. When Hopkins persecutes a priest, he incurs the wrath of Richard Marshall, who is engaged to the priest's niece. Risking treason by leaving his military duties, Marshall relentlessly pursues the evil Hopkins and his minion Stearne. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There's lots of screaming when there's this much at stake! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

May 1968 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Matthew Hopkins: Conqueror Worm  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$175,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The real Matthew Hopkins was only in his mid 20s in 1645 and died before he was 30. Vincent Price's character is middle-aged, like the actor himself. Hopkins and Stearne executed more than 300 people, mainly women, during their two or three years of '"witch hunting". Considering that 500 people in total were executed for witchcraft in England between the late 15th and late 18th centuries, it means that Hopkins was responsible for two-thirds of these executions during a period of three years. See more »

Goofs

The end titles conclude with the familiar, "All persons depicted... entirely fictional... any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is entirely coincidental" - and yet, not only was the title character a real person, but also the film features an appearance by Oliver Cromwell. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[United States Conqueror Worm versions]
Matthew Hopkins: [voiceover] LO! 't is a gala night/Within the lonesome latter years./An angel throng, bewinged, bedight/In veils, and drowned in tears,/Sit in a theatre to see/A play of hopes and fears,/While the orchestra breathes fitfully/The music of the spheres."
See more »

Connections

Referenced in ParaNorman (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
When One Wants an Orthodoxy enforced
20 September 2012 | by See all my reviews

Without the use of monsters or other worldly apparitions Vincent Price in Witchfinder General created a fabulous portrayal with Matthew Hopkins. The demons that were within Hopkins are those we struggle with every day when others tell us how and what to think. And religious fundamentalism with the power of the state to enforce it is still a force to be reckoned with. Even here in the USA.

The setting is Great Britain of the civil war era with Roundheads and Cavaliers battling for control. The Roundheads being Puritans were the ones doing the inquisiting there and Price is only a person too glad to offer his services.

In fact in every society when one wants an orthodoxy enforced there are always people psychologically deranged enough for such work. Price works with a partner in Robert Russell who's a little bit more honest about the fact he's a sadist. He grates on Price a bit, but the two find a lot of mutual satisfaction.

A lot of the same themes can be found in the Tyrone Power classic Captain From Castile only it's the Catholics enforcing their doctrine in that one.

Here Price in his work debauches the girlfriend of Roundhead soldier Ian Ogilvy and when he finds out he becomes a man with a mission.

Witchfinder General is a study in sadism and with an eternal message about the mind of humankind being unshackled. Delivered with a really special performance by Vincent Price.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 139 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

How to Wield a Lightsaber

Legendary sword choreographer Tim Weske teaches our "IMDb Show" Jedis the basics of lightsaber combat. Plus, we break down the origins of some iconic Star Wars creatures.

Watch now