The Conqueror Worm (1968)
"Witchfinder General" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, History, Horror  |  May 1968 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 6,036 users  
Reviews: 128 user | 116 critic

A young soldier seeks to put an end to the evils caused by a vicious witch hunter.



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Title: The Conqueror Worm (1968)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Marshall
Rupert Davies ...
John Lowes
Hilary Heath ...
Sara (as Hilary Dwyer)
Robert Russell ...
John Stearne
Nicky Henson ...
Tony Selby ...
Godfrey James ...
Michael Beint ...
Captain Gordon
John Trenaman ...
Harcourt (as John Treneman)
Bill Maxwell ...
Paul Ferris ...
Paul (as Morris Jar)
Maggie Kimberly ...
Peter Haigh ...
Lavenham Magistrate


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Year's Most Violent Film! [UK Theatrical] See more »


Drama | History | Horror


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

May 1968 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Conqueror Worm  »

Box Office


$175,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film takes place in 1645. See more »


Toward the end, when the soldiers are storming the castle to rescue Sarah, one of them kicks a sentry in the face and sends him down the staircase, but the kick obviously misses by a mile. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in Bloodsucking Freaks (1976) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

witch hunts
25 October 2005 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

Like "The Devils", "Witchfinder General" (also called "The Conqueror Worm") is likely to disturb a lot of people through it's portrayals of witch hunts. This one portrays England during its civil war in the 1640s. With the people paranoid enough to accept anyone, puritan Matthew Hopkins (Vincent Price) goes around coercing witchcraft confessions out of women, and summarily executing them in the most vicious ways possible.

Things get ugly when Hopkins targets priest John Lowes (Rupert Davies). You see, Lowes' niece Sarah (Hilary Dwyer) is engaged to Cromwell soldier Richard Marshall (Ian Ogilvy). And Marshall may have a heart of gold, but he will go to any length to protect his beloved. And I mean ANY LENGTH.

Vincent Price was always a trustworthy horror star, and this movie doesn't disappoint. It's certainly worth seeing, but you might want to avoid it if you have a weak stomach.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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