IMDb > The Conqueror Worm (1968)
Witchfinder General
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Conqueror Worm (1968) More at IMDbPro »Witchfinder General (original title)


User Rating:
6.9/10   6,017 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Tom Baker (screenplay) and
Michael Reeves (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Conqueror Worm on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
May 1968 (UK) See more »
The Year's Most Violent Film! [UK Theatrical] See more »
A young soldier seeks to put an end to the evils caused by a vicious witch hunter. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
(173 articles)
The Oblong Box
 (From Trailers from Hell. 29 September 2015, 9:56 AM, PDT)

19 Oscar-worthy sci-fi movie performances
 (From Den of Geek. 9 September 2015, 6:34 AM, PDT)

12 Classic British Horror Films You Need To See
 (From Obsessed with Film. 10 August 2015, 1:56 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Controversial At The Time But Disappointing When Viewed Today See more (128 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Vincent Price ... Matthew Hopkins

Ian Ogilvy ... Richard Marshall
Rupert Davies ... John Lowes
Hilary Heath ... Sara (as Hilary Dwyer)
Robert Russell ... John Stearne
Nicky Henson ... Swallow
Tony Selby ... Salter

Bernard Kay ... Fisherman
Godfrey James ... Webb
Michael Beint ... Captain Gordon
John Trenaman ... Harcourt (as John Treneman)
Bill Maxwell ... Gifford
Paul Ferris ... Paul (as Morris Jar)
Maggie Kimberly ... Elizabeth
Peter Haigh ... Lavenham Magistrate
Hira Talfrey ... Hanged Woman
Anne Tirard ... Old Woman (as Ann Tirard)
Peter Thomas ... Farrier
Edward Palmer ... Shepherd
David Webb ... Jailer
Lee Peters ... Sergeant
David Lyell ... Footsoldier
Alf Joint ... Sentry
Martin Terry ... Hoxne Innkeeper
Jack Lynn ... Brandeston Innkeeper
Beaufoy Milton ... Priest
Dennis Thorne ... Villager
Michael Segal ... Villager
Toby Lennon ... Old Man

Margaret Nolan ... Girl at Inn (as Maggie Nolan in closing credits)
Sally Douglas ... Girl at Inn
Donna Reading ... Girl at Inn
Patrick Wymark ... Cromwell
Wilfrid Brambell ... Master Loach (as Wilfred Brambell)
Gillian Aldam ... Young Woman in Cell (as Gillian Aldham)
Philip Waddilove ... Soldier
Derek Ware ... Boy at Hoxne Inn
John Kidd ... Magistrate
Susi Field ... Girl at Inn
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tasma Bereton ... Girl at Inn (uncredited)
David Reynolds-Lacey ... Unconcious Drunk in Tavern (uncredited)
Sandy Seagar ... Girl at Inn (uncredited)

Directed by
Michael Reeves 
Writing credits
Tom Baker (screenplay) and
Michael Reeves (screenplay)

Louis M. Heyward (additional scenes)

Ronald Bassett (novel)

Edgar Allan Poe  poem "The Conqueror Worm" (uncredited)

Produced by
Louis M. Heyward .... producer
Arnold L. Miller .... producer (as Arnold Miller)
Tony Tenser .... executive producer
Philip Waddilove .... producer
Samuel Z. Arkoff .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Paul Ferris 
Cinematography by
John Coquillon (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Howard Lanning 
Casting by
Freddie Vale 
Art Direction by
Jim Morahan 
Makeup Department
Dorrie Hamilton .... makeup artist (as Dore Hamilton)
Henry Montsash .... hairdresser
Production Management
Ricky Coward .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ian Goddard .... assistant director
Iain Lawrence .... assistant director
Art Department
Dennis Cantell .... construction manager
Sid Davies .... props
Freddie Harrison .... props (as Fred Harrison)
Jimmy James .... set dresser
Peter Sheilds .... assistant art director (as Peter Shields)
Andrew Low .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sound Department
Dennis Lanning .... dubbing editor
Paul Le Mare .... sound recordist
Hugh Strain .... sound mixer
Helena Lanning .... foley artist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Roger Dicken .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Gerry Anstiss .... camera operator (as Gerry Anstice)
Tony Breeze .... camera assistant
Jack Dooley .... stills
Brian Elvin .... camera operator
Chris Reynolds .... camera assistant
Laurie Shane .... gaffer
Freddie Williams .... grip
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jill Thompson .... wardrobe (as Jill Thomson)
Editorial Department
Marion Curren .... assistant editor
Music Department
Paul Ferris .... conductor
Kendall Schmidt .... composer: US video release
Kenneth V. Jones .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Other crew
Jack Daw .... publicist
Pat O'Donnell .... production secretary
Ewan Pearson .... location manager (as Euan Pearson)
Lorna Selwyn .... continuity
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Witchfinder General" - UK (original title)
"Matthew Hopkins: Conqueror Worm" - USA (alternative title)
See more »
86 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:R | Chile:(Banned) (1975 -) | Finland:K-18 (self applied) (2002) | Finland:(Banned) (1972) | Germany:16 (cut version) | Ireland:18 | Netherlands:16 (DVD rating) | Netherlands:18 (1970) | New Zealand:R18 | Norway:16 (1968) | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:15 (tv rating) | UK:15 (re-rating) (uncut) (2013) | UK:15 (video re-rating) (2007) | UK:18 (video rating) (1987) (1990) (1991) (1995) (2000) (2002) (2003) | USA:Unrated | West Germany:18

Did You Know?

The real Matthew Hopkins was only in his mid 20s in 1645 and he 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 »
Anachronisms: When Stearne is chasing Marshall through the fields tracks left by a 20th century mechanical tractor are clearly visible.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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Art of Fear (2007) (V)See more »


What are the differences between the Director's Cut and the Extended Cut?
See more »
16 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
Controversial At The Time But Disappointing When Viewed Today, 6 January 2005
Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland

It's impossible to comment on Michael Reeves movie WITCHFINDER GENERAL without mentioning the outright condemnation it received from critics on its initial release , or rather the condemnation of the " sickening and cruel violence " . Watching it today I'm slightly puzzled as to what peoples problems were at the time but then I thought about it . In 1968 no one had seen the gory video nasties from the 1980s and Vincent Price was best known for starring in rather camp horror B movies , so I guess you'd have to live in the context of 1968 to understand the controversy

There's another thing and that is it's always billed as a "horror film" when broadcast on television but was WITCHFINDER GENERAL originally marketed as a horror film in 1968 ? Stylewise it is similar to a Hammer horror - The cast are composed of familiar television faces , there's day for night filming , the budget is rather similar to a Hammer movie at the time etc but is it meant to be a bio pic ? was it originally intended as a historical drama ? Unfortunately this where the movie fails because there's not much in the way of historical truth , Matthew Hopkins did indeed exist , he wasn't a mythical figure he was a cynical murdering mercenary who condemned people as witches in order to make a load of money but he didn't meet his fate as shown here . It's believed he emigrated to America when the resentment in England got too much for him and carried on torturing suspects

There are a couple of good aspects to the movie . First of all Vincent Price gives what is regarded as his best performance and it is fairly impressive though he could have played the role in an even more cynical manner and parts of the script do pick up on the ridiculous trials of the time such as if a suspect is thrown into a river and drowns they're not a witch ! But even if you watch the restored version ( That's the version where the picture quality drops during violent scenes ) you still find yourself asking why it was so controversial in 1968

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (128 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Conqueror Worm (1968)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Michael Reeves was a talented director, but wretched person. fleshrequiem
Matt Hopkins - Hero or Villain? conradthibault
Do you prefer the Witchfinder General or the Wicker Man? Chunky-Monkey
Great film and one of Price's most disturbing roles, but editing was meh fontroy5
difference in time kidegoiste69
Does he carry... (spoiler, I suppose) ilssaridor
See more »

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb UK section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.