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Hungry Wives (1972)

 -  Drama | Horror | Mystery  -  18 April 1973 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 1,262 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 34 critic

A bored, unhappy suburban housewife gets mixed up in witchcraft and murder.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jan White ...
Raymond Laine ...
Gregg Williamson (as Ray Laine)
Ann Muffly ...
Shirley Randolph
Joedda McClain ...
Nikki Mitchell
Bill Thunhurst ...
Jack Mitchell
Neil Fisher ...
Dr. Miller
Esther Lapidus ...
Sylvia
Dan Mallinger ...
Sergeant Frazer
Daryl Montgomery ...
Larry
Ken Peters ...
John Fuller
Shirlee Strasser ...
Grace
Robert Trow ...
Detective Mills (as Bob Trow)
Jean Wechsler ...
Gloria
Charlotte Carter ...
Mary
Linda Creagan ...
Patty
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Storyline

Joan Mitchell is an unhappy, suburban housewife pushing 40, who has an uncommunicative businessman husband, named Jack, and a distant 19-year-old daughter, named Nikki, on the verge of moving out of the house. Frustrated at her current situation, Joan seeks solance in witchcraft after visiting Marion Hamilton, a local tarot reader and leader of a secret black arts wicca set, who inspires Joan to follow her own path. After dabbling a little in witchcraft, Joan, believing herself to have become a real witch, withdraws into a fantasy world and sinks deeper and deeper into her new lifestyle until the line between fantasy and reality becomes blurred and eventually tragedy results. Written by Matthew Patay

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every Night is Halloween.

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 April 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

George A. Romero's Season of the Witch  »

Box Office

Budget:

$90,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director George A. Romero, in the commentary track he did for The Crazies (1973) in 2002, this is the only one of his films he'd like to remake. He cited lack of money as a reason for unhappiness with this production as it turned out. See more »

Quotes

Jack: Your own goddamned daughter, balled in the next room and you go with it.
See more »


Soundtracks

Season of the Witch
Written and Performed by Donovan
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User Reviews

 
Imperfect but often brilliant film
28 July 2001 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I would certainly take issue with the previous comment, written without much proper discussion of the film. It did not at all bore me; maybe its pace was slow, but is this inherently a bad thing? The mood was sustained and developed well by this low-key, languid film-making. The music and photography were truly absorbing. The music was wonderfully oddball, disorientating and varied. The photography is very vivid and makes use of opaque colours very effectively. The sound quality - particularly for some dialogue - of the "print" I watched was poor, but that's no fault, I suspect, of Romero.

There is a great beginning, and a perhaps not so great a conclusion; the first scenes are wonderfully vivid and dreamy, with editing used expertly. The ending however, could be said to be abrupt, with issues and characters left unresolved. The witchcraft aspect does work, and is a telling part of White's character's development throughout the film. The acting and writing of the film's characters is indeed not the greatest I have yet seen, but it's not bad at all. The obscure Jan White, as the jaded, ageing (well, around 40 it appears) housewife, is very good in the role, exuding an effective screen presence. The previous commentator brands the actress "ugly"? I don't see how this is truly relevant, but for the record, Ms White was certainly nothing of the sort. Particularly late on, around about the witchcraft sequences, she is oddly resplendent. The other actors were generally of a standard that certainly was not notably bad, but was not notably great either; they were passable enough. Ray Laine's hippy character is perhaps too blatant a generalized representative of the counter-culture, but for the plot it plays well, with the scene between Laine, White, her daughter and some other, older housewife downright amusing in many ways.

While hardly "Brass Eye" in its incisiveness, this film's satire - of both American middle-class suburbia and the '60s/'70s counter-culture - is justified and largely well achieved. I have to say from watching Romero's debut, "The Night of the Living Dead" and this film, he has some film-making ability. Particularly in the avenue of creating an atmosphere of unease and malaise. This is not truly a horror film, without the typical trappings. Any monster, is at best vaguely implicit, or more rightly a metaphor in Joan's dreams, the blood on show is minimal.

While I thought this film did not deliver on all the promise it had, I greatly enjoyed it. A refreshingly odd film, one that deserves much higher than a misguided 4.7/10 rating, albeit only for 76 voters.

Rating:- ****/*****


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