All three previously married but now single, best friends sculptress Alex Medford, cellist Jane Spofford and writer Sukie Ridgemont are feeling emotionally and sexually repressed, in large part due to the traditional mores overriding their small New England coastal town of Eastwick. After their latest conversation lamenting about the lack of suitable men in Eastwick and describing the qualities they are looking for in a man, mysterious Daryl Van Horne and his equally mysterious butler Fidel arrive in town. Despite being vulgar, crude, brazen and not particularly handsome, Daryl manages to be able to tap into the innermost emotions of the three friends, and as such manages to seduce each. In turn, the three women blossom emotionally and sexually. After an incident involving one of the town's leading citizens, the ultra conservative Felicia Alden, the three women begin to understand how and why Daryl is able to mesmerize them so fully. The three decide to experiment with some powers ... Written by
The movie was nominated for two Academy Awards, for Best Sound and Best Original Score, but the film failed to win an Oscar in either category. See more »
Support wires holding Jane as she falls off the balcony. See more »
You don't have to come today, you know, I mean, if you don't want to.
No, sweetheart, I want to, it's just that I have a million things I have to do first.
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From the director who brought us Mad Max comes a modern-day fairy tale of sorts that examines the age-old battle of the sexes. Alex (Cher), Jane (Susan Sarandon) and Sukie (Michelle Pfeiffer) are three single women who live in the sleepy New England town of Eastwick. Since all of them lack a man in their lives, and are dissatisfied with the ones who are in town, they wish for a handsome stranger to visit. Miraculously, their wish is granted when Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson) strolls into town and succeeds in turning their lives (and the town's) upside down. For the most part, I thought that the story was very effective in setting up its characters and giving them depth, even Daryl. The three women who are the titular "Witches of Eastwick" were all distinct personalities and had situations that made you care about them. Generally speaking, the performances were all very good, although Jack Nicholson towers above the rest of the cast as he brings his brand of insanity to what is essentially the devil in human form. Even the whole "witch" thing was dealt with rather subtly, as the women only become witches by finding the power within themselves. It is this struggle between male and female power which forms the core conflict of the film, and it is a compelling one even though it has been many times over in various forms. The townspeople are also given some development, although probably not enough to warrant the attention provided them. There are references made to the Salem witch trials, and the wife of the town's newspaper editor (Richard Jenkins...with hair!) acts as the mouthpiece for morality when the the three "witches" start their relationship with Daryl. Despite this interesting aside, I think it detracts a little bit from the main conflict. Moving on, I also thought that John Williams' score was fantastic and had this magical/mysterious quality that really meshed with the story and visuals. It's not his best score, but it was still a very good one. There were also a number of special effects by ILM which I thought were also well-done, especially considering this was made in 1987. Overall, I thought this was a very entertaining and funny movie that presented a well-worn theme in a fresh way. The only detraction, I think, is that there's a bit of a mean streak in regards to the portrayal of the male characters which might turn that half of the audience off. Still, this is a quality film that shows off director George Miller's versatility and the acting talents of its cast.
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