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The Witches of Eastwick (1987) Poster

Trivia

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In an interview with the Australian magazine Cinema Papers in the early 1990s, the director, George Miller, revealed that the shoot had been extremely difficult as he was initially unfamiliar with Hollywood-style communication. In a meeting to discuss ways to reduce the budget Miller volunteered to give up his trailer because he was always needed on the set and had no time to use it. This was interpreted by the studio as him being a pushover, so they began to interfere with his production requests. If he asked for 50 extras, the studio would provide a dozen. If he asked for two cameras they would provide one. Miller decided to fight fire with fire and refused to shoot each scene until his production demands were met. The studio responded by looking for a new director but were prevented by Jack Nicholson, who supported Miller and vowed to walk off the production if he was replaced.
Bill Murray was originally cast to play Daryl Van Horne.
Cher was offered the role of Jane but preferred the part of Alexandra, the role that Susan Sarandon had been hired to play. Sarandon did not discover that she would be playing Jane until she showed up on location.
Pam Grier considered to play one of the witches.
In 2008 John Updike wrote a sequel, "The Widows of Eastwick", to his 1984 "The Witches of Eastwick" novel. To date [August 2013] the film has neither been made nor been developed to be made.
Test audiences were displeased with the original ending of the film, prompting several versions of the ending to be shot.
Industrial Light and Magic was hired to animated the tennis ball, as it violates the laws of physics the tennis match. However, when it turned out the three main actresses were not very proficient tennis players, the effects company saw their workload doubled as they were asked to create the ball for the entire sequence (with the exception of some close-ups).
The village of Eastwick was portrayed by the town of Cohasset in Massachusetts, USA. The film was also shot in Scituate in the same province. The American state is also the home of Salem where the famous witch trials of 1692-93 had taken place. The USA province was also the home of source novelist John Updike.
A small woodcarving shop in Scituate, Massachusetts was commissioned to hand-carve all of the signs for the shops shown in the movie, including The Eastwick Word. After filming, The Eastwick Word sign was converted into a coffee table for one of the executives involved with the film.
Composer John Williams' own whistling was dubbed in over Jack Nicholson's for the scene at the ice cream counter.
One of the movie's taglines was "Something wicked this way comes" which is a phrase derived from a passage in William Shakespeare's "Macbeth", Scene IV, Act i, and spoken, not surprisingly, by a witch, the play's Second Witch character. It reads: "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes". The phrase is also the title of a Ray Bradbury novel and movie, the latter of which had debuted about just four years earlier in 1983 [See: Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)].
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Anjelica Huston was auditioned for the role of Alex, but she was passed over for the part which eventually went to Cher.
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The opening shot zooming in on the town of Eastwick was originally to feature a seagull flying along with the camera. Visual Effects Supervisor Michael Owens had great difficulty finding a suitable bird. The plan was to acquire a taxidermy-type bird and put animatronics in it. First, it turned out to be illegal to own a dead seagull in California. When they were able to borrow one, another law stated it to be returned to its legal owner in the same condition it came in. After turning the bird into a rod-puppet of sorts, the team spent weeks perfecting the motion with up to ten puppeteers working simultaneously. In the end, none of their work ended up on screen, because the opening credits were added to the shot, and the seagull was found to be too distracting.
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Jane's character believes she can't have children of her own until Daryl gets her pregnant. Susan Sarandon also thought she couldn't have children, until becoming pregnant with director Franco Amurri's child Eva Amurri Martino who was born in 1985.
The snake seen crawling over Van Horne's bowl of fruit is a harmless gray-banded king snake (Lampropeltis alterna), common in Texas.
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The piece Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson_ plays on the violin is Caprice #16 in Gm by Niccolò Paganini.
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According to the DVD production notes, Location Manager Sam Mercer traveled over twenty thousand miles scouting for locations in the north east regions of the USA to find a suitable place for the village of Eastwick. There were two essential criteria for the film's town, (1) A white church and (2) An associated small central business district.
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The centrally-located New England style heritage white church seen in the film was portrayed by the "First Parish Meeting House". Built in 1746 and located in Cohasset, Massachusetts, after shooting on the film was completed, the production made a donation to assist with the restoration of this historic dwelling.
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The quote "A woman is a hole, isn't that what they say? All the futility of the world pouring into her" is from the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre's book, "Being and Nothingness".
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While getting into bed with the mountain of snakes, Cher famously quipped, "Which one is (producer) Jon Peters?"
The Massachusetts Film Bureau aggressively sought for this movie to be shot in Massachusetts.
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The nickname that Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson) had for himself was just your average "horny little devil".
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In 2000, the movie was turned into an award-winning comedy musical by Cameron Mackintosh. It was adapted from the film's source John Updike novel was adapted into a stage musical by Dana P. Rowe and John Dempsey.
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The film was made and released about three years after its source novel of the same name by John Updike had been first published in 1984.
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A number of residents of Cohasset, Massachusetts, USA performed as extras and background artists in this movie.
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Debut American feature film of Australian director George Miller though Miller had previously directed a segment (short) for Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) around four years earlier.
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A number of shops in the Massachusetts town of Cohasset were converted to look different for this movie.
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A "grimoire" is a textbook of magic. The name of the one in the film was "Maleficio". Wikipedia states "such books typically include instructions on how to create magical objects like talismans and amulets, how to perform magical spells, charms and divination and also how to summon or invoke supernatural entities such as angels, spirits, and demons".
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Actress Veronica Cartwright also appears in the television series remake, Eastwick (2009).
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The picture later spurred an unsold 1992 TV series pilot The Witches of Eastwick (1992) about five years later and a spin-off TV series Eastwick (2009) first broadcast around twenty-two years later.
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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.
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Star Billing: Jack Nicholson (1st), Cher (2nd), Susan Sarandon (3rd) Michelle Pfeiffer (4th).
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The name of the local newspaper that Sukie Ridgemont (Michelle Pfeiffer) worked for was "The Eastwick Word".
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According to a sign for the town of Eastwick seen in the movie, in the film's story, the village was established in 1640, and in modern times currently had a population of 7680.
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This was the first of two movies in just a few years that actress Cher starred in that was set in New England. The later picture was Mermaids (1990).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

A life-size animatronic puppet was made of actress Veronica Cartwright for the cherry pit vomiting scene. It gathered a lot of attention on set because it could realistically thrash about convulsively and spew out massive amounts of vomit on cue. However, preview audiences found the sequence too disgusting, and all the shots involving the puppet were cut out of the film.
One of the endings that was abandoned even before shooting was completed took place in the pool area instead of the kitchen. This version would have had noticeably less special effects, apart from the fact that Jack Nicholson was to have walked on water.
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Each of the three sons has the same hair color as his mother.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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