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Cast a Deadly Spell (1991)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy, Horror  |  7 September 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,476 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 33 critic

In a fantastical 40's where magic is used by everyone, a hard-boiled detective investigates the theft of a mystical tome.


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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Amos Hackshaw
Olivia Hackshaw
Charles Hallahan ...
Det. Morris Bradbury
Arnetia Walker ...
Hypolite Kropotkin
Det. Otto Grimaldi
Larry Willis / Lilly Sirwar
Ritch Brinkley ...
Owl Wagon Manager
Jaime Cardriche ...
John De Bello ...
Thadius Pilgrim
Colin Drake ...
Butler Meadows


In 1948 Los Angeles, everyone uses magic- everyone except hard-boiled private detective H. Phillip Lovecraft, who refuses for "personal reasons." Lovecraft is hired by a mysterious rich man to recover a stolen book, the Necronomicon. Investigating, he finds that the book holds the key to taking over the world by magical means, releasing the "Old Ones". (Contains several in-jokes to H.P. Lovecraft's horror fiction and also the hard-boiled detective genre.) Written by Ken Yousten <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 September 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Détective Philippe Lovecraft  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Amos (David Warner) Hackshaw refers to his butler as Meadows, which implies that the man has a respectable history to him. Servants are usually addressed by their first names; only those who had a "respectable" earlier career (such as a teacher) are addressed by their surnames. See more »


The bedroom in Connie Stone's 1948 house appears to have a round smoke detector immediately to the upper left of the door. See more »


Lovecraft: Magic is the way of the future, wouldn't want to buck the future, would you Bradbury?
Bradbury: If this is the future, I'll take vanilla.
See more »


Spoofs The Evil Dead (1981) See more »


Get Happy
Music by Harold Arlen
Words by Ted Koehler
Performed by June Christy
Courtesy of Hindsight Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

27 May 2000 | by (NJ, USA) – See all my reviews

Totally fun idea: H.P. "Phil" Lovecraft is a gumshoe and seemingly the only guy in post-war L.A. who doesn't use witchcraft. One of HBO's best comedy films. I love the lady who plays Lovecraft's landlady. "The omens are bad. Me, I'm going to Florida!"

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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