Emmy Horvath, a farm girl, innocently reveals to her mother and father that she can read their minds and the minds of others. She takes her ability for granted, but her psychic power terrifies her parents, who worry that she'll be condemned as a witch and taken away from them. Emmy flees to an unfamiliar church, where she prays, "Make me not a witch." A priest sees her and persuades her to tell him her secret. She does, but makes him promise to tell no one. Later, a fisherman turns up on a beach. The fisherman knows that two children are trapped alone on an island, but which one? The old man's paralytic stroke prevents him from being able to tell anyone. The priest, who has been called to the fisherman's side, knows that the one person who can enter the old man's mind is the girl with the paranormal gift. Written by
Twelve-year-old farm girl Patty McCormack (as Emmy Horvath) rattles her parents by telling them she can read some folk's minds. Father Leo Penn (as Jed) and mother Eileen Ryan think their daughter could be condemned for witchcraft. They forbid Ms. McCormack use her telepathic powers. McCormack is unhappy with her supernatural abilities. Going to church, she pleads with God, "Make Me Not a Witch!" There, McCormack meets priestly Robert Emhardt, who wants to use her mind-reading power to locate some missing children. Obviously, the priest's own God line is on the fritz.
Well, this is the place for seeing "The Bad Seed" (1956) star McCormack (rather too mature for twelve, though) in an uncharacteristically sweeter role, the sometimes villainous Mr. Emhardt in a priestly robe, and Mr. and Mrs. Penn as the parents.
In real life, the latter couple parented actors Chris and Sean Penn. Sean looks a lot like his mom, don't you think?
**** Make Me Not a Witch (12/22/59) John Newland ~ Patty McCormack, Robert Emhardt, Leo Penn, Eileen Ryan
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