Thriller: Season 2, Episode 17

La Strega (15 Jan. 1962)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Horror
8.0
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Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

Three men try to drown a young woman, fearing she's a witch. A wandering painter pulls her from the river, refusing to believe in such rural superstition. The young artist shelters her, but... See full summary »

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Title: La Strega (15 Jan 1962)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Himself
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Alejandro Rey ...
Tonio Bellini
...
Maestro Giuliano
...
La Strega
...
Lieutenant Vincoli
Ernest Sarracino ...
Padre Lupari
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Three men try to drown a young woman, fearing she's a witch. A wandering painter pulls her from the river, refusing to believe in such rural superstition. The young artist shelters her, but her elderly aunt who rules the 18th Century Italian countryside via supernatural power, plots to keep her niece as a sorcerer's apprentice - no matter what. Written by David Stevens

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15 January 1962 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Ursula Andress before "Dr. No"
23 December 2008 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

One of director Ida Lupino's strongest THRILLERs, this episode stars the then unknown Swiss actress Ursula Andress in the lead role, as a young village girl in 19th-century Italy believed by the superstitious locals to be a witch (or 'strega'). When they attempt to drown the poor innocent girl, she is rescued by a young artist (Alejandro Rey), who then takes a protective interest in her, first as a model, then a lover. Unfortunately, when his lover's grandmother, the REAL witch (Jeanette Nolan), shows up demanding to see the girl, he refuses to divulge anything, resulting in the old woman placing a curse upon him. Former silent screen heartthrob Ramon Novarro makes a rare TV appearance (he died in 1968, a victim of homicide), Jeanette Nolan (Mrs. John McIntire), who earlier appeared in a similar role in episode 30, "Parasite Mansion," is even more chilling here, and Argentinian Alejandro Rey likewise makes his second of two appearances (the first being no.39 "Guillotine"). Needless to say, his character meets a similar fate here, in a typically downbeat finale. But the real revelation is, of course, Ursula herself, just prior to her star-making turn in the very first James Bond feature, "Dr. No" in 1962. Having made only three Italian films at this point, she already reveals herself as a fairly good actress, quite beautiful and most affecting. While Ursula is known to have been dubbed in the Bond film, she apparently used her own voice here, another plus for this stellar entry in an excellent series.


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