In 1672, two witches (Jennifer and her father Daniel) were burned by puritan Jonathan Wooley. In revenge, Jennifer cursed all future generations of the Wooley family, that the sons will always marry the wrong woman and be miserable. In the 20th century, a bolt of lightning frees Jennifer and her father from the tree that had kept their souls imprisoned. Jennifer assumes corporeal form and decides to make up-and-coming politician Wallace Wooley, then unhappily engaged, even more miserable by getting him to fall in love with her before his wedding. Wallace is a straight arrow, though, and Jennifer has to resort to a love potion. As we all know, love potions tend to backfire, with comedic results.Written by
One of several Paramount Pictures productions purchased by United Artists for theatrical release in 1942-43 during a product surplus of the former company, and a product shortage of the latter. See more »
After Margaret raises the shade in Wallace's bedroom and turns around, her key light is noticeably turned on late. See more »
I just love this little film that was probably the inspiration for "Bewitched", the 60s TV series. Planned before Pearl Harbor, and released after Pearl Harbor, it is probably just what American audiences needed. I feel that this is a great movie because it so perfectly embodies what a movie is meant to do: Entertain! There is no social commentary, political justice or ideological discourse. It is a: "park your troubles at the door" type of film which sweeps the viewer away into a world of whimsy.
In the 17th century two actual witches, father Daniel and daughter Jennifer, are burned at the stake by Jonathan Wooley. Before Jennifer dies she curses Jonathan and all of his male progeny by declaring they will all marry the wrong woman. After their death their spirits are trapped in a tree so they cannot rise from the dead and cause more mischief.
But mischief they cause via Jennifer's curse as one Wooley after another marries a shrewish bossy woman and we see all of them being ordered about. Wow, that was a great curse! Now we come to modern day - 1942 - and Wallace Wooley (Fredric March) is about to marry the daughter of his political backer, Estelle Masterson (Susan Hayward). I found Hayward unrecognizable but she is great at playing the shrew. But alas, the night before their wedding the tree holding Jennifer and Daniel's spirits is struck by lightning and they are free! Jennifer says she wants a human body again, but Daniel says that requires fire, so they decide to burn down the Pilgrim Hotel. Jennifer gets a body (Veronica Lake), but the spell provides only the body - no clothes. Wallace rescues Jennifer from the burning hotel and since she has no ID, he takes her home and puts her in his bed to rest - still with no clothes. Now this would look great on the eve of his marriage and shortly before his election for a naked woman to be found in his bed - and she is.
Now Daniel is still without a body and has run into his own troubles with modern society. In the meantime Jennifer decides to punish Wallace by making him fall in love with her and crushing his heart. But these things never go right for the inexperienced witch without dad's supervision, and the fun just goes from there. From Jennifer accidentally taking the love potion meant for Wallace, to her casting a spell so that Wallace wins EVERY vote, to Daniel not liking his new son-in-law and being rather vicious about it.
Veronica Lake was great here in a role that did not require a lot of range. Many have criticized her acting over the years, but I have never seen her in a film where she came across as a ham. Fredric March is great as a guy with Puritan pilgrim blood in him. He really makes you believe he is the stodgy offspring of generations of Puritans.
As for the perfectly cast Cecil Kellaway as the easily distracted Daniel, all I can say is that I guess it is easier to have a witch as a father in law than as a mother in law (Agnes Moorhead as Endora in Bewitched). Mothers in law can be a much more severe and long term problem apparently.
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