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Burn, Witch, Burn (1962)

Night of the Eagle (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror | 25 April 1962 (USA)
A woman who may be a witch defends her husband from forces attempting to harm him.

Director:

Sidney Hayers

Writers:

Fritz Leiber Jr. (based on a story by) (as Fritz Leiber), Charles Beaumont (screenplay by) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Peter Wyngarde ... Norman Taylor
Janet Blair ... Tansy Taylor
Margaret Johnston ... Flora Carr
Anthony Nicholls ... Harvey Sawtelle
Colin Gordon ... Lindsay Carr
Kathleen Byron ... Evelyn Sawtelle
Reginald Beckwith ... Harold Gunnison
Jessica Dunning Jessica Dunning ... Hilda Gunnison
Norman Bird ... Doctor
Judith Stott Judith Stott ... Margaret Abbott
Bill Mitchell Bill Mitchell ... Fred Jennings
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Storyline

A skeptical college professor discovers that his wife has been practicing magic for years. Like the learned, rational fellow he is, he forces her to destroy all her magical charms and protective devices, and stop that foolishness. He isn't put off by her insistence that his professional rivals are working magic against him, and her protections are necessary to his career and life. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Terrifying Screen Experience of Your Life! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The second of three (and most acclaimed) cinematic adaptation of Fritz Leiber Jr.'s novel Conjure Wife. See more »

Goofs

At 1:21:48, you can see the guide wire controlling the eagle.stretching from it's leg to it's handler whose back is briefly seen. See more »

Quotes

Prologue Narrator: [First lines] Ladies and gentlemen, the motion picture you are about to see contains an evil spell, as used by practitioners of witchcraft for centuries. Even today, in many parts of the world, people practiced black magic and witchcraft. Charms, amulets, voodoo candles, grave dirt, and locks of hair are believed to ward off evil spirits and spells. You may doubt the effectiveness of these spells, but through every civilization, people have believed in witches. Could they all be wrong? I don't ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

There is no The End closing title, just a final "Do You Believe?" to conclude the film. See more »

Alternate Versions

For the American-International release in the United States, a voice-over opening was added which supposedly cast a protective spell over the audience. It was recorded by Paul Frees, using his trademark Orson Welles impression, and adds 2:20 to the original running time. See more »

Connections

Version of Weird Woman (1944) See more »

User Reviews

 
Mind Tricks
2 January 2006 | by sol1218See all my reviews

(There are Spoilers) Teaching psychology at the Hempwell Medical Center Prof. Norman Taylor,Peter Wyngard,is making his way up the ladder of success so fast at the school that his co-educators are a bit jealous of his amazing climb. Having a logical mind and not believing in magic or any other mumbo jumbo Prof. doesn't realize that his wife Tansy has been dappling in the black arts since they were on vacation some time ago in the Caribbean.

After a Friday night bridge party at the Taylor home Norman discovers that Tansy has a bunch of charms and totems hidden all over the house that she uses to cast spells on and for persons that she knows including himself. Shocked to find out that Tansy is practicing Witchcraft Norman has her burn all the artifacts, involving that ancient superstition, and put the thought of casting spells and bringing good or bad luck to people that she knows in the fireplace together with them. As Norman begins the week things start to suddenly go wrong, terribly wrong, for him at work as well as at home.

Accused of forcing himself on one of his students Margaret Abbott, Judith Stott, Norman is later confronted by her boyfriend Fred Jennings, Bill Mitchall,who's been having trouble with Norman in his class, who pulls a gun on him. Getting everything straighten out by having Margrate confess that she made the story up and disarming the hot-headed Paul doesn't stop Tansy from leaving a tape recorded massage for Norman. In the tape Margaret tells him that she's going to have herself killed by the evil spirits that he released, by burning all her magic charms, to prevent him from being taken away from her forever by taking his place.

Almost getting killed in a traffic accident in getting to the seaside retreat, that he and Tansy have outside of town, Norman feels that he's too late to stop his wife from drowning herself since it was already past 12 midnight, the time Tansy left on the tape that she's to die. Norman is now so possessed by what has been happening to him since that night of revelations about the powers of Witchcraft that he actually makes some kind of ceremony, with a photo of Tansy and candles, to break the deadly spell that he unleashed on her as well as himself and amazingly it works.

Intelligent and at the same time disturbing movie about the black arts and how they play with one's mind even if he's as logical and unfettered as prof. Norman Taylor. Norman after taking a wet and comatose Tansy home is later attacked by her getting. That had him go back to the collage that evening, on a hunch, to find out just what's been causing all these strange happenings to him and his wife.

It becomes obvious that there's someone there who's been casting evil spells on him and Tansy that the magic charms, that Tasy made, have been counteracting but with them now gone there's nothing on earth left to stop them from destroying his and Tansy's lives.

With the person in question knowing about Norman's accident, that wasn't reported in the news, and then building a house of Tarot Cards and setting it on fire begins to get the best of Norman's fragile mind and subconscious as he starts to see a demon, in the form of giant eagle, attacking him.

Rushing to his house Norman does see it on fire, just as the the Torot Cards predicted, and saves Tansy's life but the person who conjured up all this evil on him and Tansy has a quick and stunning reversal of fortune as the movie ends.

You never really know if what was happening to Norman and Tansy is real or just their imagination but that's exactly what made the movie "Burn Whitch Burn" or "Night of the Eagle" work so well. Like the great Lawton/Tourneur film-noir horror movies of the 1940's "Burn Whitch Burn" lets your mind,not the special effects, do the thinking and thus literally scares the hell out of you.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 April 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Burn, Witch, Burn See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Independent Artists See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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