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The Witches (1966)

Not Rated | | Horror | February 1967 (USA)
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Following a horrifying experience with the occult in Africa, a schoolteacher moves to a small English village, only to discover that black magic resides there as well.

Director:

Cyril Frankel

Writers:

Nigel Kneale (screenplay), Norah Lofts (novel) (as Peter Curtis)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joan Fontaine ... Gwen Mayfield
Kay Walsh ... Stephanie Bax
Alec McCowen ... Alan Bax
Ann Bell ... Sally Benson
Ingrid Boulting ... Linda Rigg (as Ingrid Brett)
John Collin John Collin ... Dowsett
Michele Dotrice ... Valerie Creek
Gwen Ffrangcon Davies ... Granny Rigg (as Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies)
Duncan Lamont ... Bob Curd
Leonard Rossiter ... Dr. Wallis
Martin Stephens ... Ronnie Dowsett
Carmel McSharry Carmel McSharry ... Mrs. Dowsett
Viola Keats Viola Keats ... Mrs. Curd
Shelagh Fraser ... Mrs. Creek
Bryan Marshall Bryan Marshall ... Tom
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Storyline

An English school missionary assigned in an African village has a run in with the local witch doctor and suffers a nervous breakdown. After recovering back in England she takes a job teaching in a small country town hoping to make a new start for herself. All goes well at first, until she starts to hear some disturbing stories about the town. She soon discovers the town is home to a coven of witches and they plan to sacrifice a local girl in one of their rituals. Written by Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A STRANGER IN A TOWN THAT HAS LOST ITS MIND ...IF SHE'S NOT CAREFUL, SHE MAY LOSE HER'S TOO! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Witches See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This would be the final film performance for former child star Martin Stephens before his retirement from the film industry. See more »

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Connections

Featured in The World of Hammer: Wicked Women (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Witches crack'd.
12 April 2014 | by ptb-8See all my reviews

Minor Hammer Horror from the mid 60s has several very effective components: a terrific location of banal evil in a very picturesque village, excellent acting by everyone, even the kids and families who genuinely live there, astonishing and beautiful art direction sets and interiors, and some major acting from Hollywood Oscar winner Joan Fontaine. I am sure this was not the experience depicted in THE MIRROR CRACK'D but far more like that of making THE WICKER MAN eight years later. I felt a lot of THE WITCHES led to THE WICKER MAN and together would have made a fabulous double feature. I enjoyed this "women's matinée horror" entry in Hammer's lexicon, the sort of horror film your Mum would come home one day and tell you she saw it at the Odeon on a shoppers' session while you were at school. Unfortunately, the 'ghastly ritual climax' is very poorly depicted and looks more like the local amateur dance and theatrical society were hired to be 'devil worshipers'. It really is badly directed and cast. Joan delivers o all counts and the after effect is one of nodding approval. Benign devil coven antics, if that's possible. However I loved the color photography, the eerie daylight village feel and the beautiful interiors of every home. Yes it's the Women's Home Beautiful Hammer Horror. Girl star Karen Dotrice from MARY POPPINS and THOMASINA makes a juicy teen sacrifice. I think Matthew Garber from the same films also appears as her love interest early on.


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