5.9/10
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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

In a later magazine interview, Nigel Kneale said that he was dissatisfied with the way the film had turned out. Personally, he found modern black magic practitioners to be fairly risible and he had intended to poke fun at the idea of an English coven. His blackly comic touches were removed by the production team, who wanted the film to be entirely serious. Conceding the film to be well-cast, he felt the ending lacked the necessary menace needed to avoid the unintentional-but-inherent silliness of the situation. 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

Bears the hammer mark of quality
12 October 2003 | by Laserdome-AMHSee all my reviews

After suffering a shock in Africa, young Gwen Mayfield starts working as a teacher in a small village somewhere in England. Two of her students behave rather strange, and some people in the village try to separate the two from each other. Gwen becomes curious but suffers another shock. When she returns to the village, she finally finds out why its inhabitants behave so strange: They are really witches and plan to sacrifice a girl from Gwen's class...

One of the lesser known horror movies from legendary British Hammer films, this was also Joan Fontaine's last role. It's a slow and surprisingly tame movie, but well-made and atmospheric. While it's nothing outstanding, it certainly is worth watching. The ending may be a bit of a letdown. I also liked the music score during the opening credits, and some bits of the soundtrack are really good.


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