13 user 21 critic

Witchhammer (1970)

Kladivo na carodejnice (original title)
A very popular movie on the medieval persecution of witches (inquisition).


Otakar Vávra


Václav Kaplický (novel), Otakar Vávra (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Vladimír Smeral ... Boblig
Elo Romancik ... Lautner
Josef Kemr ... Ignác
Sona Valentová ... Zuzana
Blanka Waleská ... hrabenka de Galle
Lola Skrbková Lola Skrbková ... Maryna
Jirina Stepnicková ... Dorota Groerová
Marie Nademlejnská Marie Nademlejnská ... Davidka
Miriam Kantorková ... Tobiásová
Eduard Cupák ... farár Schmidt
Martin Ruzek ... Biskop
Cestmír Randa ... dékan Vojtech Winkler
Ilja Prachar ... rychtár Gaup
Gustav Opocenský ... Sekretár Schmidt, bratr faráre
Václav Lohniský ... Mnich


The time is the seventeenth century. The beggar Maryna Schuchová hides the Host in her scarf at the Communion. She admits to the parish priest Schmidt that she intended to give it to the midwife Groerová to heal her ailing cow. The young priest declares her a witch and convinces the Sumperk countess De Galle to summon the inquisitor Boblig from Edelstadt. This failed student of law sees the offer as a great opportunity. He uses torture and threats to force the women from the to testify to their meetings with the devil and learn by heart the lies he has made up for the inquisition tribunal. Boblig accuses the wealthy burghers of witchcraft as well, and so wants to seize their possessions. Written by NFA.cz

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | History | Horror


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Due to a very impressive image of the atmosphere of fear and compulsory confessions that resembled the Stalinist methods of the communist regime of the 1950s, the film was removed from hire and appeared on television screens only after 1989. See more »


The violin (string instruments) scene of the oligarchs when the maid watches is off timing so much it creates humorous empathy where a romantic emphasis is the focus. Considering the serious nature of the film this was not intended and a lapse in production quality. See more »


Featured in Monsterquest: American Werewolf (2008) See more »

User Reviews

Beautifully Excruciating
12 October 2012 | by josephbrandoSee all my reviews

I've seen many movies about the persecution of witches in medieval times, but this one rightly stands on top of that pile, surpassing even peer masterpieces "Mark of the Devil" and "Witchfinder General". The cinematography is gorgeous, the writing is smart and sophisticated, the performances are excellent, and the story itself is gut-wrenching and brutal. Rarely do horror films haunt my mind like this Czech production did. With its roots based in historical fact, the true evils of mankind certainly are much more diabolical than any conjured up monster or serial killer. It is quite an experience to watch a movie that is simultaneously, strikingly, so beautiful and yet so harrowing.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

23 January 1970 (Czechoslovakia) See more »

Also Known As:

Witchhammer See more »

Filming Locations:

Velké Losiny, Czech Republic

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed