5.5/10
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52 user 44 critic

Season of the Witch (1972)

Hungry Wives (original title)
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A bored, unhappy suburban housewife gets mixed up in witchcraft and murder.

Director:

George A. Romero

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jan White ... Joan Mitchell
Raymond Laine Raymond Laine ... Gregg Williamson (as Ray Laine)
Ann Muffly Ann Muffly ... Shirley Randolph
Joedda McClain ... Nikki Mitchell
Bill Thunhurst Bill Thunhurst ... Jack Mitchell
Neil Fisher Neil Fisher ... Dr. Miller
Esther Lapidus Esther Lapidus ... Sylvia
Dan Mallinger Dan Mallinger ... Sergeant Frazer
Daryl Montgomery Daryl Montgomery ... Larry
Ken Peters Ken Peters ... John Fuller
Shirlee Strasser Shirlee Strasser ... Grace
Robert Trow ... Detective Mills (as Bob Trow)
Jean Wechsler Jean Wechsler ... Gloria
Charlotte Carter Charlotte Carter ... Mary
MaLynda Parker MaLynda Parker ... Patty (as Linda Creagan)
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Storyline

Joan Mitchell is an unhappy, suburban housewife pushing 40, who has an uncommunicative businessman husband, named Jack, and a distant 19-year-old daughter, named Nikki, on the verge of moving out of the house. Frustrated at her current situation, Joan seeks solace in witchcraft after visiting Marion Hamilton, a local tarot reader and leader of a secret black arts wicca set, who inspires Joan to follow her own path. After dabbling a little in witchcraft, Joan, believing herself to have become a real witch, withdraws into a fantasy world and sinks deeper and deeper into her new lifestyle until the line between fantasy and reality becomes blurred and eventually tragedy results. Written by matt-282

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

swing | swinging | cage | face slap | piano | See All (29) »

Taglines:

Every Night is Halloween.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

George A. Romero's Season of the Witch See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$90,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Latent Image See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the making-of featurette "Digging Up the Dead: The 'Lost' Films of George A. Romero," when Joan Mitchell (Jan White) said the line "I'm a witch" during filming, the overhead ceiling cracked. Romero attributed this to heat from the lights, but said that some people on set were a little spooked by it. See more »

Goofs

When Joan copies the Lord's Prayer backwards from the Bible, it is the King James version, even though she and her husband are Catholic. While any Catholic owning a Bible in that era (not a very common occurrence apart from scholars) would have a Douay version, the elaborate, antique nature of the book suggests it may have been one of her recent purchases at the antique store where she bought the rest of her witchcraft paraphernalia. See more »

Quotes

[Joan is buying items in an antique shop]
Store Clerk: So, you're a witch?
Joan: Huh?
Store Clerk: Chalice, herbals, knives, they're all witches' tools, you know.
Joan: Oh, I'm just interested in it.
Store Clerk: You're kidding! I mean, I was just kidding.
Joan: Well, I'm just interested in it.
Store Clerk: Hey, that is really great.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally filmed and released in 1971 under the title "Hungry Wives" which ran at 130 minutes, the movie was re-edited for foreign distribution and re-released as "Jack's Wife" a year later, running at 104 minutes. In response to George A. Romero's successful release of "Creepshow" in 1982, "Jack's Wife" was released on home video as "Season of the Witch" with the running time trimmed further to 89 minutes. The current video version runs 104 minutes which is the original overseas version titled "Jack's Wife." See more »

Connections

References Belle de Jour (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Season of the Witch
Written and Performed by Donovan
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Imperfect but often brilliant film
28 July 2001 | by HenryHextonEsqSee all my reviews

I would certainly take issue with the previous comment, written without much proper discussion of the film. It did not at all bore me; maybe its pace was slow, but is this inherently a bad thing? The mood was sustained and developed well by this low-key, languid film-making. The music and photography were truly absorbing. The music was wonderfully oddball, disorientating and varied. The photography is very vivid and makes use of opaque colours very effectively. The sound quality - particularly for some dialogue - of the "print" I watched was poor, but that's no fault, I suspect, of Romero.

There is a great beginning, and a perhaps not so great a conclusion; the first scenes are wonderfully vivid and dreamy, with editing used expertly. The ending however, could be said to be abrupt, with issues and characters left unresolved. The witchcraft aspect does work, and is a telling part of White's character's development throughout the film. The acting and writing of the film's characters is indeed not the greatest I have yet seen, but it's not bad at all. The obscure Jan White, as the jaded, ageing (well, around 40 it appears) housewife, is very good in the role, exuding an effective screen presence. The previous commentator brands the actress "ugly"? I don't see how this is truly relevant, but for the record, Ms White was certainly nothing of the sort. Particularly late on, around about the witchcraft sequences, she is oddly resplendent. The other actors were generally of a standard that certainly was not notably bad, but was not notably great either; they were passable enough. Ray Laine's hippy character is perhaps too blatant a generalized representative of the counter-culture, but for the plot it plays well, with the scene between Laine, White, her daughter and some other, older housewife downright amusing in many ways.

While hardly "Brass Eye" in its incisiveness, this film's satire - of both American middle-class suburbia and the '60s/'70s counter-culture - is justified and largely well achieved. I have to say from watching Romero's debut, "The Night of the Living Dead" and this film, he has some film-making ability. Particularly in the avenue of creating an atmosphere of unease and malaise. This is not truly a horror film, without the typical trappings. Any monster, is at best vaguely implicit, or more rightly a metaphor in Joan's dreams, the blood on show is minimal.

While I thought this film did not deliver on all the promise it had, I greatly enjoyed it. A refreshingly odd film, one that deserves much higher than a misguided 4.7/10 rating, albeit only for 76 voters.

Rating:- ****/*****


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