6.8/10
31,436
92 user 44 critic

The Witches (1990)

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A young boy stumbles onto a witch convention and must stop them, even after he has been turned into a mouse.

Director:

Nicolas Roeg

Writers:

Roald Dahl (book), Allan Scott (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,046 ( 692)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anjelica Huston ... Miss Ernst / Grand High Witch
Mai Zetterling ... Helga
Jasen Fisher ... Luke
Rowan Atkinson ... Mr. Stringer
Bill Paterson ... Mr. Jenkins
Brenda Blethyn ... Mrs. Jenkins
Charlie Potter ... Bruno Jenkins
Anne Lambton ... Woman in Black
Jane Horrocks ... Miss Irvine
Sukie Smith Sukie Smith ... Marlene
Rose English Rose English ... Dora
Jenny Runacre ... Elsie
Annabel Brooks Annabel Brooks ... Nicola
Emma Relph Emma Relph ... Millie
Nora Connolly Nora Connolly ... Beatrice
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Storyline

A young boy, recently orphaned, is taken to England by his grandmother. At a hotel in which they are staying, a group of witches have gathered to prepare a plot to rid England of all children. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Saving the world from witches is a tall order for a boy they've turned into a mouse!


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 August 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La maldición de las brujas See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$10,360,553
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After a test screening, Roald Dahl angrily expressed to the producers how "appalled" he was at "the vulgarity, the bad taste" and "actual terror" in certain parts of the film. Dahl demanded his name and the title be removed from the film prior to release, but after receiving an apologetic, complimentary letter from Jim Henson, Dahl grudgingly withdrew his threat. See more »

Goofs

The cook says, "What's that, eh?" without moving his mouth. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Helga: When your father was a boy like you, and living with me here in Norway, I told him about witches too, so that he would always be aware. Now, the most important thing you should know about real witches is this - now listen very carefully! Real witches dress in ordinary clothes, and look very much like ordinary women. They live in ordinary houses, and they work in ordinary jobs.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits zooms towards the camera above an unknown snow landscape. See more »

Alternate Versions

US version has happy ending added. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Scariest Movie Witches (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Unjustly forgotten fantasy
29 April 2002 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

Very strange fantasy in which a young boy Luke (Jasen Fisher) and his friend Bruno (Charles Potter) get in trouble with some witches (led by Anjelicia Huston). Luke's Norwegian aunt (Mai Zetterling), a former witch, helps him battle the others.

When this came out in 1990 critics loved it, but audiences stayed away. Real witches attacked the film because it portrayed witches as evil, ugly and wanting to kill all children. They overreacted--it's just a FANTASY, not reality. Also it was way too strong (and strange) to attract a family audience...too scary for kids and adults assumed it was a kids movie. But it is a good fantasy for high schoolers and adults.

Nicholas Roegs' direction is off-putting (he directs it like it's high art), but the special effects are truly incredible (especially the mice) and there are wonderful performances by Zetterling and Huston (going WAY over the top in her acting).

It's a very strange movie--definitely a one of a kind. It's worth a look.


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