6.8/10
33,298
98 user 57 critic

The Witches (1990)

Trailer
1:09 | Trailer
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)
Reviews
Popularity
2,168 ( 929)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Hocus Pocus (1993)
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A curious youngster moves to Salem, where he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of diabolical witches that were executed in the 17th century.

Director: Kenny Ortega
Stars: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy
Matilda (1996)
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Story of a wonderful little girl, who happens to be a genius, and her wonderful teacher vs. the worst parents ever and the worst school principal imaginable.

Director: Danny DeVito
Stars: Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Mara Wilson
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An orphan, who lives with his two cruel aunts, befriends anthropomorphic bugs who live inside a giant peach, and they embark on a journey to New York City.

Director: Henry Selick
Stars: Paul Terry, Joanna Lumley, Pete Postlethwaite
The BFG (1987)
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young orphan girl, Sophie, gets taken away to a faraway land populated by Giants and Dreams.

Director: Brian Cosgrove
Stars: David Jason, Amanda Root, Angela Thorne
Casper (1995)
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An afterlife therapist and his daughter meet a friendly young ghost when they move into a crumbling mansion in order to rid the premises of wicked spirits.

Director: Brad Silberling
Stars: Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci, Cathy Moriarty
Return to Oz (1985)
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Dorothy, saved from a psychiatric experiment by a mysterious girl, is somehow called back to Oz when a vain witch and the Nome King destroy everything that makes the magical land beautiful.

Director: Walter Murch
Stars: Fairuza Balk, Nicol Williamson, Jean Marsh
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale of an old and bitter miser's redemption on Christmas Eve.

Director: Brian Henson
Stars: Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire
Labyrinth (1986)
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Sixteen-year-old Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) is given thirteen hours to solve a labyrinth and rescue her baby brother Toby (Toby Froud) when her wish for him to be taken away is granted by the Goblin King Jareth (David Bowie).

Director: Jim Henson
Stars: David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud
Halloweentown (TV Movie 1998)
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After learning she is a witch, a girl helps save a town full of other supernatural creatures.

Director: Duwayne Dunham
Stars: Debbie Reynolds, Kimberly J. Brown, Judith Hoag
ParaNorman (2012)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A misunderstood boy takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.

Directors: Chris Butler, Sam Fell
Stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A troubled boy dives into a wondrous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Stars: Noah Hathaway, Barret Oliver, Tami Stronach
Monster House (2006)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Three teens discover that their neighbor's house is really a living, breathing, scary monster.

Director: Gil Kenan
Stars: Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, Spencer Locke
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 August 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Witches See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,221,402, 26 August 1990

Gross USA:

$10,360,553

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,360,553
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Liccy Dahl has stated that Roald Dahl never again requested someone for a role in his book after the producers of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) denied his request to cast Spike Milligan as the title character. But he was ecstatic when Anjelica Huston was cast as the Grand High Witch, as she had been Dahl's personal favorite for the role. See more »

Goofs

Some of the witches in the convention are clearly men in women's clothing. 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

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Mommie Dearest (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Satisfying and mischievous adaptation of Roald Dahl's childrens' classic..
20 May 2003 | by barnabyrudgeSee all my reviews

The Witches is the rarest thing you'll ever see: a black comedy for children. Adults just assume that kids don't have the level of wit and sophistication to appreciate sly and sarcastic humour, but here that theory is challenged with a vengeance and this film proves itself to be a wickedly entertaining, knowingly cruel pantomime.

The story finds a young boy named Luke moving in with his Grandma following the death of his parents. She lives in Norway and is something of a witch expert. Pretty soon, she has filled his mind with tales of witchery and caution. Grandma falls seriously ill and is advised to go to the English seaside to recover, accompanied by Luke. Whilst there, Luke uncovers the fact that the RSPCC meeting in the hotel is actually a front for a society of witches. He is captured by them and metamorphosised into a mouse, but still comes up with a plot to wipe them out.

This film is enormous fun, punctuated by offbeat performances (Huston as the Grand High Witch of All the World is terrifying and funny in equal measure) and splendid puppet work. The story uses the moral that children should "never talk to strangers", but enhances it with the ingenious and disturbing premise of witches being responsible for evil acts towards children. The story has real pace and purpose, and constantly turns up another surprise or twist just when you think you've figured out what's coming next. The supporting performances are very nicely judged (Atkinson as the snooty hotel manager, Zetterlig as the wise grandmother, etc.). All in all, this is a must-see kids' flick for kids and adults of all ages.


54 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 98 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed