6.8/10
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91 user 41 critic

The Witches (1990)

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ON DISC
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
3,509 ( 19)
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 maldiciĆ³n 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The building used for the Hotel Excelsior in the movie is Headland Hotel, a hotel located in Newquay, England. See more »

Goofs

When Luke turns into a mouse, a character mark is visible on the floor by the Grand High Witch's feet. 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.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Suspiria (1977) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Satisfying and mischievous adaptation of Roald Dahl's childrens' classic..
20 May 2003 | by Jonathon DabellSee 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.


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