6.7/10
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37 user 34 critic

Cast a Deadly Spell (1991)

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In a fantastical 40's where magic is used by everyone, a hard-boiled detective investigates the theft of a mystical tome.

Director:

Martin Campbell
Reviews
Popularity
4,563 ( 35)
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fred Ward ... Det. Harry Philip Lovecraft
David Warner ... Amos Hackshaw
Julianne Moore ... Connie Stone
Clancy Brown ... Harry Bordon
Alexandra Powers ... Olivia Hackshaw
Charles Hallahan ... Det. Morris Bradbury
Arnetia Walker ... Hypolite Kropotkin
Raymond O'Connor ... Tugwell
Peter Allas ... Det. Otto Grimaldi
Lee Tergesen ... Larry Willis / Lilly Sirwar
Ritch Brinkley ... Owl Wagon Manager
Jaime Cardriche ... Zombie
John De Bello ... Crooner
David Downing ... Thadius Pilgrim
Colin Drake Colin Drake ... Butler Meadows
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Storyline

In 1948 Los Angeles, everyone uses magic- everyone except hard-boiled private detective H. Phillip Lovecraft, who refuses for "personal reasons." Lovecraft is hired by a mysterious rich man to recover a stolen book, the Necronomicon. Investigating, he finds that the book holds the key to taking over the world by magical means, releasing the "Old Ones". Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 September 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Détective Philippe Lovecraft See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lovecraft is hired to recover the Necronomicon, a mystical book that appears in many of Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos stories. See more »

Goofs

The bedroom in Connie Stone's 1948 house appears to have a round smoke detector immediately to the upper left of the door. See more »

Quotes

Bradbury: Magic. Gives me the shakes what you can buy in this town.
Lovecraft: Well, they said it'd make things easier.
Bradbury: And it has.
Lovecraft: [as a body is loaded into an ambulance] Lots of things.
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Connections

Referenced in The Spectre (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Why Do I Lie?
Music by Curt Sobel
Words by Dennis Spiegel
Performed by Darlene Koldenhoven
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User Reviews

 
Fantastic mesh of hard-boiled noir, and Lovecraftian mythos.
2 July 2006 | by timerasSee all my reviews

I first saw this when it premiered on HBO in '91. With a Who's Who cast of character-actors, this first-rate production by Gale Anne Hurd (of James Cameron/Terminator fame) and directed by Martin Campbell (soon to direct Goldeneye and Mask of Zorro)is a brilliant mesh tribute to the works of HP Lovecraft. With a firm tongue-in-cheek, the viewer is taken along on the latest case of H. Phil Lovecraft, private detective in a 1948 Los Angeles where "everybody does magic". A relatively new happening, magic is real...everyone uses it, except Lovecraft. Fred Ward turns in one of his best performances to date as the hard-boiled detective, wise-cracking his way through every situation. Julianne Moore is spot-on as Phil's ex-girl, the sultry songbird in his former partner(Clancy Brown)'s club. David Warner is perfect as Lovecraft's effete client, Amos Hackshaw. It's a sharply-written noir tale with more than a few Cthulhu references, and adds some more generalized fantasy for spice. Pay attention to the details, this is where the picture really shines- from the everyday applications of magic, to the snappy banter between Lovecraft and pretty-much everyone, it's an enjoyable escape from reality-TV. The creatures are passable, not the best by today's CGI standards, but certainly not the worst seen in some straight-to-video bombs. The writing is stylish and inventive, with some really ingenious scenes/situations. Martin Cambell's direction takes you right along with Lovecraft, with some brilliant cinematography. The casting is terrific as well. I was never bored. One of my top-20 favorite films. I can't wait for a DVD version, if it ever appears. A terribly disappointing, not-so-great sequel called "Witch Hunt" was done in '94 with a completely different cast & director.


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