Witches in the Movies!
 

1996's The CraftThere are many movies featuring all types of witches: good, bad, ugly and beautiful. Some of these movies are scary and some are light and funny. Indeed, witches, witchcraft and magic are a very popular movie subject in Hollywood.  The following list is not exhaustive. Hopefully it's representative of good movies featuring the beguiling, yet beleaguered witch! Please let us know if something is missing.

 



Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (and its sequels)
Here's an event movie that holds up to being an event. This filmed version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, adapted from the wildly popular book by J.K. Rowling, stunningly brings to life Harry Potter's world of Hogwarts, the school for young witches and wizards.  The second-half adventure--involving the titular sorcerer's stone--doesn't translate perfectly from page to screen, ultimately because of the film's fidelity to the novel; this is a case of making a movie for the book's fans, as opposed to a transcending film. Writer Steve Kloves and director Chris Columbus keep the spooks in check, making this a true family film, and with its resourceful hero wide-eyed and ready, one can't wait for Harry's return. 
Amazon.com

 

 

 

The Wizard of OzThe Wizard of Oz
When it was released during Hollywood's golden year of 1939, The Wizard of Oz didn't start out as the perennial classic it has since become. The film did respectable business, but it wasn't until its debut on television that this family favorite saw its popularity soar. Young Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland), her dog, Toto, and her three companions on the yellow brick road to Oz--the Tin Man (Jack Haley), the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr), and the Scarecrow (Ray Bolger)--have become pop-culture icons and central figures in the legacy of fantasy for children. As the Wicked Witch who covets Dorothy's enchanted ruby slippers, Margaret Hamilton has had the singular honor of scaring the wits out of children for more than six decades. The film's still as fresh, frightening, and funny as it was when first released. It may take some liberal detours from the original story by L. Frank Baum, but it's loyal to the Baum legacy while charting its own course as a spectacular film. 
Amazon.com

 

 

The WitchesThe Witches
This splendid adventure-fantasy from 1990 was adapted from Roald Dahl's book and directed by maverick British filmmaker Nicolas Roeg, who turned out to be a perfect interpreter of Dahl's fiendishly clever tale of witchcraft in contemporary England. Scary, funny, and wildly entertaining, it's all about a young boy named Luke whose parents have died in a tragic accident, and whose grandmother takes him to a posh hotel in England, where a secret coven of witches is holding its annual convention. The Grand High Witch (Anjelica Huston) has decreed that all children in England be turned into mice, and Luke and his pal Bruno are the first victims on the list. That's when the movie magicians from Jim Henson's creature shop have their work cut out for them, turning Luke and Bruno into clever little rodents and The Witches into a dazzling display of imaginative special effects, using a seamless combination of real mice and superb animatronic puppets.
 Amazon.com

 

 

 

The Blair Witch ProjectThe Blair Witch Project  
For those of you who were under a rock when it first hit the theaters, 1999's The Blair Witch Project tracks the doomed quest of three film students shooting a documentary on the Burkittsville, Maryland, legend of the Blair Witch. After filming some local yokels, the three, led by Heather, head into the woods for some on-location shooting. They're never seen again. What we see is a reconstruction of their "found" footage, edited to make a barely coherent narrative. After losing their way in the forest, whining soon gives way to real terror as the three find themselves stalked by unknown forces that leave piles of rocks outside their campsite and stick-figure art projects in the woods. The masterstroke of the film is that you never actually see what's menacing them; everything is implied, and there's no terror worse than that of the unknown.  Amazon.com

 

 

 

Kiki's Delivery ServiceKiki's Delivery Service
In Hayao Miyazaki's magical Kiki's Delivery Service, a 13-year-old girl meets the world head on as she spends her first year soloing as an apprentice witch. Kiki is still a little green and plenty headstrong, but also resourceful, imaginative, and determined. With her trusty wisp of a cat Jiji by her side she's ready to take on the world, or at least the quaintly European seaside village she's chosen as her new home. Miyazaki's gentle rhythm and meandering narrative capture the easy pulse of real life and charts the everyday struggles and growing pains of his plucky heroine with sensitivity and understanding. Beautifully detailed animation and the rich designs of the picture-postcard seaside town of red-tiled roofs and cobblestone streets only add to the sense of wonder. This charming animated fantasy is a wholesome, life-affirming picture that doesn't speak down to kids or up to adults.
Amazon.com

 

 

 

The CraftThe Craft
If Buffy the Vampire Slayer represents the lighter side of high school as a macabre experience, here's a movie that asks the burning question, "What happens when angst-ridden teenagers develop supernatural powers?" More to the point, how do four outcast teenaged witches handle their ability to cast wicked spells on the taunting classmates who've nicknamed them "The Bitches of Eastwick"? The answer, of course, is "don't get mad, get even." That's about all there is to this terminally silly movie, which makes up for its ludicrous plot by letting its young female cast have a field day as they indulge their dark fantasies. Fairuza Balk is enjoyable as the most wicked of the witches, and is therefore the focus of the film's most dazzling special effects. But it's Neve Campbell from television's Party of Five who made this film a modest box-office hit, just before she became her generation's fright-movie favorite in Scream and its popular sequel.
Amazon.com

 

 

 

Bell, Book and CandleBell, Book and Candle

Staid, secure publisher James Stewart leads a quiet life until he meets his bewitching downstairs neighbor, Kim Novak. Novak is at her best as a Greenwich witch halfway between the worlds of magic and mortals, looking after her dotty aunt and mischievous warlock brother as they keep their skills in practice. Novak's specialty is making men fall for her, but it's a one-way street: when a witch falls in love, she loses her powers. Director Richard Quine gives the witches an almost beatnik sensibility, a real Greenwich Village subculture hanging out in underground clubs and smart curio shops. Elegantly photographed in rich, glowing colors by James Wong Howe, 1959's Bell, Book and Candle is a fantasy world in New York set to a funky bongo-laced jazz score by George Duning. Amazon.com

 

 

The Worst WitchThe Worst Witch

Based on Jill Murphy's book, this charming movie is set in an English boarding school for witches--complete with orange and black school uniforms, broom-flying exercises, and potion assignments for lab. The incompetent student of the title, Mildred, is played by a fetching young Fairuza Balk. Diana Rigg is the nasty head teacher, Tim Curry the idolized Grand Wizard, and TV's Facts of Life maven Charlotte Rae does double duty as the school's kindly dean and her evil witch twin, who's bent on taking over the school.  Preteen girls will identify with the beleaguered heroine who overcomes her wickedly snooty rival, a teacher who doesn't believe in her, and a band of dastardly witches and, of course, saves the day. Amazon.com

 

 

Witchfinder GeneralWitchfinder General
By consensus, Vincent Price's finest performance is Witchfinder General - also known as The Conqueror Worm based on a poem from Edgar Allan Poe - an intense 1968 film that erased any hint of camp from the actor's persona. Price plays Matthew Hopkins, a sadistic 17th-century "witchfinder" who uses barbaric methods to identify (and invariably execute) supposed witches. Along with Price's disciplined work, Witchfinder is also the best film by the talented and ill-fated director Michael Reeves, who was only 24 when he shot the movie. The most vivid thing about Witchfinder General is the way it explicitly links paranoia and witch-hunting to misogyny, and how female sexual energy is seen by the ruling order as a threat. The final sequence is perhaps the most harrowing fade-out of any Sixties horror picture, and offers no comforting resolution. 
Amazon.com

 

 

 

Hocus PocusHocus Pocus
You're in for a devil of a time when three outlandishly wild witches -- Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy  -- return from 17th-century Salem after they're accidentally conjured up by some unsuspecting pranksters! It's a night full of zany fun and comic chaos once the tricky 300-year-old trio sets out to cast a spell on the town and reclaim their youth -- but first they must get their act together and outwit three kids and a talking cat! Loaded with bewitching laughs, Hocus Pocus is an outrageously wild comedy that's sure to entertain everyone!
 Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

The Witches of EastwickThe Witches of Eastwick
Jack Nicholson was born to play the devil, and in George Miller's adaptation of John Updike's novel he plays it for all he's worth. As a wolfish womanizer summoned by three bored women in a picturesque New England town, he's sating all of his appetites with a rakish grin. Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer play the women who discover their untapped magical powers by accident. The smart and sexy singles, out of place in the conservatism of their village, find happiness, however briefly, in the arms and bed of the libidinous devil, but he's got his own ulterior motives. Miller revels in the sensual display of sex, food, and magic, whipping up a storm of effects that finally get out of hand in an overblown ending. It's a handsome film with strong performances all around, but the mix of anarchic comedy and supernatural horror doesn't always gel and Miller seems to lose the plot in his zeal for cinematic excitement. The performances ultimately keep the film aloft: the hedonistic joy that Nicholson celebrates with every leering gaze and boorish vulgarity is almost enough to make bad form and chauvinism cool. --Sean Axmaker 
Amazon.com 

 

 

Practical MagicPractical Magic
Actor Griffin Dunne improves a bit on his first film as a director, Addicted to Love, with this drama-comedy about a family of witches. Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock play spell-casting sisters of different temperaments: the former is a high-living, free-spirited sort, while Bullock's character is a homebody who can't get around a family curse that kills the men in their lives. A widowed single mom, Bullock gets into a jam with an abusive Bulgarian (Goran Visnjic) and is helped out by her sibling, but the result brings a good-looking, warm, inquisitive cop (Aidan Quinn) into their lives. The film has a variety of tonal changes--cute, scary, glum--that Dunne can't always effectively juggle. But the female-centric, celebratory nature of the film (the fantasies, the sharing, the witchy bonds) is infectious, and supporting roles by Dianne Wiest and Stockard Channing as Kidman and Bullock's magical aunts are a lot of fun. 
Amazon.com

 

 

I Married a WitchI Married a Witch
Before Bewitched, there was I Married a Witch. After a ancestor of Wallace Wooley has burned Jennifer, a witch and her father, they cursed his whole family, that the sons will always get the wrong wife. In the 20th century, the witch comes back to give Wallace Wooley a love drink, so he falls in love with her the night before his wedding to Estelle Masterson, but she gets the drink herself and falls in love with him. So the problems start for everybody: She has fallen in love, her father doesn't want her to marry Wallace, Estelle doesn't want to marry Wallace, Wallace stars falling in love with Jennifer, but he had to marry Estelle because he wants to become Senator, but he noticed that she isn't the right girl for him. The classic 1942 film stars the beautiful Veronica Lake as Jennifer

 

 

 

Teen WitchTeen Witch
Louise is not very popular at her high school. Then she learns that she's descended from the witches of Salem and has inherited their powers. At first she uses them to get back at the girls and teachers who teased her and to win the heart of the handsome footballer's captain. But soon she has doubts if it's right to 'cheat' her way to popularity.
Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BewitchedBewitched
(tv series - NOT the theatrical version which was AWFUL!)

Elizabeth Montgomery stars as Samantha Stephens, a pretty, typical American housewife who just happens to be a witch in this beloved comedy classic. Included in this magical DVD collection is the Emmy Award-winning series entire first season- 36 episodes that introduce one of the funniest ensemble casts in TV history: Dick York as Samantha s mortal husband Darrin, Agnes Moorehead as his witch-of- a-mother-in-law Endora, Alice Pearce as nosey neighbor Gladys Kravitz, George Tobias as her oblivious husband Abner and Marion Lorne as dotty Aunt Clara. 
Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sabrina The Teenage Witch Sabrina: The Teenage Witch
(both the  theatrical movie and tv series)

It's her 16th birthday, and Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart) is feeling a little strange. She's just transferred to a new school, moved in with her two otherworldly aunts, and nothing is quite what it seems. Things can only get more complicated when Sabrina learns that she's a real witch. Now, she's got to make friends memorize spells, and find a way to get a date for the school dance. It'll take a little hocus-pocus and a whole lot of adventure before Sabrina learns to control her powers and finds true love. 
Amazon.com
 

 

 

 

 

 

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