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The Witches (1990 movie)

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The Witches
Directed byNicolas Roeg
Screenplay byAllan Scott
Based onThe Witches
by Roald Dahl
Produced by
CinematographyHarvey Harrison
Edited byTony Lawson
Music byStanley Myers
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release dates
  • 25 May 1990 (1990-05-25) (United Kingdom)
  • 24 August 1990 (1990-08-24) (United States)
Running time
91 minutes[1]
CountriesUnited Kingdom
United States
Box office$15.3 million[2]

The Witches is a 1990 dark fantasy comedy movie directed by Nicolas Roeg. It was produced by Jim Henson and starring Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, Rowan Atkinson, and Jasen Fisher. It is based on the 1983 book of the same name by Roald Dahl.

Plot[change | change source]

After nine-year old Luke Eveshim's (Jasen Fisher) parents die in a car crash, he lives with his grandma (Mai Zetterling). She tells him about real-life witches and how they hate children. She says that they look like ordinary women but there are ways to spot them. They use gloves to cover their claws, wigs because they are bald and wear comfortable shoes because they have no toes. While playing in his treehouse, Luke is approached by a witch who tries to give him a snake. Luckily, the grandma arrives and the witch leaves.

While staying at a hotel, Luke goes into the hotel ballroom to train his pet mouse. A group of women enter the room and lock the doors but Luke remains hidden. The women then take off their disguises, revealing that they are witches. The Grand High Witch (Anjelica Huston) expresses anger with the other witches because of their failure to get rid of all the children. She then shows them her new potion named "Formula 86", which turns kids into mice. The Grand High Witch demonstrates the potion on a boy named Bruno Jenkins.

However, Luke is discovered by the witches and they turn him into a mouse. Luke and Bruno (who are both now mice) go to the grandma's room and tell her what happened and they create a plan to defeat the witches. Luke goes into the Grand High Witch's room and steals the potion. He then goes into the hotel kitchen and puts it in the soup that the witches have ordered for dinner. Before dinner, one of the witches, Ms Irvine, decides to stop being evil because the Grand High Witch does not treat her well. At dinner, the witches all eat the soup and turn into mice. The grandma tells Bruno's parents that he is now a mouse and gives him back to them.

After returning home, Luke tells the grandma that he is happy being a mouse. At night, Ms Irvine shows up outside their house and uses her magic to turn Luke back into a human.

Main cast[change | change source]

  • Jasen Fisher as Luke Eveshim, a nine-year old boy who the witches turn into a mouse
  • Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch, the leader of all the witches
  • Mai Zetterling as the Grandma, an elderly lady who is an expert in witches
  • Charlie Potter as Bruno Jenkins, a greedy boy who is also turned into a mouse
  • Rowan Atkinson as Mr Stringer, the hotel manager
  • Bill Paterson as Mr Jenkins, Bruno's father
  • Brenda Blethyn as Mrs Jenkins, Bruno's mother
  • Jane Horrocks as Susan Irvine, a witch who turns good
  • Sukie Smith as Marlene, a hotel maid
  • Anne Lambton as the Woman in Black, the first witch that Luke encounters

References[change | change source]

  1. "The Witches (PG) (CUT)". British Board of Film Classification. 4 May 1990. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  2. "The Witches (1990)". The Numbers. Retrieved 10 April 2017.