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The Witches (Blu-ray + DVD) [1966]

38 customer reviews

Price: £13.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
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£13.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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The Witches (Blu-ray + DVD) [1966] + The Mummy (Blu-ray + DVD) [1959] + The Evil Of Frankenstein (Blu-ray + DVD) [1964]
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Product details

  • Actors: Joan Fontaine, Kay Walsh, Alec McCowan, Ann Bell, Ingrid Boulting
  • Directors: Cyril Frankel
  • Producers: Anthony Nelson Keys
  • Format: Colour, Widescreen, Anamorphic, PAL, Mono
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: StudioCanal
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Oct. 2013
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00ECZSE7U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,201 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Originally released in 1966, The Witches is an unforgettably chilling pastoral horror from the legendary Hammer Films studio. Adapted for the screen by Nigel Kneale (The Quatermass Xperiment) it also stars Joan Fontaine (Rebecca, Suspicion) in her last major film role.

Gwen Mayfield, an English schoolteacher working in an African missionary, suddenly finds herself being victimized by a tribe of local witch doctors. Exposed to the deadly powers of the occult she's left deeply traumatized. In an effort to recover Gwen takes up a position in a rural school within the British countryside. But the idyllic village surroundings become increasingly sinister as Gwen begins to uncover a nightmarish web of dark and satanic secrets.

Extras

Brand new documentary: Hammer Glamour
Commentary

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By FAMOUS NAME VINE VOICE on 25 Mar. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Despite being made more than forty years ago, this is quite a recent outing for actress Joan Fontaine in terms of her long and outstanding career - and in terms of how little she's done since. This film is an oddity for many of its cast - not least for Alec McCowen and Kay Walsh - to mention just two.

The film gets off to the classic start of strange and puzzling incidents, but somehow, despite the big build up, the viewer is left feeling rather 'let down' when reaching the climax. It is unsure what is to be expected, but one is somehow surprised/disappointed at the end. There's a surprise appearance of a young and good-looking Leonard Rossiter (Rising Damp) in one of his rare straight roles, and there are many other familiar faces, including Michelle Dotrice and Carmel McSharry.

Very much typical of the 1960s Hammer material that was turned out - but enhanced by a great performance from Fontaine. (some might find her acting style a little dated in this)

Was a long time coming out on DVD in the UK.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 27 Nov. 2006
Format: DVD
The Witches aka The Devil's Own is an interesting but ultimately unsuccessful attempt by Hammer to make a serious(ish) movie about witchcraft. Nigel Kneale's screenplay displays some of his customary intelligence, but here he seems hindered by working not from an original story but by adapting Norah Loft's novel. A deathly pale Joan Fontaine is the schoolteacher recovering from a nervous breakdown who takes a job in an outwardly idyllic English village only to gradually suspect that there are darker forces at work - although this could just be in her own imagination. Of course, we know that she's clearly bonkers after her horrible offscreen experience at the hands of witchdoctors in Africa (well, a soundstage in Bray) while the credits were running, but we also know that just because she's had one turn of the screw too many doesn't mean there aren't real witches at work...

It's good at the unpleasant undercurrents in ostensibly beautiful small country towns and also looks at the attraction witchcraft has for women of a certain age (it's a power thing, apparently, with magic as a substitute for waning sexual power). Unfortunately, it goes downhill pretty fast once the cat is, quite literally, out of the bag and the last reel orgy plays more like a bad amateur modern dance performance that goes on forever than a terrifying pagan ritual (the silly costume doesn't help, although it's probably the only 60s film to feature faecophiliacs at play if that's your thing).

The UK DVD has no extras, but Anchor Bay's deleted US release included trailer, TV spots and episode of the World of Hammer compilation series (and was also repackaged as a two-disc set with the demented Prehistoric Women). The UK Region B-locked Blu-ray only has a single extra, the 42-minute documentary Hammer Glamour (which can also be found on the US Region A-locked Blu-ray of Frankenstein Created Woman).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By miss gabrielle read on 7 Nov. 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
This is a Classic British film; Hammer at it's best. The great actress Joan Fontaine would only have chosen to star in something that was quality drama. Think John Wyndham/ English witchlore/Gothic English at it's best. All with a fabulous 'Marple' 60's setting.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Nick London SW8 on 30 Jun. 2008
Format: DVD
I bought this on the strength of Hammer, witchcraft & mid 60s, then I read reviews & felt foolish as they all seemed to say it was dull, duff stuff. But not so. I saw it last night. The African set at the start is clearly a model but then it gets going and the colour photography is amazing: Wonderful, rich, sharp colours - the Berkshire countryside and villages are beautiful - it's great to see the world of my childhood alive again. In mid section it's rather like an episode of the Avengers from '66/67 set in High Summer England with Joan Fontaine doing a tolerably good, rather decorous, imitation of Diana Rigg. The sets are as good as ever Hammer did in this period - which is v good & v English. Good acting (lots of weird & lots of gin neat which always helps, not to mention lots of pills). Nice pace and the ending was, frankly, a total surprise (probably because I'd been expecting something more along the lines of The Wicker Man... there are lots of similarities). Also a nice touch mid way with an attack by savage, frenzied sheep (I saw 'Black Sheep' last month so that really worked for me). Overall this is really rather a good film - see it if you have the chance.
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By bernie TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Aug. 2013
Format: DVD
Gwen Mayfield (Joan Fontaine) fresh from an encounter with a witch doctor is given an opportunity to recover and a position in a private school in England. There she finds something sis a miss and the discovery of a voodoo doll confirms she is up against someone's wicked ways. As usual everyone is suspect and it is always the last person you suspect. Oh all alright the last person you are supposed to suspect. Will she figure it out in time or will evil have its wicked way. She may even be the target.

The only two things that give the film any credence is Joan Fontaine and that it is a Hammer production. Hammer cannot go wrong in many eyes. The butcher (Duncan Lamont) can be seen again in "5 Million Miles to Earth" (1967).

The DVD I watched looks like a direct VHS transfer and not Blu-ray. There is an extra - World of Jammer "Wicked Women". A U.S Theatrical Trailer "The Devil's Own" and TV Spots

I have to admit that I had a hard time keeping my finger off the fast forward.
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