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on 11 June 2011
A psychology professor (Peter Wyngarde) discovers that his wife (Janet Blair) has been practicing witchcraft behind his back. She maintains that it's her spells that have brought him success but he demands she destroy her all her witch paraphernalia. After she does, strange things begin happening and his once secure life begins to unravel. This atmospheric horror tale would do Val Lewton proud. Director Sidney Hayers (CIRCUS OF HORRORS) skillfully blends suspense and the supernatural with a naturalism that helps make the unbelievable believable. Hayers is aided in this by a clever screenplay by Twilight Zone's regular contributors, Richard Matheson and Charles Beaumont as well as George Baxt which is based on Fritz Leiber novel, CONJURE WIFE which had been made previously in 1943 under the title WEIRD WOMAN. Blair, imported from the USA, is excellent as is Margaret Johnston. The effective score is by William Alwyn (CRIMSON PIRATE). Released in the U.S. with the more lurid title, BURN WITCH BURN. With Kathleen Byron (BLACK NARCISSUS), Anthony Nicholls and Colin Gordon.

The British DVD from Optimum Classic is an excellent, crisp anamorphic wide screen (about a 1.77 ratio) transfer.
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on 29 January 2016
Skeptical college professor played by Peter Wyngarde gets the surprise of his life when he finds out this his wife has been studying witchcraft after their recent holiday to Jamaica. She's in much deeper than he thinks and slowly things in his personal life start to fall apart after he burns all of her items that she has collected. Now he faces a race against time to save his wife from certain death.

This is a very well made British horror film and what stands out is the wonderful acting. Peter Wyngarde and his wife played by Janet Blair are very believeable and Margaret Johnston can put the creeps on you just with her smile.

There are some genuinely creepy moments, the eagle chasing Wyngarde is a major highlight and this is a quality horror movie. True there are some loose ends- the college student's faked relationship with her teacher was worth more story progressing if only for the weirdness of the character and there is a lull at the half way point. But all in all Night of the Eagle is a very good horror movie.
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on 23 February 2009
Watched late at night this is an effective old style psychological horror very much in the vein of Night of the Demon. In fact it seems to take much inspiration from the more famous movie. The story itself is not as good though, and its contrivance shows in the very first scene, with Wyngarde lecturing his students on the paranormal, which, as far as I know, has never been a degree course, even in its heyday in the Elizabethan and Jacobean era.

This obvious piece of film hokum should be overlooked, however, as the movie soon folds out into a pleasingly tense pschological suspenser. You do have to remember you are in a movie world, where successful middle class professionals are also practising witches, as though it's as normal as knitting jumpers for a hobby, but the film does evolve nicely into a neat, sinister tale of jealousy and wicca dabbling.

Lovely clear black and white photography distills that very nostalgic middle England of the early 60s, nice country houses, a lovely Gothic college building, classy tweed jackets and skirts, clipped English accents, a drinks cabinet in every room and clouds of cigarette smoke. This is all as much part of the joy of watching this film as the hokey story itself. But it is very well directed and produced and there isn't much slack here, it is a clean, professional piece of work and it is effectively creepy in parts. The tension builds very nicely, and it has some very good special effects for its time, in the fine climactic ending.
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on 25 April 2014
A great old black and white horror movie. I had this film on VHS for years and wanted a DVD with subtitles but now bought this and really enjoyed seeing the film all over again. It is a bit dated and the special effects are quite laughable in as much as each time I've watched it I wait to see the string attached to the eagle when it attacks poor Norman Taylor. But as I love Peter Wyngarde I turn a blind eye. In fact as the opening shot of the college comes into view at the beginning of the film I quote - "I do not believe" - even before he says it!! It's still a very creepy film that holds you glued to the seat. Great stuff.
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on 1 May 2010
A classic of it's type - witchcraft, "unseen forces'' at work, academic rivalry, all in a sleepy English town where playing Bridge is apparently the highlight of social life. But underneath the surface....? All the actors deliver committed performances, Margaret Johnson in particular giving a twisted edge to her portrayal that is very effective. Brilliant black and white photography, inventive direction and a fast paced narrative ensure that the story is always engaging. The DVD has a nicely restored and contrasty image, and the audio, although only mono, is clean and does the job well. All in all, a great viewing experience.
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on 2 October 2009
This movie I bought without ever seeing it - but heard so many good things about it so why not ? It wasnt expensive. Also known as Burn Witch Burn this is the story of a man who's wife gets into witchcraft. He is a non believer but things start to happen to him to the point he has doubts. He tries to get his wife to stop with the witchcraft stuff and looks into who is behind it all. I will not reveal anything but the person behind all the witchery is someone who you just want to see killed in the worst way possible. This is a big time suspenseful chiller, atmospheric and along the lines of City of the Dead aka Horror Hotel. If youve seen that one, I am certain that you will love this movie as well.
And yes there is an Eagle involved !
Excellent recommended film !
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on 11 July 2011
What a find, based on Fritz Leiber's conjure wife this starts Peter Wyngarde (he of the heroic sideburns) as an up and coming professor who finds that his wife is a practising witch....i wont spoil the rest of the film but it's a cracker.
Moodily shot in black and white it shows that you really don't need CGI to summon up a creepy atmospheric thriller, a really nice transfer to DVD a great storyline and decent actors playing it straight give it a try.
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on 13 April 2018
Arrived and plays fine.
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on 8 April 2018
Excellent Blu-ray!
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on 19 May 2016
Strange supernatural film that still works with scares and shocks. Full of occult symbolism and a scene towards the end which will have your hair standing on end. Great DVD transfer -- don't let that ghastly cover art put you off.
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