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Nifty supernatural thriller
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.