Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Burn, Witch, Burn (1962)

Hansom Professor Norman (Peter Wyngarde) is quickly making his name at a private college, but his wife Tansy (Janet Blair) isn't socializing very well. It seems she spends way too much time at the cottage rather than playing bridge with the other professor's wives. Turns out in order to ensure hubby's continued success, dear Tansy has turned to witchcraft.

Now Norman here is a Psychology professor and a science-minded type, and the use of superstitious charms simply will not do. No siree bob. He makes his wife get rid of all her magic and nothing bad will happen.

Act II: Bad stuff happens. Nuff said.

This movie was originally Night of the Eagle, but when brought to America, they wisely decided that this title simply would not do. They needed something that still described the film yet appealed to America's particular Retarded quality. Hence Burn, Witch, Burn. Describes the movie perfectly. There is fire, a witch, and more fire. The poster too is perfect. There's no graveyard scene, and there are no demons from hell, and the world isn't terrorized, nor is there a dark menacing figure in the background, but Tansy did wear a nightgown to bed and they spelled the actors names properly. Perfect fit once again.

Here are a few interesting things. The hot college student who has a crush on our hansom professor was played by an actress four years older than him. His hot wife was a full twelve years his senior. Also, the movie follows a custom followed by The Wicker Man, but I won't say what for fear of spoilage. One more thing about Wyngarde who plays Norman, it seems his career hit the skids when he was arrested with a truck driver in a bus station bathroom. Didn't say what he did. I'm guessing insider trading.

Interesting also is that the conflict isn't witchcraft verses Christianity. It's superstition verses science. Modern religion is never brought up. Also, this is an excellent example of "wouldn't it be cool if you had a hot witch for a wife?" Well, yes it would, if you would just shut up and let her do her job. Don't be a Darrin.

Superb acting, good story, nice job all around. AMRU 4.

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