Search - Witches' Hammer on DVD


Witches' Hammer
Witches' Hammer
Actors: Elo Romancik, Vladimír Smeral, Sona Valentová, Josef Kemr, Lola Skrbková
Director: Otakar Vávra
Genres: Indie & Art House
NR     2004     1hr 43min

Much like THE CRUCIBLE, this riveting drama tells the true story of the last gasp of the notorious witch hunts in Czechoslovakia. A ruthless inquisitor spins the superstitions of local peasants into religious heresy, findi...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Elo Romancik, Vladimír Smeral, Sona Valentová, Josef Kemr, Lola Skrbková
Director: Otakar Vávra
Creators: Josef Illík, Otakar Vávra, Antonín Zelenka, Ester Krumbachová, Václav Kaplický
Genres: Indie & Art House
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House
Studio: Facets
Format: DVD - Black and White - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/16/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 43min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Czech
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

'The Crucible'...in Czech
Matthew S. Schweitzer | Columbus, OH United States | 11/14/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This little gem from 1969 may not look like much at first, but reveals itself to be a excellent and chilling tale of the European Witch Hunts of the late 17th century.

The story revolves around the trial and execution of a large number of suspected witches in Eastern Europe in 1676, and does a wonderful job of showing the almost maniacal and brutal efficiency that the Inquisitors could bring down on unsuspecting villagers. After a few hours in the thumbscrews and on the rack, most are more than willing to confess to anything the court wants them to, damning dozens to the stake, including a prominent village deacon and his attractive young cook. The film captures the sense of superstitious fanaticism that gives rise to the cruel and barbaric episodes like this that erupt throughout history. The film clearly shows how a simple act of credulity leads to the arrest and deaths of people from all walks of life, from peasants to wealthy landowners. The Inquisitor is more than eager to claim the estates and property of the accused and relishes in doing "God's" work, all the while inflicting cruel torture and death on innocent people.

Like Arthur Miller's classic tale, this film shows the paranoia and utter sense of helplessness that overcomes the accused as they are ultimately resigned to their inevitable fates. And we learn that, as at Salem Village, the perpatrators do not always get their just rewards in the end no matter how much we want them to. A interesting film overall."
Without words
Taras Bulba (Can) | Mexico, D.F. Mexico | 07/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you are a teacher or you are very interested in witch trials this is one of the best pictures you will find on the theme (also "Hëxen", "Three Sovereigns for Sarah", and Dreyer's "Day of Wrath"). Don't pay attention to the one star review, this is a real piece of art. It's incredible that some people can make a negative evaluation because a film is in black and white. It's also a lie that there are only nude scenes, there are only three and they are necessary to prove the way these "defenders" of God's law see and judge women's body. Believe me, this picture has a great story to tell. In this film you will find real criticism to the trials, dialogues related to "The Malleus Maleficarum", and a disturbing ending. You must have it!!!!"