From the great Muppet creator Jim Henson comes this classic bursting with enchantment and adventure. Academy Award winner Anjelica Huston stars as the Grand High Witch in this exhilarating tale.Year: 1990
Adam A. (JesusAndGravity) from S BURLINGTON, VT Reviewed on 4/18/2011...
WONDERFUL family movie!!!
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Ann B. from AURORA, CO Reviewed on 1/25/2011...
I thought this was quite well done. As far as I can remember it followed the book fairly well except for the ending. Great costumes. I just got a kick out of it.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
.....and they lived happily ever after?
Amanda Richards | Georgetown, Guyana | 07/30/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"That woman with the purple eyes and ugly square-toed shoes The one who's scratching at her scalp is certainly bad news!
Does she look faint when kids draw near or hold her nose and run? If women like this roam the world God bless us, everyone
Convention time at the hotel we goggle at the sight of Grand High Witch Angelica whose wig is on too tight
Her followers cheer gleefully as she takes off her mask revealing all her ghastly warts and gives them one big task
"Quit your jobs," the Chief Witch says "and open candy shops, free chocolate should do the trick we'll pull out all the stops"
The witches have an evil plan to rid the world of brats those stinky, smelly rotten kids will now be meals for cats
But all bad deeds must have a hitch their plan's been overheard a clever boy is eavesdropping and has heard every word
Soon he's crawling through the kitchens and dropping in the cress too many cooks DO spoil the broth and make an awful mess
The ending differs from the book it's really very sappy I'm sure Dahl's rolling in his grave because they made it happy
Rated: 3.5 stars
Amanda Richards, July 29, 2006
PS - The sound quality on this DVD is not up to standard, and you'll need to watch it with remote in hand to make volume adjustments. There are no sub-titles or closed-captioning, and the packaging is of the cheaper variety."
Not Quite for Children, Not Quite for Adults
Sheldon S. Kohn | 10/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The Witches" is one of my favorite films. The film combines the substantial filmmaking talents of Nicholas Roeg with the wonderworking of Jim Henson and an unforgettable performance from Angelica Huston. Every time I watch this film, I find something new to like about it.Since I have seen the film numerous times, I was a bit disappointed that the DVD did not contain any special features, such as a commentary from the filmmaker or one of the actors. Other than the most basic chapter selection, the DVD does not offer any of the bonuses that one would like to see. Fortunately, the film itself is so good that it is worthwhile to buy this disc in spite of the substandard packaging.From the very beginning of the film, we are thrown into an imaginative world where witches reside in literally every small village and where no child is safe in any country. As the credits roll across the screen, Roeg treats us to a ride on a broomstick, to a witch's-eye view of the frozen Scandinavian countryside.The film then introduces us to Luke and his grandmother, the protagonists of this tale. We learn that the grandmother has long been fighting the witches and even has lost part of her finger in the struggles. After tragedy strikes the young boy's parents, the pair travel to England, which is literally infested with witches. Fortunately, Luke has been well-warned how to recognize them and can play safely in his tree house when other children would be in grave peril.The delicious irony compounds when the grandmother takes Luke to a seaside resort hotel for her convalescence. It is the precise time when all the witches of England are meeting under the cover of the Royal Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Children. In a closed-door session, the witches remove their wigs and uncomfortable, yet practical, shoes, letting us see them in all their repulsiveness. The Grand High Witch (played to perfection by Angelica Huston) reveals her plan to turn all the children of England into mice. Of course, the witch's plan goes astray, and tables are turned on all the witches in one of the most delightful scenes in all of modern cinema. Every time I watch it, I think to myself how much fun it would be to make a film like this one.This is a charming, delightful film with enough diversions to keep children fascinated, told with enough skill to keep adults interested. It is a keeper, worth watching many times."
Here the greedy-guts go again.
R. C. Walker | Encinitas CA, United States | 08/08/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
""Witches" is a marvellous film: cleverly written and wittily produced. Alas, this is a mutilated copy: the usual tactic of corporate greed. The original, filmed in a ratio of 1.85:1, this copy has been mutilated -- slashed and hacked to leave a visual aspect of 1.33:1.
If you want to buy this butchered version, go ahead. Just remember that you're missing about a third of the original. If steak is $5 s pound, would you pay $5 for 11 ounces? Just remember that the butcher still has his or her thumb on the scale, waiting to get your money again when she/he later offers correct weight for the price.
If you still want to buy this thing, let me know. I have some riverside property in New Orleans I'd like to sell you."
John Farr | 07/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Roald Dahl, best-known for his "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory", also penned this dark little tale, which is brought to vivid cinematic life by gifted director Nicolas Roeg ("Walkabout", "Don't Look Now"). The late Jim Henson's distinctive talents are on display in some of the rodent and witch representations, and the film also boasts broadly amusing turns by Anjelica Huston (as The Grand High Witch) and Brits Brenda Blethyn and Rowan Atkinson in supporting roles."
Entertaining adaptation but far from perfect DVD
Susan K. Schoonover | Boulder, CO | 06/20/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoy Roald Dahl's books and was eager to see the film adaptation of THE WITCHES. The movie is well crafted with awesome special effects for the year it was made and Jim Henson's mouse puppetry is convincing. However I was disappointed by the DVD in several ways. First of all the sound was just awful especially with the Norwegian, British, and er High Grand Witch accents. To compound matters there is no close captioning of any kind on the disc so the viewer needs to be in a quiet room and listen very carefully. Needless to say the the DVD is also devoid of any special features.
As to the story I actually found the first part quite disturbing for a "family film". Luke's loving Norwegian grandmother tells him an awful story of a childhood friend who was imprisoned in a painting by a witch until her eventual "disappearance" in old age and the story is so realistically enacted it is really quite sad and chilling. Grandma also shows him the scar where her little finger was before an encounter with a witch and gives him some warning advice as to how to recognize the creatures. The next morning Luke and his grandmother learn Luke's parents have both been killed in an accident. Shortly after Grandma Helga comes down with a serious case of diabetes and she and Luke leave for a vacation at an English seaside village.
At their vacation hotel they run into a convention of witches and this more surreal part of the story is actually more light hearted and comical despite some intense scenes. The filmmakers give a happy contrived ending to the story unlike what Roald Dahl wrote in the novel. I usually strongly object to filmmakers altering such major plot points but Helga and Luke had suffered so much earlier in the film I was glad to see them experience some joy. Really young or really sensitive viewers will probably find this story too disturbing to be enjoyable."