Sunday, February 9, 2014

Burn, Witch, Burn (1962)

Starring Peter Wyngarde, Janet Blair, Margaret Johnston, Anthony Nicholls, Colin Gordon
Directed by Sidney Hayers
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A college professor discovers his wife has been practicing witchcraft, and forces her to give it up, and burn all her protective charms, but then bad things start happening to him.

This supernatural thriller is terrifically suspenseful and entertaining, well-scripted by Richard Matheson and Charles Beaumont, from a novel by Fritz Leiber, which had been adapted before as Weird Woman, an entry in the 1940s "Inner Sanctum" film series.  Although time and time again, I've found the original always surpasses the remake, this film is an exception, with Blair giving a solid performance as the woman who turns to witchcraft to protect her husband, sharp black-and-white photography from Reginald Wyer, and a humdinger of a climax, cleverly staged by director Hayers.

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