Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Classic Cinema Spotlight: The Witches
I was craving for a Joan Fontaine film for a while now and came across this forgotten gem. The Witches (1966) was Joan's final big role. I can tell you from seeing her earlier films in the 1930's to seeing this one, not only did she age beautifully but she was a phenomenal actress through and through.
This films centers around the main character that Joan plays named Gwen Mayfield. She was a schoolteacher in Africa who gets exposed to witchcraft from a group of local witch doctors. Gwen found the experience harrowing and sought employment back home in England hoping to heal and begin teaching again.
She soon begins as a head teacher in a small private school in a rural village owned by a brother and sister named Alan and Stephanie Bax. Slowly things begin to unravel for Gwen as she sees and understands things she is not meant to. She begins to wonder why an entire town is against a teenage girl named Linda finding romance with a local boy. What is really going on here she wonders?
Is Gwen losing her mind? Are the witch doctors still hexing her all the way from Africa? Or is this idyllic little town really run by witches?
I really enjoyed this film not only because Joan was classy and on point but also because the ending was actually a happy one which most spooky films do not. I found that incredibly refreshing and you might too.