BootLeg Betty

Witches Old And New

Monday March 4, 2013
Witching frenzy
By KARYN ANNE KRISHMAN

INF-00498748

Witches always steal the show.

HOLLYWOOD has always had a steady flow of movies that feature witches.

This year alone, we’ve had at least three movies that involve witchcraft. In the campy Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Famke Janssen plays a witch named Muriel; Beautiful Creatures sees Emmy Rossum as Lena Englet who has to decide whether to battle good or bad; and in Oz The Great And Powerful, Michelle Williams plays the good witch while Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz are the bad witches.

In many of these “witch” films, there always seems to be three witches that are featured. There is a possibility that the number “three” links to the three facets of Wiccan goddesses – the maiden (virgin), the mother, and the crone or old woman. It could also just represent the three stages of womanhood.

Here are some familiar witch movies:

Macbeth (1971)

In the opening scene of Roman Polanski’s 1971 film Macbeth, three witches – the maiden, mother and crone – predict the rise of a king named Macbeth, who is just a regular soldier. An adaption of one of William Shakespeare’s darker works, Polanski’s film, produced by Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy Enterprises, is rated “X” (above-18 only) due to its violence and nudity.

Witches: Young Witch (Noelle Rimming-ton), Bling Witch (Maisie MacFarquhar) and First Witch (Elsie Taylor).

The Black Cauldron (1985)

The Black Cauldron was the first animated Disney film to be slapped with a PG (parental guidance) rating. This fantasy-adventure film sees a young pig farmer, Taran, out on a mission to destroy the black cauldron before the Horned King uses it to wake the undead. The witches gain possession of the cauldron and trade it for Taran’s magic sword, only to reveal that the cauldron cannot be destroyed unless a living being jumps into it. Nice.

Witches: Orddu (voiced by Eda Reiss Merin), Orwen (Adele Malis-Morey) and Orgoch (Billie Hayes).

Witches Of Eastwick (1987)

When three life-long friends meet up for drinks to vent about men, their psychic bond conjures “Mr Right”. It’s not made clear to the audience the powers these women possess, but their wish did bring the Prince of Darkness, Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson), into their lives for one heck of a ride.

Witches: Alexandra (Cher), Sukie (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Jane (Susan Sarandon).

Hocus Pocus (1993)

This light comedy, featuring soul-sucking witches, is one of the most nostalgic movies for children of the 1990s. After 300 years, the Sanderson sisters are resurrected by Max who just wanted to impress his dream girl Allison and spook his little sister Dani. As the witches return to life, Max, Dani and Allison run off with the witches’ vital spell book. In order to stay alive and get their immortality back, the sisters have to recite a magic invocation from the stolen spell book before dawn. Otherwise, they will be gone forever.

Witches: Winifred (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najimy) and Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker).

Stardust (2007)

Stardust is a love story of a charmingly naive boy who finds a “fallen star”, who turns out to be a dame. The boy tries to keep her safe from witches who seek the fallen star and consume her heart for eternal youth.

Witches: Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer), Mormo (Joanna Scanlan) and Empusa (Sarah Alexander).

â–  New witches on the block, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz star in Oz The Great And Powerful which opens in cinemas nationwide on Thursday.

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4 thoughts on “Witches Old And New

  1. I want to say I’ve actually met Famke Janssen several times and she’s a huge bitch. The way she appears in Hansel and Gretel is how she acts in real life. IT ain’t acting people. I’d like to see her and Winnie go head to head lol

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