The Scaredy-Cat Club Presents: 3 Bewitching Movies

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hello world!
| September 27, 2023

“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes!” (Macbeth, Second Witch, Act 4 Scene 1). Oh, it’s you. Salutations litter-mates, are you having a howling good time getting ready? The spooky season is just around the corner! This time I thought I might bring a little magic, with help from The Bard himself, William Shakespeare!  It’s a bit theatrical, I know, but magic is all about presentation. The truth is cats and witches go together like s’mores! Yes, even we scaredy-cats love witches.

Song of the Witches: “Double, double toil and trouble”

BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE 

(from Macbeth)

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,

In the caldron boil and bake;

Eye of newt and toe of frog,

Wool of bat and tongue of dog,

Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,

Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing,

For a charm of powerful trouble,

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Cool it with a baboon’s blood,

Then the charm is firm and good.

Notes:

Macbeth: IV.i 10-19; 35-38

(https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/william-shakespeare)

Anjelica Huston Is One Bad Witch!

This film debuted in the US on August 24, 1990. It is based on the book by Roald Dahl.

The screenplay was written by Allan Scott and was directed by Nicolas Roeg. The film stars Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, and Jasen Fisher. The Jim Henson Company did the special effects and makeup. You can read more about the making of the film by reading  The Witches: Cool Behind The Scenes Facts.

Plot:

Luke and his grandmother decide to take a much-needed holiday; both are still grieving the loss of his parents, and the grandmother is recovering from an illness. While caring for Luke, she tells him stories about witches and what to look for should he encounter one. Little do they know that the hotel they booked for their trip would also be the host for a convention of the most wicked of witches! They have come together for one purpose: to exterminate all children everywhere! 

When both Luke and his new friend Bruno are discovered, they are turned into mice! Undaunted, they escape and are determined to stop the witches!

Of the cinematic choices for this meeting’s topic, this is probably the scariest. The Grand High Witch, played by Huston, combined with Henson’s creature magic, does make for some terrifying moments. However, overall, the movie is not scary. It’s a magical fantasy adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat! It’s a good thing I wear a seatbelt (wheelchair humor).

“Traguna, Mekoides, Trecorum, Satis dee” (Substitutiary Locomotion Spell from Bedknobs and Broomsticks)

Speaking of seatbelts, you’ll need one for this classic witch’s tale. Miss Price not only travels by traditional means via broomstick. She also travels by brass bed! Bedknobs And Broomsticks made its debut in 1971. Its directors are Robert Stevenson and Ward Kimball. Writers Ralph Wright, Ted Berman, and Bill Walsh are the reason behind the live-action with animation sequences, just like in another Disney classic, Mary Poppins. The film stars Angela Lansbury, David Tomlinson, and  Roddy McDowall.

Plot:

During WWII, three children, Charlie, Carrie, and Paul Rawlins, are assigned to live with Miss Eglantine Price. She begrudgingly takes them in. Thanks to her late-night flying lesson, the children soon discover that she is an apprentice witch. She confesses to them that she has been taking a correspondence course by mail to become a witch to help win the war. The children promise to keep her secret if they are allowed to help her find Professor Emelius Browne. He is the founder of the school Miss Price has been taking her lessons from, and she also hopes that she will learn the final spell “Substitutiary Locomotion!” For it could turn the tide of the war.

I adore this movie just as much as Mary Poppins! Dame Angela Lansbury will always hold a special place in my heart for this film and for inspiring me to become a writer in the series Murder She Wrote (which is also purrfect to watch during spooky season).

“I Put A Spell On You!”

It would be a travesty if I did not recommend this movie for your spooky viewing pleasure! I dare say that membership would even be revoked! This film is a staple of all things Halloween! The year 1993 is when this visual tale first appeared. It was directed by Kenny Ortega and written by David Kirschner, Mick Garris, and Neil Cuthbert. It stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy.

Plot:

Max and his little sister have just moved to Salem. Max struggles to fit in and befriends Alison, who has told him the history of Salem. Of course, he doesn’t believe it. He is then forced to take his sister Dani trick-or-treating. They stumble onto an old cottage filled with all manner of witchcraft paraphernalia. He mistakenly lights a black candle to see, causing the Sanderson Sisters to return after being hanged for witchcraft 300 years earlier. These sinister sisters have a plan for them to remain. They must drain the life essence of all the children of Salem by the end of Halloween night! Can Max, Alison, Dani, and a talking cat named Binx stop the Sanderson sister’s plan, or will Salem’s children be no more?

30 years ago, I saw this movie at a theater with my Mom. No one knew then that its magic would hold us all so spellbound and spawn a sequel.   Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy are truly what makes this movie so magical, and let’s not forget that mesmerizing musical number!

Well, kittens, grab your broomsticks, for it’s time to fly! I hope you enjoy this topic. What other films would you choose?

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