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The Witches (Keep Case Packaging) (1999)

Anjelica Huston , Mai Zetterling , Nicolas Roeg  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (516 customer reviews)

List Price: $5.97
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Product Details

  • Actors: Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, Jasen Fisher, Rowan Atkinson, Brenda Blethyn
  • Directors: Nicolas Roeg
  • Writers: Allan Scott
  • Producers: Mark Shivas, Jim Henson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: French (Stereo)
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 8, 2009
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (516 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002GOAH10
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,510 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Witches (Keep Case Packaging)" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

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 fable of a nine-year-old boy who must foil the plans of a society of witches to turn the world's children into mice. It won't be easy: they've already transformed him into one.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
86 of 91 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite for Children, Not Quite for Adults October 4, 2000
Format:DVD
"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.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Witches July 18, 2007
Format:DVD
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.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cute mice and ugly witches. October 16, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
Anjelica Huston is so hideous as a witch it isn't funny. Actually, it is a bit funny, with the accent and everything. Oh, and the mice are simply adorable. Everyone else told the plot, so I won't linger about it. Basically, the Grand High Witch turns a boy, Luke, into a mouse and he has to save all the children in England. While a mouse. That presents some problems, and a kinda scary scene with the Grand High Witch's cat. The witch convention would be the most impressive scene in the movie. Eva Ernst (The Witch) tells everyone to take off their shoes. Then she tells them to remove their "vigs" (wigs). They are bald with purple eyes and ugly teeth. Then Eva proceeds to remove her hair AND face at the same time, with a little help from her secretary. Eva's chin grows, her nose lengthens, and underneath her mask is the most hideous thing you have ever seen. Long ears, no hair, and that awful face. I suppose it's still Anjelica Huston under all that. She keeps the accent, and even while she is being scary she is funny when explaining the results of her Formula 86. I highly recommend this movie, because the acting is suberb and the effects are better.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fantastic! September 6, 2003
Format:DVD
"The Witches" is one of the best movies ever produced. If you have not seen it, see it! If you have seen it, see it again! Nicholas Roeg directed this movie (which is based on Roald Dahl's novel of the same name), and delivers a brilliant film on so many levels.
The visuals are amazing and the story is intriguing. The plot involves a young boy, Luke, and his grandmother going on a vacation to a seaside hotel in England, only to discover that many of its occupants are REAL WITCHES, one of whom is the Grand High Witch. Angelica Houston does a fabulous job as the Grand High Witch, and the make-up which forms her disguised face is both frightening and spectacular.
It is unfortunate that "The Witches" is largely unrecognized, as adults and children alike will adore this movie for its action, suspense and sheer brilliance. There is no doubt in my mind that this film is among the best ever made.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning! October 11, 2005
Format:DVD
Luke's Norwegian grandmother loves to tell him scary stories about witches when he visits from America. She's not trying to frighten the little boy, she just wants to warn him of the real dangers that lurk out in the world. See, when she was a girl, she lost one of her good friends to the evil magic of a neighborhood witch. And, after hunting them down all her life in search of the Grand High Witch, she even lost part of a finger. Actually, against the witches in this film, it's amazing that's all she lost! One fateful night, while Luke is in his grandmother's care as his parents enjoy an evening out, tragedy strikes! Luke's mom and dad are killed in a car accident. Now, Luke is left alone with his grandmother, and she is not in the best of health. When she has a diabetic attack on Luke's birthday (man, this kid has it rough!), the doctor decrees that they should take a short vacation. Off Luke and Grandmother go, to a grand, luxurious hotel in England. But the bad luck continues, as the Grand High Witch is holding her annual Witches' Convention in the same hotel at the same time! Witches from all over the world are running about the hotel in disguise, and if you don't catch the purple glint in their eyes, you'll never know who they are!

Angelica Huston plays the Grand High Witch, who has an evil plot to change all the world's children into mice with tainted candy bars. With her suitcase full of money and her tiny bottles of potion, she will send each of her witches to a different city, where they'll each open up a candy store and let the horror begin! A tubby little boy named Bruno is also staying at the hotel and is the first victim of the evil trick when The Grand High Witch uses him as a demonstration for the others.
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