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The Worst Witch (The Movie) [VHS] (1999)

Diana Rigg , Charlotte Rae , Robert Young  |  G |  VHS Tape
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (281 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Diana Rigg, Charlotte Rae, Tim Curry, Fairuza Balk, Sabina Franklyn
  • Directors: Robert Young
  • Writers: Jill Murphy, Mary Pleshette Willis
  • Producers: Colin Shindler, Hilary Heath, Lewis Rudd
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Bfs Entertainment
  • VHS Release Date: December 28, 1999
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (281 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0773386777
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,374 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Based on Jill Murphy's book, this charming movie is set in an English boarding school for witches--complete with orange and black school uniforms, broom-flying exercises, and potion assignments for lab. The incompetent student of the title, Mildred, is played by a fetching young Fairuza Balk. Diana Rigg is the nasty head teacher, Tim Curry the (oddly) idolized Grand Wizard, and TV's Facts of Life maven Charlotte Rae does double duty as the school's kindly dean and her evil witch twin, who's bent on taking over the school. Directed by Robert Young, this 68-minute video features less than state-of-the-art effects and several songs that stop the action--most bizarrely an outdoor assembly performance by Curry that turns into a weird music video. Still, preteen girls will identify with the beleaguered heroine who overcomes her wickedly snooty rival, a teacher who doesn't believe in her, and a band of dastardly witches and, of course, saves the day. (Ages 6 and older) --Kimberly Heinrichs

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Spirit of Halloween Past for Children of the `80s! November 4, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
Imagine if "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was made in the mid-eighties, for television, with almost no budget. Also, imagine the hero is a misfit young witch rather than a wizard prodigy, attending an all-girl school for witchcraft. Replace Maggie Smith with Diana Rigg, Richard Harris with Mrs. Garrett from "Facts of Life," and Lord Voldemort with... Mrs. Garrett from "Facts of Life," and you have the 1986 classic television Halloween special, "The Worst Witch."

Fairuza Balk plays Mildred Hubble, the absolutely worst witch at Miss Cackle's International Academy for Witches. No matter how hard she tries, Mildred screws up everything, from her potions to her broomstick flying, and being tormented by school bully Ethel Hallow doesn't help her any either. As Halloween approaches, Mildred does her best to improve, especially at flying, knowing that this year's Halloween guest of honor will be the Grand Wizard himself! To her joy, Mildred manages to make her way onto the team of students who will fly in formation for the Grand Wizard's visit. Sadly, good ol' Ethel manages to make Mildred look bad again, and right in front of the Grand Wizard (Tim Curry). Her heart broken, Mildred gathers her belongings and her cat, Tabby, and sets out to run away the following morning, but encounters a group of evil witches plotting in the woods as she makes her getaway. Now, Mildred will have to face her fears and conquer her low self-esteem if she is going to save her friends and school from Miss Cackle's wicked sister, Agatha, and her plot to take over!

Despite the no-budget special effects, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer-like plot, campy...
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140 of 153 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why is this so addictive? October 21, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
There are several reasons to buy this video, but none of the reasons have to do with this being a high quality film. It isn't. This movie is of very poor quality. It has cheesy special effects, including blue screen flying scenes,poor sound, and stupid songs. Fairuza Balk is delightful as Mildred Hubble, the worst witch at Miss Cackle's International School for Witches. Halloween is approaching, and the school is preparing for the visit of the Grand Wizard, a powerful wizard as well as heart-throb to the witch community. Mildred's arch rival Ethel manages to sabatoge Mildred throughout the movie, and an embarassing encounter with the Grand Wizard is inevitable, especially since Mildred has made the broom squad.
Don't buy this if you want a good flick.
DO buy this if it reminds you of how much you loved it when you were a kid, if you are a kid who loves Halloween, if you are a die-hard Tim Curry or Fairuza Balk fan, or if you are desperate to have something that will tide you over until the publication of the next Harry Potter book.
I love this movie. I'm just not sure why.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the greatest Halloween movie ever!!! July 4, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Ever since I was a little kid, I've loved this movie. I would look forward to Halloween, because I knew that "The Worst Witch" would be on TV. Now that I'm 20 years old it's still my favorite Halloween movie, and it's not just me. My roommate also loves this movie, so she and I bought a copy and watch it all year round. Our favorite part is still when The Grand Wizard does his little song and dance. Also when Mildred turns Ethel Hallow into a pig! I would highly recomend this movie to anyone whether they're 6 or 96.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Growing Up Isn't Easy ... February 24, 2005
By Melissa
Especially for first year student Mildred Hubble. Not only is she having trouble with her studies and flying lesson's, but she has to deal with trouble maker Ethel Hallow and a very hard teacher Miss Hardbroom. As she tries to prove herself again and again she keeps getting herself into sticky situations and a boat load of trouble.

I loved this movie since I was very little and I remember it in the 80's which is my favorite decade. So this movie has very fond memories for me that I enjoy watching and loving today. The graphics are a bit cheesy as well as the music. But I'm sure that children and adults will love this fun classic film based on the popular books by Jill Murphy. It was also made into a popular and fun TV series.

I mainly adore and love the cast: Fairuza Balk (Return To Oz/The Craft) as Mildred Hubble, Diana Rigg as Miss Hardbroom, Charlette Rae (The Facts Of Life) as Miss Cackle and as her evil sister Agatha, Anna Kipling as Ethel Hallow, Danielle Batchelor as Maud Warlock (Mildred's best friend) and most of all my all time favorite Tim Curry as The Grand Wizard who does a fun singing performance of a Halloween number!

I was really excited to see this finally arrive on DVD. I have the Video which I found through Amazon and I also was very happy to get the DVD from Amazon as well. The DVD itself is very clear as well as the sound. Again the graphics are cheesy for that time, but I believe it was made for TV. I also remember first seeing this movie on HBO. It has jump to scene, cast biographies/trivia all in the extra's section plus a really fun menu to navigate through.

Besides I think we all feel a little like Mildred growing up ...
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