THE WITCHES REVIEWED
“The Witches” is one of those bizarre anthologies that hangs its hat on a central concept. Silvana Mangano plays a Witch across several short stories that deal with various female issues. Usually, these range from tales about aging to saving honor. Pasolini and De Sica get the better segments, but Visconti does the best to set the tone of the film. That being said, it’s De Sica’s segment that got this film in trouble with American distributors.
United Artists was super protective of Clint Eastwood’s image in the mid-late 1960s. Protecting The Man with No Name from being in a sexy comedy was their utmost priority. So, the house that Fairbanks built went out of its way to kill the movie’s American bow. Most film fans have only seen this movie thanks to the power of imported VCDs and AVI files shared among the most insular film nerd communities. The fact that Arrow was able to get such a clean remastered print to Blu is why I love the hell out of those Brits.
If this sounds like your kind of bag, then pick it up.
- English Language Version of film for the first time on Home Video
- 1.85:1 1080p transfer
- LPCM 1.0 MONO
RELEASE DATE: 1/30/18
The Plot Thus Far
In the mid-sixties, famed producer Dino De Laurentiis brought together the talents of five celebrated Italian directors for an anthology film. Their brief was simple: to direct an episode in which Silvana Mangano (Bitter Rice, Ludwig) plays a witch. Luchino Visconti (Ossessione, Death in Venice) and screenwriter Cesare Zavattini (Bicycle Thieves) open the film with The Witch Burned Alive, about a famous actress and a drunken evening that leads to unpleasant revelations. Civic Sense is a lightly comic interlude from Mauro Bolognini (The Lady of the Camelias) with a dark conclusion, and The Earth as Seen from the Moon sees Italian comedy legend TotÃ² team up with Pier Paolo Pasolini (Theorem) for the first time for a tale of matrimony and a red-headed father and son. Franco Rosso (The Woman in the Painting) concocts a story of revenge in The Sicilian’s Wife, while Vittorio De Sica (Shoeshine) casts Clint Eastwood as Mangano’s estranged husband in An Evening Like the Others, concluding The Witches with a stunning homage to Italian comic books.
Troy Anderson is the Owner/Editor-in-Chief of AndersonVision. He uses a crack team of unknown heroes to bring you the latest and greatest in Entertainment News.