🎥 I Married A Witch – 1942
The Story …
Two witches in colonial Salem, the witch Jennifer and her father the warlock Daniel, are burned at the stake after being denounced by Puritan Jonathan Wooley.
Their ashes are buried beneath a tree to imprison their evil spirits. In revenge, Jennifer curses Wooley and his male descendants, dooming them always to marry the wrong woman.
Centuries pass. Generation after generation, Wooley men marry cruel, shrewish women. Finally, in 1942, lightning splits the tree, freeing the spirits of Jennifer and Daniel. They discover Wallace Wooley, living nearby and running for governor, on the eve of marrying the spoiled Estelle Masterson, daughter of newspaper publisher J.B. Masterson, who just so happens to be Wooley’s chief political backer.
Initially, Jennifer and Daniel manifest as white vertical smoky “trails,” occasionally hiding in empty, or sometimes not-so-empty, bottles, some of which are of alcohol. Jennifer persuades Daniel to conjure a human body for her with which to torment Wallace. Daniel needs fire to perform this spell, and so he burns down the Pilgrim Hotel. This serves a dual purpose, as Jennifer uses the emergency to trap Wallace into rescuing her from the burning building.
Jennifer tries hard to seduce Wallace without magic. Even though he is attracted to her, he refuses to call off his marriage. Jennifer concocts a love potion, but the scheme goes awry when a painting falls on her, knocking her out. Wallace revives her by giving her the very drink she had intended for him.
Daniel conjures himself a body, then he and Jennifer crash the wedding, though they are at cross purposes. Daniel hates all Wooleys and tries to prevent his daughter from helping one of them. His attempts at interference land him in jail, too drunk to remember the spell to turn Wallace into a frog.
Meanwhile, bride-to-be Estelle finds the couple embracing and the wedding is called off. Outraged, Estelle’s father J.B. promises to denounce Wallace Wooley in all his newspapers. Wallace finally admits he loves Jennifer, and they elope.
Jennifer then casts a spell on all the voters and ballots using witchcraft to fix the election – even Wallace’s opponent ends up voting for Wallace, and the vote is unanimous. The election’s outcome convinces Wallace his new wife is indeed a witch. Daniel warns his daughter that she must be punished for revealing her true nature to a mortal, and takes away her magical powers.
In a panic, Jennifer interrupts Wallace’s victory speech, imploring him to help her escape. Unfortunately, the taxi they get in to get away is driven by Daniel. He takes the taxi airborne only to crash it into the original tree from the beginning of the story. At the stroke of midnight, Wallace is left with Jennifer’s lifeless body, while two plumes of smoke watch. Before they return to the tree, Jennifer asks to watch Wallace’s torment.
While Daniel gloats, Jennifer reclaims her body, explaining to Wallace, “Love is stronger than witchcraft.” She quickly puts the cork into the bottle of liquor her father is hiding in, keeping him drunk and powerless.
Years later, Wallace and Jennifer have children. The housekeeper enters to complain about their youngest daughter, who enters pretending to ride a broom, to which Jennifer comments “We’re going to have trouble with that one.”
- Directed by René Clair
- Screenplay by Robert Pirosh and Marc Connelly
- Based on The Passionate Witch 1941 novel by Thorne Smith and Norman H. Matson
- Produced by René Clair
- Cinematography : Ted Tetzlaff
- Edited by Eda Warren
- Music by Roy Webb
- Production Company : Paramount Pictures
- Distributed by United Artists
- Release Date : October 30, 1942
- Fredric March as Jonathan Wooley, Nathaniel Wooley, Samuel Wooley, and principally Wallace Wooley
- Veronica Lake as Jennifer Wooley
- Cecil Kellaway as Daniel
- Susan Hayward as Estelle Masterson
- Robert Benchley as Dr. Dudley White, Wooley’s friend
- Elizabeth Patterson as Margaret, Wooley’s housekeeper
- Eily Malyon as Tabitha Wooley
- Robert Warwick as J.B. Masterson
- Mary Field as Nancy Wooley
- Nora Cecil as Harriet Wooley
- Ann Carter as Jennifer Wooley
- Aldrich Bowker as Justice of the Peace
- Wade Boteler as Policeman
- Robert Homans as Fire Chief
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