Top Seven… Witches in movies


Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Of course, we all know The Wizard Of Oz is really about witches. As Sam Raimi’s prequel, Oz The Great And Powerful, is released, we run through the best witches in movie history. Be warned: they are certain to put a spell on you.

7. The Craft

If you like your witches filled with teen angst, forget Sabrina and check out this lot from The Craft. Back in the mid-90s, this movie is the reason why all the girls in your class at school were acting a bit weird. Just be thankful the girls in school didn’t make you lose your hair or get hit by a car like this witchy little lot. Fairuza Balk, we salute you.

6. Hocus Pocus

While the craft has a coven of four, the best witch groups come in threes, as our next two entries on the list illustrate. Nobody conjures up witch fun like the Sanderson sisters, Winnie, Mary and Sarah, played with great relish by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker. These gals are just out for a great time and if that means hunting down the kid from Eerie Indiana, then so be it.

5. The Witches of Eastwick

If the Sanderson sisters aren’t your bag, then try this: Cher, Sarandon, Pfeiffer. What a great set of witches. If they remade this now, they would cast it with Megan Fox, Lindsay Lohan and Scarlett Johansson. And it would suck.

4. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

It never ceases to amaze me how annoying it is to write out that title in full – no wonder this franchise didn’t really take off. Which is kind of a pity, because at the heart of it there is a brilliant villain in the shape of Tilda Swinton’s White Witch. Rumour had it that Nicole Kidman was in line for the role, but great actress as she is (go watch To Die For if you don’t believe me), I’m not sure she could have brought enough nastiness to the character, and she blew her witch kudos with Practical Magic. It’s amazing they gave Swinton such licence to be so terrifying – she actually appears to be enjoying slaying Jesus – sorry, Aslan. The film falls down on her offer of Turkish delight though to hoodwink Edmund. It tastes like crap.

3. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Here’s a bitch disguising herself as a witch, as the wicked queen dabbles in some boil and bubble to disguise herself into giving poor Snow White a poisoned apple. Surely a mask could have sufficed?

2. The Witches

The clue is in the title. What a smashing adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book this is. Director Nicolas Roeg will always remain best known for almost destroying Venice’s tourism industry with Don’t Look Now, but The Witches remains one of his gems. Angelica Huston is fantastic as the Grand High Witch, who brings child-to-mouse transformation to the English seaside. You know when critics say, ‘Oh, what a brave performance by that actress’, for doing something as simple as taking their top off when they reach their ’40s? Well, try taking your face off to reveal Gollum’s melting face with Pinocchio’s nose attached… before turning into a giant rat. Now THAT is brave.

1. The Wizard Of Oz

And where better to end than with the scariest witch of them all… yes, that Glinda the Good Witch can be a real witch bitch sometimes. No, not her, the one with the green skin. Margaret Hamilton’s portrayal of the Wicked Witch of the West is one of the greatest performances ever, let alone the greatest witch performance. Frightening generations of children with one cackle, this really is the best movie witch. In your face, Blair.



4 Responses to “Top Seven… Witches in movies”

  1. […] Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Of course, we all know The Wizard Of Oz is really about …read more […]

  2. This is really interesting. I went to see Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters over the weekend and by far the best part of the film was witch Muriel, played brilliantly by Famke Janssen.

    Though, you’re definitely right with you’re number 1 spot here, no witch could beat that!

  3. thanks Adam. yep, hard to beat WWoW

  4. Love your choices! But I really was scared as a child by the witches Grand High Witch, which still creeps me out even now, so I’d have to swap your numbers 1 and 2, otherwise I totally agree!
    And I’m looking forward to Oz the great and powerful as well, this has really got me excited!

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