Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1960s Witches, The (1966)

Witches, The (1966)

Produced by Hammer and written by Nigel Kneale, who created QuatermassThe Witches tells of Gwen Mayfield (Joan Fontaine), a teacher working in Africa who has a breakdown when a curse is put on her by a witch doctor.

She returns to England to teach in a sleepy village school but then discovers that the rural community is caught in the grip of a voodoo cult.

There is an interesting development halfway through when Gwen is trapped in a nursing home which claims she has been in a coma for a year, but it all goes off the rails when you see the hybrid voodoo-witchcraft ceremony at the end, which is inappropriately hilarious.

Former Hollywood star Fontaine reprises her “frightened lady” turn – first seen in Rebecca – as the cursed schoolmistress. It was to signal her career’s end and Joan never made another film, although she did show up on television every once in a while.

Released overseas as The Devil’s Own.


Gwen Mayfield
Joan Fontaine
Stephanie Bax
Kay Walsh
Alan Bax
Alec McCowen
Ann Bell
Ingrid Brett
John Collin
Michele Dotrice
Granny Rigg
Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies
Bob Curd
Duncan Lamont
Dr Wallis
Leonard Rossiter

Cyril Frankel