The Witches of Eastwick

June 12th, 1987


The Witches of Eastwick

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Three single women in a picturesque village have their wishes granted - at a cost - when a mysterious and flamboyant man arrives in their lives.

Release Year: 1987

Rating: 6.4/10 (26,298 voted)

Director: George Miller

Stars: Jack Nicholson, Cher, Susan Sarandon

All three previously married but now single, best friends sculptress Alex Medford, cellist Jane Spofford and writer Sukie Ridgemont are feeling emotionally and sexually repressed, in large part due to the traditional mores overriding their small New England coastal town of Eastwick. After their latest conversation lamenting about the lack of suitable men in Eastwick and describing the qualities they are looking for in a man, mysterious Daryl Van Horne and his equally mysterious butler Fidel arrive in town. Despite being vulgar, crude, brazen and not particularly handsome, Daryl manages to be able to tap into the innermost emotions of the three friends, and as such manages to seduce each. In turn, the three women blossom emotionally and sexually. After an incident involving one of the town's leading citizens, the ultra conservative Felicia Alden, the three women begin to understand how and why Daryl is able to mesmerize them so fully...

Writers: John Updike, Michael Cristofer

Jack Nicholson - Daryl Van Horne
Cher - Alexandra Medford
Susan Sarandon - Jane Spofford
Michelle Pfeiffer - Sukie Ridgemont
Veronica Cartwright - Felicia Alden
Richard Jenkins - Clyde Alden
Keith Jochim - Walter Neff
Carel Struycken - Fidel
Helen Lloyd Breed - Mrs. Biddle
Caroline Struzik - Carol Medford
Michele Sincavage - Ridgemont Child
Nicol Sincavage - Ridgemont Child
Heather Coleman - Ridgemont Child
Carolyn Ditmars - Ridgemont Child
Cynthia Ditmars - Ridgemont Child

Taglines: Three beautiful Witches, One lucky Devil

Release Date: 12 June 1987

Filming Locations: Abbott Hall - 188 Washington Street, Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA

Gross: $63,766,510 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Actress Veronica Cartwright also appears in the television series remake, Eastwick.

Continuity: When Felicia is in the hospital bed, the cast on her leg goes up her thigh. However, later, when she is at home she lifts up her skirt and we can see that the cast only goes up to her knee.

[first lines]
Carol Medford: You don't have to come today, you know, I mean, if you don't want to.
Alexandra Medford: No, sweetheart, I want to, it's just that I have a million things I have to do first.

User Review

A Great Quadrangle of Mischievous Witches.

Rating: 10/10

Before HARRY POTTER and DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES and after BELL, BOOK, AND CANDLE, THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK came out and charmed the pants off moviegoers including me who, when we saw the film in theatres, loved not only the fantasy element, but also the great interplay between the actors.

Loosely based on the John Updike novel of the same name, THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK concerns the shenanigans of three housewives, all close with each other, who live in a sleepy New England town and dream of having a man come to their lives. What they don't know is that their empathic desires materialize not a knight in shining armour, but... Jack Nicholson? Surely you jest. Cher, the first to meet him, loathes him -- her verbal assault is something that belongs in an Edward Albee play. But he matches her word for word and bests her. Susan Sarandon, playing completely clumsy and repressed, gets ravaged in a bombastic way that would make any woman go nuts. And Michelle Pfeiffer in her breakout role meets a tender man who wishes he could be a woman.

The key her is not the story: that the Devil has his own designs as Darryl van Horne and that he may have some eventual opposition from the town is predictable -- it's the way Nicholson embodies his role as van Horne. Pacino would do an over-the-top performance in THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE years later; Nicholson prefers to change his demeanor with regards to the women he gets involved in, and his Devil is almost an overgrown boy who just wants to have fun and enjoy life. Seeing him sharing screen time with such different actresses is worth the entire movie -- he oozes chemistry with all of them, he makes you believe he's that charming and sweet or passionate and maybe irrepressibly vulgar, full of his own cat-like sensuality. He's having fun, but making it known it's also not a one-note performance.

Performances are what save this movie from its overblown ending and 80s production values: to watch Veronica Cartwright stealing her scenes, perfectly comfortable in playing these types of roles, go from concerned to completely mad, is a hoot. That she also may be a latent witch... is possible. Cher tackles her role like a total feminist and brings a lot of her own blunt self; Susan Sarandon does wonders to what in her own words was an underwritten part, and Michelle Pfeiffer glows.

Great fun, fantasy at its purest form, THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK makes you want to draw a 'D' in the sand and see what happens.


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