Review: ‘The Witches of Eastwick’

The Witches of Eastwick [from the novel by John Updike] is a brilliantly conceived metaphor for the battle between the sexes that literally poses the question must a woman sell her soul to the devil to have a good relationship?

The Witches of Eastwick [from the novel by John Updike] is a brilliantly conceived metaphor for the battle between the sexes that literally poses the question must a woman sell her soul to the devil to have a good relationship?

With a no-holds-barred performance by Jack Nicholson as the horny Satan, it’s a very funny and irresistible set-up for anyone who has ever been baffled by the opposite sex.

Sukie Ridgemont (Michelle Pfeiffer), a writer for the local newspaper, is the intellectual; Jane Spofford (Susan Sarandon), a high school music teacher, is the woman of feeling; and Alexandra Medford (Cher), a sculptress, represents the sensuous side. They’re all divorced and they’re all looking for a Mr Right.

Enter Daryl Van Horn (Jack Nicholson), the answer to their collective longing for a man of wit, charm and intelligence. For Nicholson it’s the role of a lifetime, the chance to seduce these women and be cock of the roost.

Spectacle of the film is really Nicholson. Dressed in eccentric flowing robes, odd hats and installed in a lush mansion, he is larger than life, as indeed the devil should be. The witches, lovely though they are, exist more as types than distinct personalities.

1987: Nominations: Best Original Score, Sound

The Witches of Eastwick

Production

Warner/Guber-Peters/Kennedy Miller. Director George Miller; Producer Neil Canton, Peter Gruber, Jon Peters; Screenplay Michael Cristofer; Camera Vilmos Zsigmond; Editor Richard Francis-Bruce, Hubert C. de la Bouillerie; Music John Williams; Art Director Polly Platt

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1987. Running time: 118 MIN.

With

Jack Nicholson Cher Susan Sarandon Michelle Pfeiffer Veronica Cartwright Richard Jenkins

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