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Witch Film-Classic: I Married A Witch

Reviewed by Zan

One of the most delightful of the American light farce film-genre of the late 1930s-early 1940s known as the Screwball Comedy- as well as (excepting The Wizard of Oz) the most significant American film-treatment of Witches until that time- is 1942′s I Married A Witch. Starring ’40s Screen Siren Veronica Lake and accomplished stage-and-screen actor (and really good light comedian) Fredric March, the film is certainly a shoo-in for the “Pagan Film Classics Night” once the Pagan Television Network is up and running: in the meantime, it is a delicious Must for Pagan Film-Scholars wishing to understand The Portrayal of Witches On Film as a cinematic expertise. (It is also showing on Hulu.com, available for convenient viewing.)

A caveat: we are currently living in a Revisionist Era of Witchcraft-Study, so we consider such things as Media Treatment of Witches differently than, say, Hollywood did, in (say) the last Glam Days of Old Hollywood (the early ’40s, before America entered the War). Witches, in this film, are on the face of it “Evil.” The film opens upon the Classic American Witch-Story (Puritan Salem), with the Burning of These Two Evil Witches (Veronica Lake and her Sorcerer-Father). Immediate first-thing: Witches (of course) were not burned at Salem (they were hung). The Witch-Trials of Salem was actually not a subject that people had researched well by the early 1940s (holding such things as American Witch-Trials to be kind of embarrassingly quaint), so the supposition that Witches had been burned might not have seemed out-of-the-question for Hollywood at the time. Now we know better, so we can judge that I Married A Witch opens with an anachronism.

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