I MARRIED A WITCH (1942) B/W 82m dir: Rene Clair
w/Fredric March, Veronica Lake, Robert Benchley, Susan Hayward, Cecil Kellaway, Elizabeth Patterson, Robert Warwick, Eily Malyon, Nora Cecil, Emory Parnell
In this whimsical comedy, Lake plays a lucious witch, burned at the stake in 1690, who returns in 1942 to wreak havoc on the descendants of her persecutors.
From The Movie Guide: "Although Clair is famous for his experimental French silents and several early talkies, here's the master at a later peak in, yes, Hollywood, USA. An accomplished confection, WITCH is required Halloween viewing. ...
"Lake, who had only been in films for a year, is wonderfully effective. Released from the sustained tension of film noir material, she demonstrates a quirky sense of comedy. Her line readings tingle with malice and hoydenish longing. WITCH also presents a lighter, warmer, more likable March than ever before --- his chemistry with Lake is very engaging.
"This is one of the rare instances where the 'other woman' measures up to the lead in beauty and presence. Despite having her own beautiful hain chignoned to play up Lake's, Hayward's career took a major step here, snagging her a series of hard-bitten second leads that prepared her for the Davis-Crawford-Stanwyck roles that wouls establish her later as a great star. And WITCH finds Kellaway in peak form --- it's his most three-dimensional role. Look out, too, for humorist Robert Benchley as March's confused political advisor.
"This film, with its wonderful special effects, was in the hilarious tradition of TOPPER and THE GHOST GOES WEST. Clair's direction is swift and sure, producing a livelier, more cohesive effort than his first Hollywood production, THE FLAME OF NEW ORLEANS, which fizzled at the box office. This Thorne Smith tale, taken from an incomplete novel, worked so well onscreen that it inspired the popular sitcom, 'Bewitched.'"