Home Cartoon budget A Ranking of George Miller’s Films

A Ranking of George Miller’s Films


11. The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

The Witches of Eastwick (1987) Official Trailer #1 – Jack Nicholson, Dear Horror Comedy

The Witches of Eastwick is a textbook case of a film that is not quite the sum of its parts. But, damn it, those parts. Jack Nicholson plays the evil Daryl Van Horne, who arrives in boring Eastwick, Rhode Island, and seduces three single women: Alex (Cher), Jane (Susan Sarandon), and Sukie (Michelle Pfeiffer). After spending a night with Daryl, they discover they are witches and plot to rid the town of Daryl. This is where the fun begins in Miller’s adaptation of John Updike’s novel.

Miller lets the ladies show off their stuff; they’re smart, shrewd, sexy, and fun, and he films them beautifully. He also frees Nicholson, who goes full Jack. Nicholson has convulsions, winks, rants and coughs up cherry pits. He creates a decadent, profane and misogynistic, but (almost) sympathetic character.

But even with an excellent score from John Williams, The Witches of Eastwick never comes together completely. We don’t know the ladies particularly well and therefore don’t care, which blunts Grrrl Power’s advantage. A few of the magic sequences are visually arresting, but too many of them – figures hovering through the air and especially Daryl’s transformation into his final form – are undermined by clunky visual effects. As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. [Ian Spelling]