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Night of the Eagle (1962)

Night of the Eagle British.jpg

Aka Burn, Witch Burn! I do not believe. Those words, chalked across a blackboard by college psychology professor Norman Taylor (Peter Wyngarde) open this American production shot in England in 1961. (Wyngarde got the role by default when Peter Cushing chose to make Captain Clegg instead.) He then discovers that his wife Tansy (the estimable Janet Blair) has been casting spells for years and he begins to doubt precisely how he has achieved his career in academia, a hellhole for those in the know. As he persuades his wife to dismantle her creepy accoutrements, rivalries escalate, accusations mount, Tansy is in a trance, auditory hypnosis commences and the eagle above the college’s front door starts to look even more ominous… Scripted by Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson from the New England-set campus novel Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber,and directed by Sidney Hayers (there was a 1944 Hollywood version) this is an underrated supernatural outing about belief, an enchantment and black magic, and a memorable choice for All Souls’ Night.  Brrr….

About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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