Saturday, September 30, 2023

This Month at the Library : I Married a Witch (1942) - Bewitched, Bothered and Charmed

My local library is kind enough to indulge my desire to share my passion for classic film by allowing me to show a classic film once a month. And once in a while, a few film fans wander in and share the enjoyment.

October's Film: 

I Married a Witch (1942)

I admit I approached this film with a kind of blah attitude the first time I saw it. Fredric March is part of that group of leading men (including Franchot Tone and George Brent) that prompt a mental yawn from me. 

As for Veronica Lake, my opinion of her more influenced by things I read about her rather than her actual performances (more about this later). And Susan Hayward, one of my most favorite actresses, has only a supporting role here.

So imagine my surprise when I was completely charmed by this little fable. If it reminds you of the television show "Bewitched" you would not be wrong, as this film was one of that show's inspirations (the other being "Bell, Book and Candle."). The chief charm here is Veronica Lake. She is a pint sized sprite, alluring and adorable and simply perfect for this role. Old Freddy March does quite all right for a two time Oscar winner (even though I rate him with zero sex appeal while Ms. Lake oozes it out of her every pore). Susan Hayward is stuck in one of those before-she-became-a-star roles and her main purpose here is to be as bitchy as possible (making you root for the witch). But, she is mighty beautiful. Cecil Kellaway pops in as the witch's dad and might remind you of Agnes Moorehead's Endora character in "Bewitched."

Speaking of the b-word, apparently Ms. Lake was so unpleasant to work with that March renamed the film "I Married a Bitch." Joel McCrea was originally cast as the leading man and seemed a better choice, but he balked because he had had enough of Ms. Lake after "Sullivan's Travels." No matter. I'm sure anyone who views this film will fall under her spell.