Favorite things about… I Married a Witch (1942)

The favorite film:
I Married a Witch, a 1942 fantasy/rom-com directed by Rene Clair

(Image via Movie Poster Shop)

(Image via Movie Poster Shop)

The synopsis:

A witch named Jennifer and her sorcerer father, Daniel, were condemned for their powers in 17th century New England. Now, nearing the mid-20th century, they’ve returned to human form to wreak havoc on the life of Wallace Wooley. Wally is the decendant of the man who accused them of witchcraft and caused them to be burned at the stake so many years ago. But when Jennifer truly falls for Wally, she finds her life torn between romance and centuries-old revenge.

The cast:

Veronica Lake as Jennifer
Cecil Kellaway as Daniel
Frederic March as Wallace Wooley
Frederic March as Johnathan Wooley
Frederic March as all of the Wooley men throughout history
Susan Hayward as Estelle
Robert Benchley as Dudley

Fun facts:

  • The film is based on a story by Thorne Smith.
  • Joel McCrea was offered the role of Wallace Wooley but turned it down.
  • Dalton Trumbo contributed to the script, though it is not known how large his contribution was.
  • Reportedly, Lake and March did not get along during production. March had previously slandered Lake’s acting abilities. Their dislike for one another cannot be detected by watching the two play lovebirds on-screen.
Jonathan Wooley, a witch-hunter cursed and bewitched by Jennifer (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Jonathan Wooley, a witch-hunter cursed and bewitched by Jennifer (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

  • TCM’s article on this film states that Lake retaliated against March’s mean comments about her by playing pranks on him on-set, including wearing a heavy weight under her dress for scenes in which he had to carry her.
  • The working title for the film was He Married a Witch.
  • The film was nominated for one Academy Award, for Best Score.

Favorite things:

  • Long, long ago, when people still believed in witches…
  • Johnathan Wooley, on Daniel: “UNQUESTIONABLY A SORCERER!”
  • Colorful cows = proof of witchcraft
  • Wife of 19th century Wooley: “Running off to war like a COWARD!”
  • The sound of thunder covering Estelle’s argument with Wallace
  • Jennifer: “It seems all ablaze! Is it on fire?”
    Daniel: “Not yet!” *Maniacal cackling*
  • Jennifer: “I never thought I’d see clothes like THAT in New England.”
  • Jennifer yelling “Weeeee!” as she floats into the bottle
  • Daniel: “Every man who marries, marries the wrong woman!”
Wally saves Jennifer from the fire set by her father. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Wally saves Jennifer from the fire set by her father. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

  • Daniel: “Walla walla, bizzle tizzle, let the flame begin to sizzle!”
  • Wally: “If you don’t get out of this fire you’ll be a redhead!”
  • Jennifer acting so nonchalant as Wally “rescues” her from the fire
  • Jennifer knocking down the painting of Jonathan Wooley
  • Wally: “You’re very young.”
    Jennifer: “I’m a lot older than you’d guess.”
  • The maid’s reaction to finding Jennifer in Wally’s bedroom the morning after the fire
  • Wally: “I think you’ve broken my record for waffles!”
  • Jennifer sliding down the bannister… and later, up!
  • Jennifer: “I’ll make him suffer, body and soul!”
  • Jennifer’s reaction to finding out that she drank her own love potion, which was meant for Wally
  • Windy wedding sabotage!
  • Daniel: “Pistol, pistol, let there be… murder in the first degree!”
  • Daniel: “It was no accident. He killed me in cold blood. Kindly notify the authorities.”
  • Estelle’s fake smile as she walks down the aisle at her wedding
Estelle's impending marriage is a strategic one, not a loving one. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Estelle’s impending marriage is a strategic one, not a loving one. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

  • Estelle: “Do I look alright?”
    Mr. Masterson: “Who cares? Go on!”
  • I LOVE YOU TRUUUULY
  • Wally: “After the fire, you see, she spent… the night…”
  • WOOLY UNMASKED
  • The prisoners’ reaction to finding out that Daniel’s daughter actually DID marry Wallace Wooley
  • Daniel: “Your power is DEAD.”
  • Daniel driving the taxi. This crazy fool!
  • The taxi flying into the sky
  • Tears on my pillow as Wally carries “dead” Jennifer away from the tree
  • Cutesy little flash-forward to end the film, complete with a Jennifer Jr. rocking Veronica Lake’s trademark waves!
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