I Married a Witch (1942)

Sullivan’s Possession

Lake was a rising star when this was made, and it is clear that the story was engineered to highlight the charm of whoever starred. The previous year she did well in “Sullivan’s Travels”, something of a touchstone in film history. It was a so-called “folded” film, one that had a movie within itself. Sturges famously promoted Lake as a good fit for this sort of thing because he sensed she consciously lived in a pretend world anyway. Her tiny body seemed an especially cinematic statement, amplified with the audaciously engineered hairdo. Travels worked.

Next she did this, which is not quite as layered, The TeeVee derivative, “Bewitched” really was explicitly layered: a world of pretend and magic within the world of the show. But this movie’s version was half baked. March really takes it seriously which confounds the effect.

In the end, she comes across as a novice actress pretending to be a novice witch. There’s an engaging scene or two with the drunk father, and some of Edith Head’s costumes on both ladies are better than her usual. But it is hardly worth watching for that.

Posted in 2005

Ted’s Evaluation — 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.


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