Night Of The Eagle (1961 with Janet Blair and Peter Wyngarde)

UK / 1961

Director: Sidney Hayers
Writer: Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson from Fritz Leiber’s Conjure Wife

Cast: Margaret Johnston, Janet Blair, Peter Wyngarde, Anthony Nicholls, Reginald Beckwith

Released in America with the somewhat less ambigious title of Burn, Witch, Burn, Peter Wyngarde plays a hard-headed psychology lecturer who slowly begins to realise that his wife Janet Blair is involved with a local campus witchcraft ring and has to begin to assess his own rational and beliefs.

Dave Pirie, reviewing the film for Time Out, wrote, “From the opening sequences where Blair scrambles frantically around her house searching for a witch doll left by one of the faculty wives, the whole thing takes off into a joyous amalgam of Rosemary’s Baby and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?… [the script is] structured with incredible tightness as the sane, rational outlook of the hero is gradually dislocated by the world of madness and dreams.”

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