Here’s one poll that might have amused John Updike: the Jacksonville (Ill.) Journal-Courier asked readers to vote on their must-see films for Halloween, and, wouldn’t you know it, the cinematic adaptation of Updike’s novel The Witches of Eastwick made the list. That’s no doubt because of Jack Nicholson’s over-the-top performance as Darryl Van Horne and director George Miller’s decision to go Beetlejuice wild with Updike’s story of three divorcees in a small New England town where sexual politics and witchy mischief take center stage.
The 1987 Warner Bros. film starred Cher as Alexandra, Susan Sarandon as Jane, and Michelle Pfeiffer as Sukie, with Veronica Cartwright playing Felicia and Richard Jenkins playing Clyde.
Editor David C.L. Bauer said that readers could choose from a list of “100 movies of all genres or add their own.” The Witches of Eastwick was the second film cited in the article, right after It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and ahead of The Ring, Coraline, Fright Night, Goosebumps, Evil Dead, Young Frankenstein, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Hocus Pocus.
Rotten Tomatoes critics weren’t quite as enthusiastic. Sixty-six percent of the critics who saw the film thought it was “fresh” and merited a 6 out of 10 or better.
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