John Updike’s The Witches of Eastwick has become one of the author’s most popular books over the past decade, and maybe that’s because the 1987 film version has become a bit of a coven classic. Yesterday another list of top witch movies included the Eastwick bunch.
“The magic of Witch Movies: A Look at the best films about Witches,” by Deepak Kumar, was posted June 3, 2023 on the Fansided website. The George Miller-directed film was the fourth one listed, after The Witch (2015), The Craft (1996), and Hocus Pocus (1993). Of the film, Kumar wrote, “The Witches of Eastwick is a dark fantasy-comedy film released in 1987. Based on the novel by John Updike, the story is set in the fictional town of Eastwick, Rhode Island and centers around three women who unexpectedly discover they possess supernatural powers.” By getting divorced, one might add.
The film had plenty of star power, with Jack Nicholson as Daryl Van Horne, Cher as Alexandra Medford, Susan Sarandon as Jane Spofford, and Michelle Pfeiffer as Sukie Ridgemont. Future Best Actor Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins played Clyde Alden, editor of the local newspaper. Though it didn’t wow critics or audiences, The Witches of Eastwick received Oscar nominations for Best Sound and Best Original Score (John Williams). And it won a BAFTA for Best Special Effects.
If you visit The John Updike Childhood Home in Shillington, Pa., look for The Witches of Eastwick original theater poster. Nearby, in a case that also contains items related to Updike’s appearance on The Simpsons, will be a concert program used as a prop in the film.