Joan Mitchell is an alienated suburban housewife pushing 40, who has a boorish businessman husband and a distant, distracted 19-year-old daughter whose, on the verge of moving out of the house. Frustrated at her current situation, Joan seeks solace in witchcraft after visiting Marion Hamilton, a local tarot reader and leader of a secret black arts wicca sect, who inspires Joan to follow her own path. After dabbling a little in witchcraft, Joan, believing herself to have become a real witch, withdraws into a fantasy world and sinks deeper and deeper into her new lifestyle until the line between fantasy and reality becomes blurred and eventually tragedy results.Written by
According to the making-of featurette "Digging Up the Dead: The 'Lost' Films of George A. Romero," when Joan Mitchell, Jan White, said the line "I'm a witch" during filming, the overhead ceiling cracked. Romero attributed this to heat from the lights, but said that some people on set were a little spooked by it. See more »
When Joan copies the Lord's Prayer backwards from the Bible, it is the King James version, even though she and her husband are Catholic. While any Catholic owning a Bible in that era (not a very common occurrence apart from scholars) would have a Douay version, the elaborate, antique nature of the book suggests it may have been one of her recent purchases at the antique store where she bought the rest of her witchcraft paraphernalia. See more »
[Joan is buying items in an antique shop]
So, you're a witch?
Chalice, herbals, knives, they're all witches' tools, you know.
Oh, I'm just interested in it.
You're kidding! I mean, I was just kidding.
Well, I'm just interested in it.
Hey, that is really great.
See more »
Originally filmed and released in 1971 under the title "Hungry Wives" which ran at 130 minutes, the movie was re-edited for foreign distribution and re-released as "Jack's Wife" a year later, running at 104 minutes. In response to George A. Romero's successful release of "Creepshow" in 1982, "Jack's Wife" was released on home video as "Season of the Witch" with the running time trimmed further to 89 minutes. The current video version runs 104 minutes which is the original overseas version titled "Jack's Wife." See more »
How in the Hell can someone have so many opinions without ever having done anything?
In the years between his legendary "Night of the Living Dead" and his outbreak thriller "The Crazies", filmmaker George A. Romero was actually trying NOT to get pigeonholed as a horror director. This is one of his efforts from that era. It's not for hardcore horror fans; other than a few nightmare sequences, it barely flirts with that genre. It's more of a sometimes arty, sometimes exploitative drama about a suburban housewife named Joan Mitchell (Jan White). Rather dissatisfied with her lot in life, she begins to think about things such as extramarital sex, and the idea of dabbling in the occult.
The performances are better than one might expect for such an independent, regional production. Romero uses his script as a set-up for exploring themes such as self esteem & self expression, female oppression, and the generation gap. For a while, it's likely to cause some audience members to be regularly checking their watches, as it rambles on at too deliberate a pace. It begins to maintain interest more consistently after the one hour mark. Regarding its artistic ambitions, Romero does seem to be enjoying himself coming up with those dream sequences. And in terms of exploitative elements, there is nudity both female and male, but never very much violence or gore.
"Hungry Wives" is fairly serious, but not totally without humor. Fans of the directors' output may want to see it for completions' sake, but it's not going to be for every taste.
Six out of 10.
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