The Witches (1990) Poster


Mai Zetterling: Helga



  • Helga : Real witches are very cruel, and they have a highly developed sense of smell. A real witch could smell you across the street on a pitch-black night.

    Luke : She couldn't smell me. I've just had a shower.

    Helga : Oh yes, she could. The cleaner you are, the more a witch can smell you.

    Luke : That doesn't make sense.

    Helga : Oh, yes it does. A dirty child, it is the dirt she smells. A clean child, it is the child.

    Luke : Wow. I'll never have a shower again, and I'll have you for an excuse.

    Helga : Well, just not often. Only once a month is probably safe.

    Luke : So a witch could smell me right now?

    Helga : To me you smell of raspberries and cream. But to a witch, you would smell absolutely disgusting.

    Luke : What kind of disgusting?

    Helga : Like... dog's droppings.

    Luke : I don't believe it.

    Helga : You don't believe it? What's more, to a witch you would smell of FRESH dog's droppings.

  • [the Grand High Witch is transforming into a mouse] 

    Grand High Witch : I'm not finished with you yet, old woman... Next time...

    Helga : No. Not next time. This time, it's *your* turn!

  • Luke : So if no one's seen the Grand High Witch, how are you sure she exists?

    Helga : [she looks at him]  Nobody's ever seen the Devil, but we know He exists, don't we?

    Luke : Yes.

    Helga : For all you know, a witch might be living next door to you.

  • [first lines] 

    Helga : When your father was a boy like you, and living with me here in Norway, I told him about witches too, so that he would always be aware. Now, the most important thing you should know about real witches is this - now listen very carefully! Real witches dress in ordinary clothes, and look very much like ordinary women. They live in ordinary houses, and they work in ordinary jobs.

  • Helga : Oh, how I love English hotel teas! Cream cakes, and shortbread, and...

    Luke : No grandma.

    Helga , Luke : No cream cakes.

    Helga : And no shortbread either; it's full of sugar. Soon I will be eating the same diet as your mice.

  • Helga : Witches spend their time plotting to kill children, stalking the wretched child like a hunter stalks a bird in the forest.

    Luke : Did they hunt you?

    [she shows him her right hand with a missing finger] 

    Luke : You said it was an accident...

    Helga : A very unpleasant accident.

  • Mr. Stringer : I'm sorry, madam, but I cannot permit mice in my hotel.

    Helga : How dare you say that when your rotten hotel is full of rats anyway?

    Mr. Stringer : Rats? There are no rats in this hotel!

    Helga : I saw one this morning running along the corridor, into the kitchens.

    Mr. Stringer : Madam, you only arrived in the hotel this afternoon.

    Helga : [scoffs]  Morning, afternoon, I saw a rat in your hotel, and if matters do not improve, I shall have to report you to the public health authorities.

    Mr. Stringer : Look, madam, I'm not prepared...

    Luke : The cakes in the lounge are nibbled around the edges, too. I can show you.

    Helga : If you are not careful, the health people will order the whole hotel closed before everyone gets typhoid fever.

    Mr. Stringer : You can't be serious, madam!

    Helga : I have never been more serious in my life. Now - will you or will you not let my grandchild keep his hygienic and perfectly harmless pet mice?

  • [Helga stops Mr. Jenkins for eating the soup] 

    Helga : Don't touch it!

    Mr. Jenkins : I told you she was a loony. She's an absolute nutter!

    [She tooks the plate the spills the soup] 

    Mr. Jenkins : Look at my bloody soup! All that stuff about Bruno!

    Helga : Bruno has been turned into...

    Mr. Jenkins : He has NOT been turned into a...

    [notices that Bruno is a mouse] 

    Bruno Jenkins : Yes, I have! Hello, dad!

    [Mrs. Jenkins notices that her son is a mouse, screaming and faints] 

See also

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