12 Amazing Facts You Probably Never Knew About The Witches!

The Witches took one of Roald Dahl’s best-loved, and certainly one of his darkest, books and turned it in to an equally dark film, following the story of a young boy who loses his parents and spends the rest of his youth with his loving Nana, who knows a thing or two about real witches! Let’s take a look back at the film with some facts about The Witches you may not have known…

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1. The make-up took time

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To transform Anjelica Huston in to the Grand High Witch, it took the make-up artists 8 hours to apply all of the make-up and effects!

2. It was a last for one big name

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The Witches was the last feature film that the late, great Jim Henson, personally oversaw himself!

3. The author wasn’t happy

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After seeing the film, Roald Dahl told the producers how appalled he was by “the vulgarity”, “the bad taste” and the “actual terror” seen in some of the scenes of the film.

4. He didn’t want anything to do with it

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After seeing the film and telling the producers of his unhappiness with the finished product, Roald Dahl even went as far as demanding his name be removed from the film and the film’s name be changed!

5. One man turned this around

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Following Dahl’s demands, Jim Henson personally wrote a complimentary, and apologetic letter to Roald Dahl, following which Dahl grudgingly changed his mind.

6. It has a different title in Germany

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The German release of the film saw the film re-titled “Hexen Hexen”, which translates as Witches Practice Witchcraft!

7. It should have been released earlier

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The Witches should have been released in 1989, but the theatrical division of Lorimar Productions folded and it looked like the film might not see he light of day!

8. They were bailed out

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Warner Bros. agreed to buy the rights to the film and release it, but ended up shelving the movie for a year before they finally released it in cinemas.

9. Jim Henson never saw the UK release

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Jim Henson sadly passed away on May 16th 1990, and The Witches was released shortly after on 25th May, 1990 meaning he missed the release by less than a fortnight!

10. It was one actor’s only role

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Charlie Potter, who plays Bruno Jenkins in the film, didn’t ever appear in any other productions, instead going on to become a barrister!

11. The hotel manager was based on another famous hotelier

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Rowan Atkinson based his performance as the hotel manager in The Witches on John Cleese’s performance as Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers, as John Cleese is one of Atkinson’s idols.

12. Huston was a good choice

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Roald Dahl insisted he would never interfere with casting again after he didn’t get his first choice of Spike Milligan for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but he was thrilled when Anjelica Huston was cast as the Gran High Witch as she was who he personally wanted to star in the role.

Were you a fan of The Witches movie, and how does it compare for you to the book? Do you think this is ready for a big-budget remake like The BFG has seen? Let us know all of your thoughts in the comments as always!