Night of the Eagle (Burn, Witch, Burn! ) (1962)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Night of the Eagle was the second film version of Fritz Leiber Jr.'s Conjure Wife (the first was Weird Woman, perhaps the best of Universal's low-budget "Inner Sanctum" series of the 1940s). The film's title was possibly meant to invoke memories of the earlier Night of the Demon (58); both films involve a rational scientist (in the case of Night of the Eagle, Peter Wyngarde) forced to accept the existence of the supernatural. All evidence points to the conclusion that the scientist's American wife Janet Blair is the reincarnation of a witch, and a practitioner of voodoo. The actual villain is supposed to be a mystery, though the identity was made clear in the Leiber original and in both other film versions of Conjure Wife (there was a 1980 parody version titled Witches Brew). The supernatural aspect of Night of the Eagle is convincingly handled, including a knockout sequence with a wild eagle rampaging through the scientist's tranquil study. Adapted by Twilight Zone stalwarts Richard Matheson and Charles Beaumont, the British-made Night of the Eagle was released in the US as Burn, Witch, Burn. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
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as Evelyn Sawtelle
as Harold Gunnison
as Hilda Gunnison
as Margaret Abbott
as Fred Jennings
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Critic Reviews for Night of the Eagle (Burn, Witch, Burn! )
Sidney Hayers shoots the whole thing with an almost Wellesian flourish, and the script (by Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson) is structured with incredible tightness.
The majority of Sidney Hayers' career would be spent as a journeyman director for American television -- his countless credits include Galactica 1980 and Acapulco H.E.A.T. -- but he provides the right measure of sustained menace for this impressive film.
An odd, stylish, and completely absorbing witchcraft-in-the-suburbs oddity that puts hexes into the hands of academics and university wives.
For protection, American threater-goers were given a special pack of salt and words to an ancient incantation during the showing of this oddball, scary tale.
Audience Reviews for Night of the Eagle (Burn, Witch, Burn! )
An admirable rendition of Fritz Leiber's 1943 novel, Conjure Wife. Tangibly atmospheric and delightfully spooky.
an underseen 60s thriller from britain with terrific atmosphere and intelligent script. like 'night of the demon,' which the title is apparently meant to recall, the film involves a skeptical scientist's confrontation with supernatural powers... in this case, in the shape of his own wife. great use of minimal special effects in the rampaging eagle scene
Overall I found this film watchable, though it never fully blew my skirt up, y'know? The idea of a wife secretly protecting she and her husband with witchcraft is entertaining, but a lot of the set-ups for calamity left me wanting more, so perhaps my expectations are what let me down with this one.
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