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Film / I Married a Witch

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I Married a Witch is a 1942 romantic comedy-fantasy film directed by Rene Clair, starring Fredric March and Veronica Lake. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music, and was said to have inspired the popular television show Bewitched.

For generations, the men of the Wooley family (all played by March) have married henpecking wives. This is because centuries before, a witch called Jennifer (Lake) cursed Jonathan Wooley's (March) family to "marry the wrong woman" before being burned at the stake with her father Daniel after Wooley accused her.

Centuries later in the present day [1942], the tree that Daniel and Jennifer's ashes are buried under is hit by lightning, awakening their spirits and becoming human again. The two soon meet the latest Wooley to fall under their curse: Wallace (March), who is engaged to a shrew called Estelle (Susan Hayward) and running for governor. For her own amusement, Jennifer decides to trick Wallace into becoming attracted to her by drugging him with a love potion, however, through a mix-up, she falls into her own trap and drinks the potion instead.

Hilarity Ensues.


  • The Alcoholic: Daniel, whose choice of hiding place while in his smoke form is any convenient bottle of alcohol.
  • Alliterative Name: Wallace Wooley has one.
  • Anachronism Stew: A vendor sells "popped maize" at the burning of Jennifer and Daniel. While popcorn does have a rather long history, American colonists did not eat it.
  • Big Eater: Jennifer eats her way through three batches of waffles her first morning after regaining a body.
  • Boy Meets Ghoul: Ordinary guy paired up with nearly 300,000-year-old witch.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Daniel punishes Jennifer for helping Wally by taking away her powers.
  • Burn the Witch!: The burning has just been completed when the film starts. (In Real Life, all the witches executed in Massachusetts were hanged.)
  • Curse: "Each Wooley must marry the wrong woman."
  • Flying Broomstick: Jennifer makes frequent use of one.
  • Genie in a Bottle: Jennifer defeats her father by luring him into a bottle of liquor and corking it.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: Jennifer crafts a love potion for Wally but winds up accidentally drinking it herself. Jennifer starts helping Wally against Daniel after she drinks the potion.
  • Hoist By Her Own Petard: Jennifer tries to slip Wally a love potion to make him fall for her simply to screw with his life, but after she's knocked out by a falling picture, Wally, thinking it's just a glass of water, gives her the potion and she winds up falling for him.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Daniel, understandable since he usually only sings when he's drunk.
  • Hot Witch: Veronica Lake, at the height of her sexiness, in a lot of tight dresses. Yup.
  • Identical Grandson: March plays five generations of Wooleys.
  • Info Dump: Jennifer's cursing of Jonathan isn't shown, but told by Jonathan to his mother.
  • Irony: Jennifer lost her old body after she and her father were burned by pilgrims, and gained a new one after the Pilgrim Hotel was burned by her father.
  • Landslide Election: Wally's campaign for governor ends with Jennifer using her magic to make every voter in the state, including Wally's opponent, vote for Wally in the gubernatorial election. A horrified Wally realizes that she wasn't kidding about being a witch.
    Wally: What if she runs me for President?
  • Love Potion: Jennifer prepares one for Wally. But after a portrait of Jonathan Wooley falls off the wall (due to her magic) and hits her on the head, stunning her, Wally gives her the potion to drink.
  • Magic Music: Jennifer and Daniel sing an incantation while brewing the love potion.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Although her original intent was to screw with him and break his heart, after she drinks the potion Jennifer becomes this.
  • Meet Cute: Wally hears Jennifer's cries from a burning building (the fire is necessary for her to take mortal form). He goes in to save her, only to find that she is 1) naked and 2) pretty unconcerned about the building burning down.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Veronica Lake, even more than usual. The skin-tight, nearly see-through dress she's wearing when she drinks the potion was as racy as it got in the 1940s.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: The woman singing "I Love You Truly" at the wedding of Wally and Estelle never gets to finish.
  • Naked on Arrival: Originally Jennifer and Daniel are spirits in the form of wisps of smoke. When her father creates a human body for her, Jennifer is naked, much to Wally's surprise.
  • Not My Driver: Wally thinks that his regular cabbie is driving them away—but it's really Daniel, who is determined to destroy the romance.
  • Oh, Crap!: After Jennifer reunites with Wally and encases Daniel's soul, Jennifer smiles and tells Wally that their problems are over. Then, she makes a worried expression, and adds, " least for the present!" The Babies Ever After epilogue makes Jennifer's fears seem possibly justified, by hinting that one of the three children she and Wally eventually have might become a witch herself.
  • The Power of Love: As Jennifer puts it, "Love is stronger than witchcraft." When Daniel tries to punish Jennifer for falling for Wally, her love for Wally saves her soul from becoming again trapped in the tree.
  • Progressive Era Montage: After Jonathan's description of the curse, the movie shows a few of the unhappy marriages that his descendants experienced.
  • Title Drop: From Wally after he realizes Jennifer really is a witch.
  • What If the Baby Is Like Me: As Jennifer prepares to marry Wally, the wife of the Justice of the Peace tells her that hopefully she and Wally will have sons was handsome as him, and daughters as beautiful as her. This makes Jennifer realize that they could possibly have a witchy daughter, and subsequently decide to out herself to Wally.