Night of the Eagle

Made on a comparatively low budget and adapted from Fritz Leiber's novel Conjure Wife, this is about a hardheaded psychology lecturer in a provincial university who gradually discovers that his wife Tanzie and some of his closest colleagues are practising witchcraft (in furtherance of campus politics). From the opening sequences in which Tanzie (Blair) scrambles frantically round her house searching for a witch-doll left by one of the faculty wives, the whole thing takes off into a kind of joyous amalgam of Rosemary's Baby and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? There are one or two irritations in the phony Americanised look of the college students, and in the miscasting of Janet Blair; but 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 as the sane, rational outlook of the hero (Wyngarde) is gradually dislocated by the world of madness and dreams.

Release details

Duration: 87 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Sidney Hayers
Screenwriter: Charles Beaumont, Richard Matheson, George Baxt
Cast: Janet Blair
Peter Wyngarde
Margaret Johnston
Kathleen Byron
Anthony Nicholls
Colin Gordon
Reginald Beckwith
Norman Bird
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