I Married a Witch (1942)
Frequently Asked Questions
Back in 1672, when people still believed in witches, Jonathan Wooley (Fredric March) denounced Jennifer (Veronica Lake) as a witch. Just before she and her father Daniel (Cecil Kellaway) were burned as witches, Jennifer cursed Wooley and all of his descendents such that they are doomed always to be unhappy in love and to marry the wrong people. Jennifer and Daniel's ashes were then buried under an oak tree in order to prevent them from ever escaping their graves. Two hundred and seventy (270) years later, lightning splits the oak tree in half, releasing Jennifer and her father. Jennifer sets out to torment Jonathan Wooley's descendent, Wallace Wooley (also played by Fredric March), who is running for governor and about to be married to the ill-tempered Estelle Masterson (Susan Hayward), whose father (Robert Warwick) is one of Wallace Wooley's chief political backers.
I Married a Witch is based on The Passionate Witch, a novel begun by American fiction writer James Thorne Smith, Jr [1892-1932], finished by Norman H. Matson, and published posthumously in 1941. The novel was adapted for the movie by American screenwriter Robert Pirosh and American playwright Marc Connelly. It is rumored (but unconfirmed) that I Married a Witch, along with the 1958 movie Bell Book and Candle (1958), provided the inspiration for the popular TV series 'Bewitched (1964)' (1964-1972).
Jennifer claims to be 290 years old but, since she's been imprisoned in the oak tree for 270 years, she still looks like she's 20.
To punish her for revealing that she is a witch, Daniel takes away Jennifer's powers and announces that he's going to confine her at midnight in the tree from whence they came. Jennifer and Wallace try to run away, but Daniel catches up with them. As they swear their undying love for each other, the clock begins to chime the midnight hour, and Jennifer goes limp in Wallace's arms. Having regained her witch powers, Jennifer and Daniel return to their smoke states and travel back to Wallace's house to watch him suffer as he pines over Jennifer's body. Daniel takes up residence in a bottle of booze, becoming more and more inebriated ('but tomorrow I'll be sober'). Wallace kisses Jennifer one last time, and she returns into her body. The first thing she does is to cork the bottle of booze, trapping Daniel inside. The final scene takes place seven years later. Jennifer is knitting, and Wallace is sitting on the couch reading to their two younger children. The housekeeper comes in to complain about their eldest daughter, who enters the room astride a broom. Daniel can be heard singing 'Good night ladies,' from his bottle, still corked and double padlocked away.