Over the years, we have seen a whole host of witches hit the big screen starring in animation movies, blockbusters, comedies and book adaptations. While we do meet a good witch every now and again, nine times out of ten, the witches in films are there to spread evil and wreak havoc.

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

We are going to see more witches on the big screen this week as Vin Diesel is sent to destroy them in The Last Witch Hunter, which also stars Michael Caine, Rose Leslie, and Elijah Wood.

To celebrate the release of the film, we take a look back at some of cinema's best and most memorable witches.

- The Wicked Witch of the West - The Wizard of Oz

When it comes to movie witches, The Wicked Witch of the West is the most iconic and saw actress Margaret Hamilton deliver a performance for which she will always be remembered.

It was back in 1939 when Hamilton terrified audiences for the first time as the Wicked Witch of the West with her cackle and an army of winged monkeys.

The Wicked Witch of the West wants revenge against Dorothy for dropping a house on her sister and tries to set the Scarecrow on fire... it was by trying to put the Scarecrow out that Dorothy discovered the witch's weakness.

Margaret Hamilton created one of cinema's greatest movie villains and The Wicked Witch of the West remains one of the best cinema witches of all time.

The Wicked Witch of the West was a huge part of The Wizard of Oz, which is widely regarded as one of the greatest movies of all time. At the time, it was a mix of wonderful story-telling and cutting edge technology and it is a film that still looks fantastic today.

The Wizard of Oz

- The Grand High Witch - The Witches

We have seen a whole host of Roald Dahl books adapted for the big screen over the years and in 1990 it was the turn of The Witches, which was directed by Nicolas Roeg.

We love Anjelica Huston here at FemaleFirst and she delivers a wonderfully devilish performance as Miss Eva Ernst aka the Grand High Witch. She may look lovely on the outside, but she turns into a right old hag when she shows her true colours at a witch convention.

Her plan, is to get rid of all of Britain's children and turn them into mice - Luke and his grandmother are leading the charge to stop them.

The Grand High Witch is a terrifying character to behold and the make-up/prosthetics for this character really are just wonderful. The movie stays faithful to the creepiness of the Dahl book and it really is a very enjoyable adaptation.

Huston really does get into the swing of the character and delivers a performance that is wild and slightly OTT - she really is wonderful from start to finish.

The Witches

- Bellatrix Lestrange - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Just about every British actor appeared in the Harry Potter franchise and Helena Bonham Carter was just one of the famous faces that you had to spot throughout the series.

Bonham Carter joined the franchise for the first time in Order of the Phoenix as Bellatrix Lestrange and went on to appear in Half-Blood Prince and both Deathly Hallows movies.

Bonham Carter looked fantastic in her leather-clad costume but she was a witch with a rather sadistic side and wasn't not fazed by a little murder.

It is a great eccentric performance from Bonham Carter with a mean and dark streak that the actress captures perfectly. The torture of Hermione is one of evilest moments.

Harry Potter is a franchise that is packed with great witches and it has gone on to become one of the most successful film franchises of all time.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

- Madam Mim - The Sword in the Stone

I love a good Disney movie and one of the most memorable witches comes in the form of Madam Mim in The Sword in the Stone. It was back in 1963 when The Sword in the Stone hit the big screen and it was eighteenth feature film from the studio.

The movie is based on the novel of the same name by T.H. White and follows twelve year old Arthur as he finds himself being tutored by wizard Merlin.

Madam Mim is a black witch, the nemesis of Merlin and voiced by actress Martha Wentworth. Merlin and Mim don't meet until the end of the film, when the wizard tries to protect Arthur from the witch.

The pair transform into different animals during their dual until Merlin become a germ and infects Mim - she ends up with a chicken-pox like disease and Merlin wins the dual.

Madam Mim is one of the film's most colourful characters and her dual with Merlin towards the end of the film is one of the best moments - it is also great to see Merlin challenged by someone who is equal to him.

The Sword in the Stone

- Winnie, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson - Hocus Pocus

Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker joined forces in 1993 as they took on the roles of sisters Winnie, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson in fantasy/comedy Hocus Pocus.

The sister were captured and killed by the people of Salem for witchcraft but vow to return three hundred years later. When they are resurrected by a teenager, the trio wreak havoc on the town that condemned them.

Hocus Pocus is a movie that really is a lot of fun and it is clear that Midler, Najimy and Parker are having the time of their lives in the roles of Winnie, Mary, and Sarah.

Of course, the movie is terribly silly but there is a classic Disney feel to it. There is a real charm to the central characters of Winnie, Mary, and Sarah and their performance of 'I Put a Spell on You' is unforgettable.

Hocus Pocus

- Lamia, Dark Queen of the Witches - Stardust

Director Matthew Vaughn turned his back on the gangster genre in 2007 as he brought adventure film Stardust to the big screen. The movie was a mix of fallen stars, pirates and witches and saw Michelle Pfeiffer take on the role of Lamia, the Dark Queen of Witches.

Lamia is in the hunt for a fallen star, whose heart with give her and her sisters eternal youth. However, Lamia is not the only one looking to claim the star for themselves.

Pfeiffer goes on a journey from beautiful woman to ugly witch as her looks start to disappear the more magic that she uses - she really does undergo a wonderful physical transformation in the film.

She gives one of the best performances in the film and it is great to see her take on a villainous role - it is not often that we see her take on these parts.

Stardust is a great fantasy movies in recent years that is packed with some great and incredibly interesting characters that are brought to life by some big named actors.


Other great witches include Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series), Alexandra Medford, Jane Spofford and Sukie Ridgemont from The Witches of Eastwick, and Glinda the Good Witch of the North from The Wizard of Oz.

The Last Witch Hunter is out now.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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