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  1. #1
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    A couple of days ago, even though I already have the much superior video release with its brighter image and louder sound, I bought the DVD of WITCHFINDER GENERAL, especially because it contains the original two and a half minute trailer of the film from 1968.



    I am almost certain that the voice-over on the trailer is that of Duncan Carse, the famous British arctic explorer and actor who was once the voice of Dick Barton on BBC radio and who passed away last month at the age of 90.



    Now, I’ve heard and seen him on many radio and television programmes going back to the 1950’s, but I can’t recall him ever doing a voice-over on a trailer before except for this one…if it is him. Does anyone know if it is him?



    [ 16. June 2004, 20:25: Message edited by: DB7 ]

  2. #2
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    Im curious to know, how well does this film represent what Matthew Hopkins really got up to in the middle of the English Civil War? or is it pure fiction but based on a real person?

  3. #3
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    Quite close to the truth with cinematograph licence. The main characters all existed in reality.

  4. #4
    Member Country: UK Ealingfilmfan's Avatar
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    Alas she was innocent...........:-)

  5. #5
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    I never understood the appeal of this movie which was surprisingly conventional.



    In the book the Witchfinder does the dirty on the vicar's daughter, so her fiance (later husband) tracks him down and strings him up. Then the lad goes home to his girl with a definite air of a job well done.



    The movie ends on a similar line but a much different note. In the film the girl gets terribly upset because her husband has clocked the Witchfinder with an axe and there is a definite sense of hubby being crazed with guilt. It was all very 1960s peace and love and violence like, breeds violence man.



    You are better off with the book

  6. #6
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    This movie was released (heavily cut) in the USA under the title "The Conqueror Worm" (?????)



    How does one morph from "Witchfinder General" To "Conqueror Worm"?



    Must be witchcraft !

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merryowen
    The movie ends on a similar line but a much different note. In the film the girl gets terribly upset because her husband has clocked the Witchfinder with an axe and there is a definite sense of hubby being crazed with guilt. It was all very 1960s peace and love and violence like, breeds violence man.
    Blimey. I'll have to watch this one again. I remembered it as ending with it becoming evident that the girl had been driven insane and the 'hero' realised that his rescuing was all for naught because his Love was lost anyhow....... very downbeat and hopeless I thought and all the more impressive for that.




  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moor Larkin
    Blimey. I'll have to watch this one again. I remembered it as ending with it becoming evident that the girl had been driven insane and the 'hero' realised that his rescuing was all for naught because his Love was lost anyhow....... very downbeat and hopeless I thought and all the more impressive for that.



    The reallity is, is that this bloody awful man may have died of consumption OR that he was charged with witchcraft and 'floated'. 2 different endings and both deserved!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: England
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    Quote Originally Posted by NappieB
    This movie was released (heavily cut) in the USA under the title "The Conqueror Worm" (?????)

    How does one morph from "Witchfinder General" To "Conqueror Worm"?
    'The Conqueror Worm' is the name of a poem by Edgar Allen Poe which is much better known in the USA than here. I would imagine that the title of the film was changed to this so that people in America would think it was one of Vincent Price's Poe adaptations.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moor Larkin
    Blimey. I'll have to watch this one again. I remembered it as ending with it becoming evident that the girl had been driven insane and the 'hero' realised that his rescuing was all for naught because his Love was lost anyhow....... very downbeat and hopeless I thought and all the more impressive for that.



    Whatever



    The point is that the movie took Ronald Bassett's hardcase, useful bloke in a tight spot type hero, and turned him into a late 60s, pass the museli and then lets call a house meeting and talk through the experience style hippy.



    Good book, crap movie

  11. #11
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    Watching witchfinder general on tv i noticed some scenes of very poor picture quality (such as preist's back torture) and the scene would cut away to as the film was iingood quality - why was this? it was very noticeable

    Also why does the witchfinder go on business in another town and travels on his horse but curiuosly also with a mule and then returns with it

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: England DocRobertPepper's Avatar
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    The scenes of very poor picture quality are the parts that have been reinstated from the original cut

    the scenes where cut by the censor so they where lost

    so theses are the best they could get hold of



    no idea about the donkey

  13. #13
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    I think the donkey was a close freind of the horse and 'blagged' its way walk on part.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocRobertPepper
    The scenes of very poor picture quality are the parts that have been reinstated from the original cut

    the scenes where cut by the censor so they where lost

    so theses are the best they could get hold of
    This was true when the British DVD was released some years ago. But since, another DVD has been released, in France - but with the English soundtrack, and the French subs are removable - and this version is absolutely perfect from beginning to end. Apparently it was made from a print that was never cut.

    This DVD is easily found on Amazon.fr, just type "Le grand inquisiteur". The publisher's name is NEO.



    I have made comparizon with the previous DVD and it's like night and day. The only difference is that the "nude breasts" shots aren't in this French DVD - but remember, these inserts weren't directed by Michael Reeves, they were specifically for the US version. The French DVD contains the clothed version, the one directed by Michael Reeves. And (of course) it's also the original Paul Ferris music, not the atrocity contained in the US videos since many years...

  15. #15
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    I always thought the donkey was used as the proverbial " beast of burden" to carry supplies, camping equipment and the occasional hapless suspect.

  16. #16
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    The U.S. release titled The Conquerer Worm is supposedly longer, perhaps someone can enlighten us.D

  17. #17
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HIPPIEDAVE
    The U.S. release titled The Conquerer Worm is supposedly longer, perhaps someone can enlighten us.D
    The IMDb Alternate Versions page gives details of a few cuts and other variations. The main one seems to be that the American version titled The Conqueror Worm has an extra section with a reading from the Edgar Allen Poe poem of that name.



    First releases of the British version also had a few scenes cut although they've been restored on DVD releases



    Steve

  18. #18
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    I was the person responsible for the restoration - it's a long story. Will post details tomorrow as I'm on my way off to the NFT now.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook
    The IMDb Alternate Versions page gives details of a few cuts and other variations. The main one seems to be that the American version titled The Conqueror Worm has an extra section with a reading from the Edgar Allen Poe poem of that name.


    I think this was the version shown during the recent BSoF season but like The Wicker Man the added scenes are of very poor quality. IIRC, Ogilvy stabbing Price over and over again was one.

  20. #20
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    I have the R1 MGM disk and it is of excellent quality - all of the reinserted censored shots in the UK disk are of perfect quality in the R1 disk. It's very cheap on Amazon so if you have a multi-regional DVD player it should be a must.



    Note that it only has the UK print, not the alternate Contintenal version that appears on the Mterodome UK DVD.

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