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Episode 2205

Witchfinder General (film)
Fri, 2023-May-19 00:17 UTC
Length - 2:50

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Friday, 19 May 2023 is Witchfinder General (film).

Witchfinder General (titled onscreen as Matthew Hopkins: Witchfinder General) is a 1968 British period horror film directed by Michael Reeves and starring Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy, Hilary Dwyer, Robert Russell and Rupert Davies. The screenplay, by Reeves and Tom Baker, was based on Ronald Bassett's novel Witchfinder General. The film is a heavily fictionalised account of the murderous witch-hunting exploits of Matthew Hopkins (Price), a lawyer who falsely claimed to have been appointed as a "Witch Finder Generall" by Parliament during the English Civil War to root out sorcery and witchcraft. The plot follows Roundhead soldier Richard Marshall (Ogilvy), who relentlessly pursues Hopkins and his assistant John Stearne (Russell) after they prey on his fiancée Sara (Dwyer) and execute her priestly uncle John Lowes (Davies).

Made on a low budget of under £100,000, the film was produced by Tigon British Film Productions. In the United States, where it was distributed by American International Pictures (AIP), Witchfinder General was retitled The Conqueror Worm (titled onscreen as Matthew Hopkins: Conqueror Worm) by AIP to link it with their earlier series of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations directed by Roger Corman and starring Price; because its narrative bears no relation to any of Poe's stories, American prints book-end the film with his poem "The Conqueror Worm" being read through Price's narration.

Witchfinder General eventually developed into a cult film, partially attributable to Reeves's 1969 death from an alcohol and barbiturate overdose at the age of 25 and nine months after its release. Several prominent critics have championed the film, including Tim Lucas, J. Hoberman, Danny Peary, Robin Wood and Derek Malcolm; their praise has highlighted its direction, performances, and musical score by Paul Ferris. In 2005, the magazine Total Film named Witchfinder General the 15th-greatest horror film of all time.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:17 UTC on Friday, 19 May 2023.

For the full current version of the article, see Witchfinder General (film) on Wikipedia.

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