The Witches Of Eastwick

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Details At A Glance

Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 1
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1987 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 113 minutes Other Extras Cast & Crew Biographies
Production Notes
Isolated Music Score
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 4 Director George Miller

Warner Brothers
Starring Jack Nicholson
Susan Sarandon
Michelle Pfeiffer
Veronica Cartwright
RRP $29.95 Music John Williams

Pan & Scan/Full Frame No MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Isolated Music Score (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 2.35:1    
Macrovision ?    
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired

Plot Synopsis

    The Witches of Eastwick is a wicked comedy from director George Miller. The story is based around three women in the town of Eastwick - Alexandra Medford (Cher), Jane Spoffard (Susan Sarandon) and Sukie Ridgemont (Michelle Pfeiffer). They all fervently wish for a man better than the locals on offer.

    The next day, Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson) arrives (what's that name again?). He seems to know exactly what each woman wants and needs. Consequently, his and their needs are met ("I'm just your average, horny little devil"). It slowly becomes apparent that Daryl is not such a nice person, and when one of the locals dies in very mysterious circumstances, the girls decide it is time to rid the town of Old Nick.

    Other than sagging a little in the middle, this movie kept me entertained, engrossed and amused all of the way through. Jack Nicholson is absolutely perfectly cast, as are the three ladies.

Transfer Quality


    This is an 11 year old movie, and it shows.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced. Subtitles default to ON with this disc.

    The transfer was blurry and unclear much of the time. This was not severe, but it was clear that this was an older movie. Long shots in particular were affected, with people's distant heads being very hard to make out. This improved after the first 30 minutes of the movie. Shadow detail was somewhat lacking, but still acceptable. No low level noise was apparent.

    The colours were variably rendered throughout the movie, and sometimes variable within the one scene. Generally, they were fine, but at times tended to be a little oversaturated, particularly in lower lit sequences.

    No MPEG artefacts were noted. Aliasing was present in a number of scenes, and the usual culprits were responsible. This was always at an acceptable level, though it certainly was not as well-controlled as in more recent transfers. I also noted some moiré artefacts on Daryl's hat and on the camcorder playback images, but these were not severe.

    Film weave and telecine wobble are occasionally present, particularly during the opening titles.

    Film artefacts were frequent during the early part of the film, but they settled down as time passed.


    There are two audio tracks on this DVD, the default English Dolby Digital 5.1, and an alternative Isolated Music Score, in Dolby Digital 5.1. I listened to the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

    Dialogue was generally quite muffled, but was usually acceptably clear.

    There were no audio sync problems with this disc.

    The music is by the veteran John Williams and is a typical John Williams score. It provides a nice accompaniment to the on-screen action.

     The surround channels were used sparingly and unevenly. Occasional music, and very occasional special effects found their way into the rear channels. Indeed, use of the surround speakers tended to detract from the impact of the movie because it happened so infrequently, and when it did, it was at quite a high level and was distracting.

    The .1 channel was used for the special effects and for some of the music, but didn't do a lot.


    The extras on this disc are limited but what we get is good.


    The menu design is your typical Warner Brothers menu, and quite unremarkable, other than the fact that the menu is quite hard to read because of the low contrast contained within it.

Theatrical Trailer

    This is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. The sound mix is Dolby Digital 2.0, and sounded stereo.

Production Notes

    Detailed Production Notes are well worth reading. They cover issues such as casting, location, and some historical background on the production.

Cast & Crew Biographies

    These are extensive and interesting to read. They are on a very low contrast screen, which makes it quite hard to read both the Bios and the Production Notes.


    The Witches Of Eastwick is quite an enjoyable and funny movie, even though the transfer is somewhat dated. You won't be disappointed if you like this movie and want to own it on DVD, even though the video quality is not perfect.

    The video quality is acceptable given the age of the source material.

    The audio quality is a bit on the muffled side, and unevenly surrounding, but acceptable.

    The extras present are limited but good.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna
12th February 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer