Teen Witch (1989)

PG-13 | 97 or 105 mins | Comedy | 1989

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HISTORY


       As noted in the 8 May 1989 HR review, cinematographer Marc Reshovsky and production designer Stephen Rice used diffusion and pastels to "create a surburban fantasy world" at the beginning of the film. HR and LAT reviews mentioned the in-joke of casting Dick Sargent, the husband in the television show, Bewitched , as Louise's father. Although Dan Gauthier had appeared in television productions, Teen Witch marked his feature film debut. For their performance in the film, Robyn Lively and Joshua Miller were nominated for Young Artist Awards for Best Young Actress Starring in a Motion Picture and Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture, respectively.
       Although panned in reviews, such as Var and LAT , as a well-intentioned, but conventional teen film, Teen Witch later gained a cult following. The picture was referenced on the NBC comedy 30 Rock , when character "Kenneth the Page," played by actor Jack McBrayer, performed the "Top That!" rap number from the film in a season three episode, "Senor Macho Solo," and lead actress Lively later made a guest appearance on the sitcom. A 16 Apr 2008 Var article reported that a remake of Teen Witch starring actress Ashley Tisdale was planned, but as of 2011, the production had not reached fruition.
       Comedian Shelley Berman's name is spelled correctly in the opening credits, but erroneously spelled Shelly in the end credits. Actress Robyn Lively's name appears in the closing credits as Robyn Elaine Lively, but without the middle name in the opening credits. The end credits contain "special thank ... More Less


       As noted in the 8 May 1989 HR review, cinematographer Marc Reshovsky and production designer Stephen Rice used diffusion and pastels to "create a surburban fantasy world" at the beginning of the film. HR and LAT reviews mentioned the in-joke of casting Dick Sargent, the husband in the television show, Bewitched , as Louise's father. Although Dan Gauthier had appeared in television productions, Teen Witch marked his feature film debut. For their performance in the film, Robyn Lively and Joshua Miller were nominated for Young Artist Awards for Best Young Actress Starring in a Motion Picture and Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture, respectively.
       Although panned in reviews, such as Var and LAT , as a well-intentioned, but conventional teen film, Teen Witch later gained a cult following. The picture was referenced on the NBC comedy 30 Rock , when character "Kenneth the Page," played by actor Jack McBrayer, performed the "Top That!" rap number from the film in a season three episode, "Senor Macho Solo," and lead actress Lively later made a guest appearance on the sitcom. A 16 Apr 2008 Var article reported that a remake of Teen Witch starring actress Ashley Tisdale was planned, but as of 2011, the production had not reached fruition.
       Comedian Shelley Berman's name is spelled correctly in the opening credits, but erroneously spelled Shelly in the end credits. Actress Robyn Lively's name appears in the closing credits as Robyn Elaine Lively, but without the middle name in the opening credits. The end credits contain "special thank yous" to Donald Duncan, the principal of Hoover High School, Glendale, CA, and to several companies: Adidas; Rogers & Cowan, Inc.; Creative Film Promotions; Norm Marshall and Associates; Coca Cola, Inc.; The Burbank Studios Property Department; Boston Trader; and Organically Grown.


Academic Network participant. University of Texas, Austin. Advisor: Prof. Janet Staiger; Student: Brittany Shelton. fks09/2010 More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
25 Apr 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 May 1989
p. 4, 10.
Los Angeles Times
2 May 1989
p. 3.
Variety
3 May 1989
p. 16.
Variety
16 Apr 2008.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Asst coord/2d asst dir, Addl photog
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Steadi-cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Addl 2d cam
Addl 2d cam
Asst cam, Addl photog
Gaffer
Gaffer, Addl photog
Best boy
Best boy elec, Addl photog
Elec, Addl photog
Elec/Swing grip
Elec/Swing grip
Elec/Swing grip
Swing grip, Addl photog
Best boy grip
Best boy grip, Addl photog
Key grip, Addl photog
Grip, Addl photog
Still photog
Still photog, Addl photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir, Addl photog
Asst art dir, Addl photog
Storyboard artist, Addl photog
FILM EDITORS
Ed consultant
Asst ed
Asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Prop asst
Prop asst
Leadman
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser, Addl photog
Set dresser, Addl photog
Const coord
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Songs comp
Orig mus
Mus supv
Mus ed
Songs rec at
1st eng, Weir Brothers Studio
2d eng, Weir Brothers Studio
Copyist, Weir Brothers Studio
SOUND
Sd mixer
Sd mixer, Addl photog
Boom man
Boom op, Addl photog
Digital rerec at
Sd eff supv
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Foley rec
Foley asst
Foley walker
Foley walker
Dial ed
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Audio post supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff, Addl photog
DANCE
Choreog
Choreog for "Never Gonna Be The Same Again" (openi
Asst choreog
MAKEUP
Make-up/Hair artist
Make-up/Hair artist
Make-up/Hair artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Extras casting
Extras casting
Extras casting, Addl photog
Exec in charge of prod
Exec in charge of prod
Prod controller
Prod coord
Prod coord, Addl photog
Prod consultant, Addl photog
Prod accountant
Prod accountant, Addl photog
Asst auditor
Permit coord
Loc mgr, Addl photog
Loc prod asst
Scr supv
Scr supv, Addl photog
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Catering
Catering
First aid/Craft service
Craft service
Craft service, Addl photog
Transportation coord
Transportation coord, Addl photog
Transportation capt
Driver
Asst to Ms. Lambros
Set prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst, Addl photog
Prod asst, Addl photog
Prod intern
Prod intern
Post prod supv
Post prod coord
Facility coord
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Asst stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
"All Washed Up," words and music by Larry Weir, performed by Larry Weir
"Dream Lover," words and music by Larry Weir and Cathy Car, performed by Cathy Car
"Finest Hour," words and music by Larry Weir, Cindy Valentine & Tom Weir, performed by Cindy Valentine featuring Larry Weir
+
SONGS
"All Washed Up," words and music by Larry Weir, performed by Larry Weir
"Dream Lover," words and music by Larry Weir and Cathy Car, performed by Cathy Car
"Finest Hour," words and music by Larry Weir, Cindy Valentine & Tom Weir, performed by Cindy Valentine featuring Larry Weir
"Get Up and Move," words and music by Larry Weir & Cathy Car, performed by Cathy Car
"High School Blues," words and music by Larry Weir & Tom Weir, performed by The Puppy Boys
"I Keep On Falling," words and music by Larry Weir, performed by Blue Future
"I Like Boys," words and music by Larry Weir, Theresa Weir, Maria Weir, Tom Weir & Estelle Weir, performed by Elizabeth and The Weirz
"Much Too Much," words and music by Larry Weir & Cindy Valentine, performed by Lori Ruso (opening sequence), performed by Cindy Valentine (concert version)
"Popular Girl," words and music by Larry Weir, performed by Theresa & The Weirz, "rap" by Philip McKeon & Larry Weir
"Shame," words and music by Larry Weir, performed by The Weirz
"Top That," words and music by Larry Weir, performed by The Michael Terry Rappers.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 28 April 1989
Copyright Claimant:
TWE Group, Inc.
Copyright Date:
21 April 1989
Copyright Number:
PA51639
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
CFI
Duration(in mins):
97 or 105
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29852
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Fifteen-year-old Louise Miller longs to be noticed, dress hip and be loved by high school quarterback, Brad Powell. Instead, Brad only has eyes for the cheerleader, Randa, and Louise is just another underclassman with a similarly unpopular best friend, Polly. During a day filled with reminders of her unpopular status, Louise is embarrassed when her honors English teacher, Mr. Weaver, makes fun of a page from her diary that is inadvertently stuck to her assignment. That evening, after an unsuccessful audition for a part in a school play, she is bicycling home, when Brad, distracted by the charms of his passenger, Randa, runs Louise off the road with his convertible. Her bike ruined and a thunderstorm approaching, Louise knocks on the door of the nearest resident, Madame Serena, and asks to use the phone. Serena, who is a palm reader, convinces Louise to have a reading. While studying Louise’s palm, Serena proclaims, “You’re one of us!” She then explains that Louise is a witch and will develop powers on her sixteenth birthday. The following week is Louise’s birthday, but no one shows up at her party. Polly, her only guest, tells Louise that Randa invited everyone to a different party. That night, Louise tosses and turns in her bed, as she recalls Serena’s prediction that she will soon gain powers. At school the next day, Louise’s theater teacher, Ms. Malloy, gives her a necklace she finds among the costumes, and tells Louise she thinks the necklace will bring her luck. Immediately, Louise feels different and wears the necklace constantly. Soon after, Randa invites Louise to attend the dance as the date of her cousin, David. Though David is ... +


Fifteen-year-old Louise Miller longs to be noticed, dress hip and be loved by high school quarterback, Brad Powell. Instead, Brad only has eyes for the cheerleader, Randa, and Louise is just another underclassman with a similarly unpopular best friend, Polly. During a day filled with reminders of her unpopular status, Louise is embarrassed when her honors English teacher, Mr. Weaver, makes fun of a page from her diary that is inadvertently stuck to her assignment. That evening, after an unsuccessful audition for a part in a school play, she is bicycling home, when Brad, distracted by the charms of his passenger, Randa, runs Louise off the road with his convertible. Her bike ruined and a thunderstorm approaching, Louise knocks on the door of the nearest resident, Madame Serena, and asks to use the phone. Serena, who is a palm reader, convinces Louise to have a reading. While studying Louise’s palm, Serena proclaims, “You’re one of us!” She then explains that Louise is a witch and will develop powers on her sixteenth birthday. The following week is Louise’s birthday, but no one shows up at her party. Polly, her only guest, tells Louise that Randa invited everyone to a different party. That night, Louise tosses and turns in her bed, as she recalls Serena’s prediction that she will soon gain powers. At school the next day, Louise’s theater teacher, Ms. Malloy, gives her a necklace she finds among the costumes, and tells Louise she thinks the necklace will bring her luck. Immediately, Louise feels different and wears the necklace constantly. Soon after, Randa invites Louise to attend the dance as the date of her cousin, David. Though David is an insufferable nerd with glasses, a bowtie and roving hands, Louise feels her luck has changed when he instantly disappears at her command and Brad talks to her after she wishes he will. Brad asks to see Louise alone and then requests her help with his English paper. Later that night, Louise accidentally turns her brother, Richie, into a dog when he mocks her, but is able to change him back by throwing him into a hot bath. Wanting to know more about her powers, Louise later learns from Serena that she is the reincarnation of Modesty Miller, a witch born in 1636, and that her necklace, an amulet that supplies power, belonged to her during her previous life. Serena gives Louise a book of magic spells to study and Louise begins to harness her power by calling the wind and rain. Louise avenges herself on school bullies like Randa by casting a truth-telling spell that triggers vicious fighting among the vain cheerleaders. She also takes revenge on the malicious Mr. Weaver by undressing a voodoo doll made in his image, causing him to take off his clothes in front of the class. When Louise asks if she can use magic to make Brad love her, Serena insists that Brad can be Louise’s “love slave,” and provides her with a potion to stir his affection. However, when Brad comes to her house to study, Louise does not work the charm, because she wants Brad to love her for herself and not because he is under a spell. Instead, Louise uses her power to help Ms. Malloy find true love and wealth. She also uses the power of the necklace to help her best friend Polly have the courage to challenge Rhet, a student with whom she is infatuated, in an informal rap battle. Louise believes that if she magically makes herself different, Brad will like her. She implores Serena to make her popular and therefore irresistible to Brad, and as an example of what she hopes to achieve, shows Serena a picture of the pop star, Shana. Serena mixes a potion to help Louise harness Shana’s allure, but to complete the spell, she needs an item belonging to the singer. Louise uses her powers to get backstage during Shana’s concert, where Shana, under a spell, gives Louise her jacket. Thereafter, everyone at school worships and emulates Louise, and Brad takes immediate notice. Leaving the unpopular Polly behind, Louise rides off with Brad after school, heading to an abandoned house where Louise finally gets the kiss she has been pining for. However, she wonders if Brad truly likes her or if he is only attracted to the popularity her powers summon. Serena urges Louise to look past her doubts and embrace her newfound status. At school, Louise continues to gain popularity, accidentally wishing herself into the lead role of the school play by telling the original lead to break a leg. Later, Brad asks Louise to the dance, telling her he likes and respects her for her honesty. However, the lingering guilt of wishing harm on a classmate and using magic to gain popularity and Brad’s attention cause Louise to decline his invitation. She then looks for a way to reverse all the magic, but Serena explains that the real key to magic is believing in oneself. With that in mind, Serena accompanies Louise to the dance, where Louise sheds her power-laden necklace and commits to being her true self. Upon seeing Louise, Brad, not influenced by magic, crosses the dance floor to be with her. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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