Spellbinder (1988)

R | 98-99 mins | Drama, Horror, Romance | 23 September 1988

Director:

Janet Greek

Writer:

Tracy Tormé

Producers:

Joe Wizan, Brian Russell

Cinematographer:

Adam Greenberg

Editor:

Steve Mirkovich

Production Designer:

Rodger Maus

Production Companies:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., Indian Neck Entertainment, Wizan Film Properties
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HISTORY

A 20 May 1987 DV item reported that the film, under the working title of The Witching Hour, would be the upcoming project for producer Joe Wizan to be directed by his wife, director Janet Greek. Eight months later, an article in the 13 Jan 1988 Var noted that the picture, referred to by the title, Witching Hour, had a budget of $5.5 million and had started principal photography. While a 27 Jan 1988 Var production chart stated that filming began on 4 Jan 1988 in Los Angeles, CA, the 23 Feb 1988 HR production chart noted principal photography started a week later on 11 Jan 1988. The 13 Mar 1988 LAHExam reported the picture had an eight-week filming schedule and would wrap on 15 Mar 1988 on a sound stage in Culver City, CA. However, a 3 Jun 1988 DV article noted filming concluded on 18 Mar 1988, and noted the budget as $6 million.
       The 6 Apr 1988 Var and 3 Jun 1988 DV reported that the film’s projected release date would be in Oct 1988. However, an earlier date of 23 Sep 1988 was cited on a 25 Aug 1988 Exhibitor Relations Co., Inc. press release. The film opened in limited release in Los Angeles, CA.
       Although there is a 1988 copyright notice on the film for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Inc., copyright was formally registered on 19 Jan ... More Less

A 20 May 1987 DV item reported that the film, under the working title of The Witching Hour, would be the upcoming project for producer Joe Wizan to be directed by his wife, director Janet Greek. Eight months later, an article in the 13 Jan 1988 Var noted that the picture, referred to by the title, Witching Hour, had a budget of $5.5 million and had started principal photography. While a 27 Jan 1988 Var production chart stated that filming began on 4 Jan 1988 in Los Angeles, CA, the 23 Feb 1988 HR production chart noted principal photography started a week later on 11 Jan 1988. The 13 Mar 1988 LAHExam reported the picture had an eight-week filming schedule and would wrap on 15 Mar 1988 on a sound stage in Culver City, CA. However, a 3 Jun 1988 DV article noted filming concluded on 18 Mar 1988, and noted the budget as $6 million.
       The 6 Apr 1988 Var and 3 Jun 1988 DV reported that the film’s projected release date would be in Oct 1988. However, an earlier date of 23 Sep 1988 was cited on a 25 Aug 1988 Exhibitor Relations Co., Inc. press release. The film opened in limited release in Los Angeles, CA.
       Although there is a 1988 copyright notice on the film for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Inc., copyright was formally registered on 19 Jan 1989. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
20 May 1987
p. 3.
Daily Variety
3 Jun 1988
p. 1, 22.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Feb 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Sep 1988
p. 2, 47.
LAHExam
13 Mar 1988.
---
Los Angeles Times
23 Sep 1988
Calendar, p. 8.
Variety
13 Jan 1988
p. 6.
Variety
27 Jan 1988
p. 6.
Variety
6 Apr 1988
p. 5.
Variety
28 Sep 1988
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
An MGM/Indian Neck Entertainment presentation
A Wizan Film Properties, Inc. production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Co-prod
Co-prod
Co-prod
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st cam asst
2d cam asst
Chief lighting tech
Best boy
Key grip
2d grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Prod illustrator
FILM EDITORS
1st asst film ed
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const foreman
Const foreman
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Men's costumer
Women's costumer
MUSIC
Mus supv
Mus ed, Segue Music Inc.
Mus rec at
Mus rec by
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom man
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Spec sd eff created by
Foley artist
Foley artist
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Titles and opticals
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup artist
Makeup eff des
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Scr supv
Prod assoc
Transportation coord
Loc mgr
Unit pub
Animal trainer
Animal handler
First aid
Prod coord
Prod coord
Miranda's paintings by
Paintings at Jeff's by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
“Blind Alley,” words and music by Gary Wright, performed by Gary Wright, courtesy of Cypress Records, Inc. and Almo Music Corp.
“If My Love Is Blind,” composed and performed by Maggie Herron
“Siren’s Song,” composed and performed by Tom Scott.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Witching Hour
Witching Hour
Release Date:
23 September 1988
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 23 September 1988
Production Date:
early January--mid March 1988
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
19 January 1989
Copyright Number:
PA0000406016
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
98-99
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29332
SYNOPSIS

In Los Angeles, California, lawyer Jeff Mills and his friend, Derek Clayton, see Aldys and Miranda Reed arguing in a parking lot. When Aldys slaps Miranda, Jeff and Derek go to her aid. Aldys informs the men that they will regret helping her, and leaves. Afterward, Jeff offers to let Miranda stay at his house, away from Aldys. Later at his house, Miranda holds Jeff’s palm and suggests that he is an only child whose parents are dead. Leading him to the bedroom, Miranda tells him she can take his pain away. Placing her hands on his lower back, she recites an incantation. No longer in pain, Jeff and Miranda make love. Later, Jeff asks Miranda to move in with him. She warns him that Aldys could come looking for her, but Jeff reminds her that Aldys does not know who he is. Jeff hosts a dinner party for Miranda to meet all of his friends. Miranda impresses everyone, except Jeff’s secretary, Grace Woods. She is suspicious of Miranda’s intentions, but Jeff does not listen. Later, he receives a visit from Mrs. White, who informs him she and her coven want Miranda returned. After she leaves, Jeff telephones Miranda about Mrs. White, but she hangs up on him. Worried, Jeff goes to his car, but Aldys appears and levitates the automobile, blowing out the windows and tires. However, when Jeff looks again, the car is intact and Aldys has vanished. Arriving home, Jeff finds Miranda has gone. Three days later, Jeff goes to the police and shows Miranda’s photograph to Lieutenant Lee. ... +


In Los Angeles, California, lawyer Jeff Mills and his friend, Derek Clayton, see Aldys and Miranda Reed arguing in a parking lot. When Aldys slaps Miranda, Jeff and Derek go to her aid. Aldys informs the men that they will regret helping her, and leaves. Afterward, Jeff offers to let Miranda stay at his house, away from Aldys. Later at his house, Miranda holds Jeff’s palm and suggests that he is an only child whose parents are dead. Leading him to the bedroom, Miranda tells him she can take his pain away. Placing her hands on his lower back, she recites an incantation. No longer in pain, Jeff and Miranda make love. Later, Jeff asks Miranda to move in with him. She warns him that Aldys could come looking for her, but Jeff reminds her that Aldys does not know who he is. Jeff hosts a dinner party for Miranda to meet all of his friends. Miranda impresses everyone, except Jeff’s secretary, Grace Woods. She is suspicious of Miranda’s intentions, but Jeff does not listen. Later, he receives a visit from Mrs. White, who informs him she and her coven want Miranda returned. After she leaves, Jeff telephones Miranda about Mrs. White, but she hangs up on him. Worried, Jeff goes to his car, but Aldys appears and levitates the automobile, blowing out the windows and tires. However, when Jeff looks again, the car is intact and Aldys has vanished. Arriving home, Jeff finds Miranda has gone. Three days later, Jeff goes to the police and shows Miranda’s photograph to Lieutenant Lee. Seeing Miranda’s necklace, Lee tells Jeff that the pendant is a Satanic cult symbol, and he believes the group is responsible for several murders throughout the county. Lee brings Jeff to the morgue and shows him a man with his face burned, and the symbol on Miranda’s necklace carved on his chest. In December, Jeff receives a telephone call from Miranda at a gasoline station, needing his help. When he asks about her disappearance, Miranda explains that her mother is a witch and she was raised within the coven, which practices animal sacrifice. The coven sometimes meets at a nearby mansion, but tomorrow night, the Winter Solstice, Miranda fears the coven will sacrifice her by cutting out her heart. Jeff wants to tell Lt. Lee, but if Miranda can elude the coven until after the Solstice, she will be free. As they pack their belongings, coven members surround the house. However, Miranda conjures a protection spell and draws a circle of salt around her and Jeff. In the morning, they escape to Derek Clayton’s house to think of a safe place to hide. Jeff recalls that his client, Brock, has a secure bunker in the hills. Leaving Miranda at the bunker, Jeff goes to his office. Mrs. White arrives and tells Jeff the coven will get Miranda back. Jeff threatens to call the police, but Mrs. White informs him that she is Miranda’s mother. Jeff drives to Brock’s bunker, but finds it has been attacked. Miranda is missing, and Brock is in a catatonic state. Recalling the coven’s mansion, Jeff goes there looking for Miranda. Property owners Edgar and Marilyn DeWitt order Jeff to leave. However, he notices Marilyn DeWitt’s necklace is identical to Miranda’s. When Jeff threatens to break Marilyn’s arm, Edgar confesses that Miranda is at Towers Beach. Jeff calls Derek Clayton for help and they drive to the beach. Derek says he called Lt. Lee to meet them there. As Derek looks for Lee, Jeff finds the coven members in black robes circling a fire. Jeff is caught and dragged to the center of the circle, where Aldys stands over a bound Miranda. Aldys frees Miranda, however, and Jeff is bound in her place. Derek Clayton arrives with a dagger and kills Jeff by cutting out his heart. Days later at Grace Woods’s funeral, Lt. Lee questions Derek about Jeff Mills. Lee informs him that Grace contacted him about Jeff’s disappearance before she was killed in an accident. Derek lies, saying Jeff moved to Mexico with his girl friend, Miranda. Later, Derek leaves his office, promising his client, Phil, that he will help patent his new invention. When Phil says he wishes his parents were alive to see his upcoming success, they see a man hitting his girl friend. Phil goes to help Miranda Reed. +

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

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