32 Witch Facts About Practical Magic (1998) – Spooky Catalog

Practical Magic (1998) is a cult classic fantasy romance drama that is a staple of many people’s Halloween viewing. While not a scary movie (unless you’re watching it with kids), the film follows a family of witches and ends with a feel-good Halloween scene. I like it Hocus Pocus (1993) is one of the lighter non-horror movies that tend to be loved by horror fans.

Based on a novel by Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic It is about a family of witches cursed by their ancestor Maria, who was betrayed by her lover. As a result, every time a woman in the family falls in love with her, her lover dies prematurely. Sisters Ginny (Nicole Kidman) and Sally Owens (Sandra Bullock) were raised by their aunts Frances (Stockard Channing) and Bridget (Diane Wiest) after their father was killed by the curse and her mother died of a broken heart. .

In their small town in Massachusetts, the Owens family is seen as outcasts because they are known to be witches. Ginny and Sally are bullied as children and Sally avoids magic even though she has a natural gift. As a teenager, Ginny runs away to escape the oppressive small town and the family’s notoriety. Years later, the sisters are reunited when Sally’s husband dies from the curse. Heartbroken, Sally has returned to live with her aunts, but she has forbidden them to teach her daughters magic.

Ginny and Sally perform a spell on Jimmy Angelov on the kitchen counter.

Soon after, Ginny calls Sally and asks for her help because her boyfriend, Jimmy Angelov (Goran Visnjic), is abusing her. Sally rushes to Ginny’s side and accidentally kills the belligerent Jimmy with belladonna as she attempts to sedate him. Desperate, the sisters cast a spell to raise Jimmy from the dead, but are forced to kill him. again when he turns violent. The remainder of the film deals with the police investigation into Jimmy’s disappearance and his lingering spirit, which begins to possess Ginny.

Weather Practical Magic failed to make back its $75 million budget and was given poor reviews by critics, it is now one of the most popular witch movies of all time. Here are some fun facts and behind-the-scenes tidbits about a beloved Halloween classic:

  1. The Owens house was considered so important to the film that while much of the film was shot on a soundstage in California, an actual house for the film was built in a park on Washington’s San Juan Island. It was an architectural shell and the interior of the house was never completed. It was demolished after filming immediately.
The Owens house was inspired by East Coast lighthouses and was supposed to look as if generations of witches had lived there. The inspiration for the lighthouse can be seen in the spiral staircase leading up to Ginny’s attic bedroom.

2. Because the house was built in a park that had Native American heritage, no digging was allowed as the house was just a shell. This was also the reason why the house was demolished as soon as filming ended.

3. After the movie came out, the production got a call from Barbara Streisand, who wanted to buy the house.

4. Sally’s Apothecary was filmed in the town of Coupeville on Whidbey Island in Washington. In real life, space is a bakery.

5. In the final scene, most of the population of Coupeville showed up to play townspeople watching the Owens Women’s annual Halloween performance. They were paid $40 a day to work as extras.

Stockard Channing and Diane Wiest played witch aunts who were hundreds of years old and made a living casting love spells for the locals.

It was literally like a cauldron. Every emotion, theme, and ingredient you could imagine was swirling around him. I especially liked the use of magic by the women; It comes straight from the title. It’s a more practical, almost holistic approach that seems like a gift that just about anyone could have.

Griffin Dunne, Practical Magic: The Victorian Romantic Who Casts a Spell

6. Director Griffin Dunne starred in the horror comedy. An American Werewolf in London (1981) as Jack Goodman, an American backpacker who is killed by a werewolf and later appears to his friend as a ghost.

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7. Dunne is the nephew of Joan Didion.

8. Dunne’s sister, Dominique Dunne, was also an actress. Her big chance was Elf (1982). The year it opened the day before Halloween, Dominique was strangled in her West Hollywood driveway by her ex-boyfriend, John Thomas Sweeney. She served only 3.5 years in prison.

9. The iconic movie soundtrack is headlined by Stevie Nicks, who used it to promote her (then) new song “If You Ever Did Believe” and a new version of her song “Crystal.” Both songs had Sheryl Crow on backing vocals.

10. Another great song on the Practical Magic The soundtrack is “A Case of You” by Joni Mitchell, featured in the scene where Ginny drives all night to comfort a distraught Sally. A CD with the song and the script pages was sent to Nicole Kidman to convince her to accept the role from her.

Sally is able to light candles by blowing them out.

11. For the “midnight margaritas” scene, Nicole Kidman brought “really bad” tequila to the set and all four women were drinking while filming. Many of the crew members also drank while working on this scene.

12. Nicole Kidman’s last project before Practical Magic I was Eyes wide Shut (1999) written and directed by Stanley Kubrick. She was used to “seventy or eighty” takes for each scene, whereas Sandra Bullock was used to doing the normal 2-3.

13. In the commentary, it is stated that the cast and crew heard “unearthly noises” while filming the coven scene at the end of the movie.

When I visited the stage for Practical Magic in Los Angeles, I realized that the set designers had created an entire physical world out of their imaginations, just as I had. It was as if we were both novelists.

Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic: The Victorian Romantic Who Casts a Spell

Antonia (left) and Kylie (right) are meant to look like Sally and Ginny.

14. Scream queen Camilla Belle plays young Sally Owens. Evan Rachel Wood plays Sally’s daughter, Kylie.

15. Young Sally casts a spell intended to prevent her from falling in love by focusing on a man who doesn’t exist. One of the spell’s requirements is that the man have “one blue eye and one green eye.” Gary Hallett has a condition called heterochromia iridum where he has two different colored irises.

16. The movie was envisioned as a darker version of the story, but Warner Bros edited it into the lighter story it is today.

17. The aunts’ clothes imply that because they are witches, the Owens women live much longer than normal people.

Sally and Ginny perform a spell to bring Jimmy Angelov back to life.

18. Jimmy Angelov was originally a redneck from Texas, but the director rewrote the role as an Eastern European man after seeing Goran Visnjic in Welcome to Sarajevo (1997). Visnjic is actually Croatian-American, not Bulgarian.

19. The role represented a change for Sandra Bullock, who vowed to give up “trying to do blockbusters” after Keanu-less Speed ​​2: Cruise Control (1997) failed at the box office. Instead, the actress promised to take only the roles that really interested her.

[Practical Magic] acknowledges that abuse and trauma are things that happen. But he puts a love story next to that pain, a reminder that life goes on even after he tries to tear you apart.

Alanna Bennett, “Practical Magic” turns 20 and is as relevant as ever

20. In one scene, the name of the island where the family lives is seen on a sign as “Isla de María”, a reference to their ancestor María Owens.

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21. There really is a “death watch beetle” in folklore that is said to foretell the death of those who hear it.

22. The idea that sisters share power by cutting off their hands and becoming blood sisters is reviewed in Ginger cookies (2000).

23. Before Michael’s death scene, he is shown being followed by a black dog, an omen of death in many cultures (including the “Grim” in the Harry Potter Serie).

One of the reasons the midnight margarita scene became so iconic is because the cast and crew were really partying behind the scenes, and the jovial vibes carried over into the final product.

24. Alice Hoffman’s novel is very different from the movie. Ginny and Sally don’t live with their aunts, there is no curse that kills their lovers, Antonia and Kylie’s ages are flipped, there are no midnight margaritas, and the focus is much more on Antonia and Kylie and less on Frances and Bridget.

25. Stockard Channing lied about being fluent in French because he wanted a free trip to Paris to record the French dubbing for the international versions.

26. A real witch served as a consultant on the film. When she became dissatisfied with her contract, she threatened to curse the movie. The consultant told director Griffin Dunne: “You’re not going to buy me a hotel room… I want a percentage of the film. i will have mine Practical Magic cookbook…I want an additional $250,000.” He then sued Warner Bros and left a voicemail for a producer where he spoke in tongues. Dunne had him legally paid and paid for an exorcism ceremony to remove the curse.

Practical Magic it’s a cabin cannon.

27. Despite the consultant’s antics, true witches love Practical Magic.

28. For the scene where a possessed Nicole Kidman throws herself to the ground, rubber flooring was used to prevent injury. The director praised Kidman’s performance during this scene, saying, “Her skin would turn bright red, white to red, then white in waves of, you know, purging. It was intense.”

29 Practical Magic it is often cited as one of the inspirations behind the “cottagecore” trend.

the plot of Practical Magic In one word.

30. In 2004, a pilot named Sudbury (based on the novel’s location of Sudbury, Massachusetts) was produced based on Practical Magic with Kim Delaney as Sally and Jeri Ryan as Ginny. The show was not picked up despite Sandra Bullock executive producing the pilot.

31. In 2010, a prequel series was attempted for ABC Family, but never produced.

32. In 2019 HBO commissioned a pilot for rules of magic based on another book by Alice Hoffman about the Owens family. The synopsis for that show was: “Set in 1960s New York City, the series follows three troubled siblings, Franny, Jet, and Vincent Owens, as they struggle with the “anomalies” that have kept them isolated. But tumultuous times unearth the extraordinary discovery that they are, in fact, descendants of a lineage of witches. The two sisters will become the revered and sometimes feared aunts in “Practical Magic,” while their brother leaves behind an unexpected legacy.” The show may have been derailed by the pandemic or run into other production issues. It is unknown if it will ever be done.

meet the author

Chrissy Stockton

Chrissy is the co-founder of Creepy Catalog. She has over 10 years of horror writing experience, a BA in Philosophy, and a Reiki Level II certification.

Chrissy Stockton

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