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Movie Mom

Do You Remember a Movie About a Witch Who Makes Blueberry Pancakes?

posted by Nell Minow

If you remember seeing a movie in school about a witch who made magical blueberry pancakes, then you must be in your late 30’s or early 40’s. The New York Times has a great piece by Jennifer Mendelsohn about how that film, Winter of the Witch, continues to enthrall some of the children who saw it in 1969-the 70’s.  It is a simple, short film made on a very low budget, but it features the distinguished actress Hermione Gingold as the witch and Anna Strasburg (wife of the great acting teacher) as a single mother who moves with her son into a house with a witch who cooks magical pancakes that make people happy.

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By all rights the quirky little production should have faded away, just like the quaintly dated turtlenecks and headscarves it features. But something about “Winter of the Witch” burrowed its way into the consciousness of a subset of children who saw it, and it never left, leading many to search for it well into adulthood.  “Those colored dots must have burned themselves into some peoples’ brains,” wrote Gerald Herman, who directed the low-budget film for $500 while a student at New York University, in an e-mail.

It has inspired a blog, The Cult of the Happy Pancake Witch, where you can watch the whole film.

 

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment R2R Kid

    Ah, I remember this dearly. We would watch reel-to-reel films in elementary school, usually when recess was rained out or on specific days for about 30 minutes.

    Winter of the Witch is definitely memorable. Who can forget the single mother and her son Nicky escaping the urban sprawl to go live out in the country? Only to meet up with a witch who feels like she is no longer needed? And those pancakes that make those who eat them see multi-colored dots and feel happiness?

    There are other reel-to-reel films that I remember too (e.g. Paddle to the Sea, Red Balloon), but Winter of the Witch will always be fondly cherished.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rana

    This is too funny if it were not for the internet I would probably still be asking about this movie. I remember watching this in 1-3 grade, along with the “Apple dumpling gang”. It seemed like those were the only two movies we ever watched. I never knew Winter of the Witch was the name of the movie. After all these years I’ve finally know what it was called. Thanks for sharing.

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