Bell, Book and Camera

A Critical History of Witches in American Film and Television


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About the Book

The witch as a cultural archetype has existed in some form since the beginning of recorded history. Her nature has changed through technological developments and sociocultural shifts—a transformation most evident in her depictions on screen. This book traces the figure of the witch through American screen history with an analysis of the entertainment industry’s shifting boundaries concerning expressions of femininity. Focusing on films and television series from The Wizard of Oz to The Craft, the author looks at how the witch reflects alterations of gender roles, religion, the modern practice of witchcraft, and female agency.

About the Author(s)

Heather Greene is a freelance writer, journalist, and managing editor of The Wild Hunt, a news journal for the Pagan, Witchcraft, Heathen communities worldwide. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Bibliographic Details

Heather Greene

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 242
Bibliographic Info: 31 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6252-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3206-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vi
A Woman Unleashed: An Introduction  1

One In the Beginning (1896–1919)  13
Two Wild Women, Vamps and Green Skin (1919–1939)  36
Three War and Weird Women (1939–1950)  65
Four Toward a New Hollywood (1951–1967)  89
Five Horror and the Fantastic (1968–1982)  119
Six The Satanic Panic (1983–1999)  149
Seven A New Witch Order (2000–2016)  180

A Woman Unleashed: Revisited  212
Chapter Notes  215
Bibliography  221
Index  227