October 30, 2014

It's Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus

Named the best Halloween movie of all time, Hocus Pocus is a classic. The stars (Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker), the director (Kenny Ortega), the set, the costumes, the music....it will definitely put a spell on you. It's just not Halloween without the Sanderson sisters and the clever iconic lines peppered throughout the movie, like one of my favorites....Winifred/Midler: "Don't you see? All Hallow's Eve has turned into a night of frolic where children dress up in costumes and run amuck!". Sarah: "Amuck, amuck, amuck!". Cracks me up every time! Interesting facts: Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays "Sarah" in the movie, found out that her 10th great-grandmother was arrested in Salem in the late 1600s accused of witchcraft. The movie was released in July, 1993not exactly prime time. It was actually considered a flop when it was first released. Hocus Pocus happens to be Bette Midler's favorite movie.

And right alongside Hocus Pocus, is another must-see, Practical Magic. Both films take place in Salem, MA, the birthplace of all things witch (See pictures of Allison, Max, and Dani's houses here.), except that PM was actually filmed on the San Juan Strait on the west coast due to weather and financial reasons. Other interesting facts: When asked why actresses Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman were to play sisters when they obviously looked nothing alike, director Griffin Dunne stated that when he researched historical witches that often times witch siblings typically looked nothing alike. Thus it made sense that the two were cast as sisters. However, when he was casting Griffin did make sure the two actresses who played Sandra's daughters had features similar to each of the two main stars. The entire house was a specially built architectural shell that was torn down after filming. It was built on rented land, and even the blossoms on the trees are fake. According to Sandra Bullock, in the scene where Gillian and Sally get drunk with their aunts and they sling insults, the actresses actually got drunk. They were drinking some very bad tequila that Nicole Kidman brought.

This is another stellar cast and a beautiful musical score by Alan Silvestri. The Owens sisters, Sally (Sandra Bullock), and Gillian, (Nicole Kidman) get a run for their money from Frances (Stockard Channing) and Jet (Dianne Wiest), who make the absolute best aunts. I love the line where Jet replies to Sally when asked what she's up to, "Just making toast is all." and up pops the toast! My girls and I have danced to no end to the song "Lime in the Coconut" during the Midnight Margarita scene. And we all wish we could light candles like Sally by just blowing them out! (You can get an insider's look into the movie here.)

So if a broom happens to fall tomorrow, prepare for company. Or if a broom is not available, a Hoover vacuum will do, too.