Friday, August 28, 2009

jack nicholson tribute: THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK (1987)

Daryl Van Horne in The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
What better way to showcase Jack's signature devilish eyebrow arch than by making him the debonair sex-machine personification of evil itself. In The Witches of Eastwick, Jack is joined by three iconic ladies (two of which are fellow Oscar winners -- Susan Sarandon and Cher -- and the other, who has shamefully been snubbed). So, with a trio of beautiful vixens, how does Jack even stand a chance? Well, though he is hammy as all get out, Jack is believable as the tempter to the town's three dowdy loners.

Though he probably gets what he deserves, poor Jack is subjected to the coven of ladies as they use their combined powers to bring him down (and all the while remaining helplessly in love with them). And then all notion of seeing Jack as a sex symbol of any kind is done away with as he takes on some... er... less-than-attractive visages (see right). While Jack's performance is perfectly acceptable as silly summer fare, the film itself is, at times, an over-the-top mess.

Though there are admirable performances all around (character actress Veronica Cartwright is a hoot!), the movie, based on the novel by John Updike, rests on its stars and its fun score (at the 5:00 mark) from John Williams. Despite its flaws, the movie has fairly good rewatchability, and the effects and makeup are still dazzling twenty years later.

Jack's Performance: B+
The Film: B

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