(There are Spoilers) Teaching psychology at the Hempwell Medical Center
Prof. Norman Taylor,Peter Wyngard,is making his way up the ladder of
success so fast at the school that his co-educators are a bit jealous
of his amazing climb. Having a logical mind and not believing in magic
or any other mumbo jumbo Prof. doesn't realize that his wife Tansy has
been dappling in the black arts since they were on vacation some time
ago in the Caribbean.
After a Friday night bridge party at the Taylor home Norman discovers
that Tansy has a bunch of charms and totems hidden all over the house
that she uses to cast spells on and for persons that she knows
including himself. Shocked to find out that Tansy is practicing
Witchcraft Norman has her burn all the artifacts, involving that
ancient superstition, and put the thought of casting spells and
bringing good or bad luck to people that she knows in the fireplace
together with them. As Norman begins the week things start to suddenly
go wrong, terribly wrong, for him at work as well as at home.
Accused of forcing himself on one of his students Margaret Abbott,
Judith Stott, Norman is later confronted by her boyfriend Fred
Jennings, Bill Mitchall,who's been having trouble with Norman in his
class, who pulls a gun on him. Getting everything straighten out by
having Margrate confess that she made the story up and disarming the
hot-headed Paul doesn't stop Tansy from leaving a tape recorded massage
for Norman. In the tape Margaret tells him that she's going to have
herself killed by the evil spirits that he released, by burning all her
magic charms, to prevent him from being taken away from her forever by
taking his place.
Almost getting killed in a traffic accident in getting to the seaside
retreat, that he and Tansy have outside of town, Norman feels that he's
too late to stop his wife from drowning herself since it was already
past 12 midnight, the time Tansy left on the tape that she's to die.
Norman is now so possessed by what has been happening to him since that
night of revelations about the powers of Witchcraft that he actually
makes some kind of ceremony, with a photo of Tansy and candles, to
break the deadly spell that he unleashed on her as well as himself and
amazingly it works.
Intelligent and at the same time disturbing movie about the black arts
and how they play with one's mind even if he's as logical and
unfettered as prof. Norman Taylor. Norman after taking a wet and
comatose Tansy home is later attacked by her getting. That had him go
back to the collage that evening, on a hunch, to find out just what's
been causing all these strange happenings to him and his wife.
It becomes obvious that there's someone there who's been casting evil
spells on him and Tansy that the magic charms, that Tasy made, have
been counteracting but with them now gone there's nothing on earth left
to stop them from destroying his and Tansy's lives.
With the person in question knowing about Norman's accident, that
wasn't reported in the news, and then building a house of Tarot Cards
and setting it on fire begins to get the best of Norman's fragile mind
and subconscious as he starts to see a demon, in the form of giant
eagle, attacking him.
Rushing to his house Norman does see it on fire, just as the the Torot
Cards predicted, and saves Tansy's life but the person who conjured up
all this evil on him and Tansy has a quick and stunning reversal of
fortune as the movie ends.
You never really know if what was happening to Norman and Tansy is real
or just their imagination but that's exactly what made the movie "Burn
Whitch Burn" or "Night of the Eagle" work so well. Like the great
Lawton/Tourneur film-noir horror movies of the 1940's "Burn Whitch
Burn" lets your mind,not the special effects, do the thinking and thus
literally scares the hell out of you.