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Casting A Spell: Movies about Witches, Wizards, and Warlocks

Publicity still from the 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz
Publicity Image MGM film The Wizard of Oz
Wikimedia Commons

They wander the halls of Hogwarts, tempt children into sugar-encrusted homes, and sometimes get crushed by a flying farmhouse.

The mystique of the witches, wizards and warlocks continues to capture the imagination of moviegoers. And their presence in earthly and magical realms reminds viewers that things are not always as they seem.

On the next Movies On The Radio, The State of Things wants to know what are your favorite movies about witches, wizards or warlocks? Did the ever-impressive skills of Hermione Granger have you wishing that you, too, could “swish and flick”? Does the swift death of the Wicked Witch of the East continue to make you cheer? Or does the alluring power of the teenage coven in The Craft still conjure up nightmares?

Film experts Marsha Gordon and Laura Boyes break down your favorite films about witches, wizards and warlocks. They also look at the long tradition of casting women as evil or other-wordly.

Send an email with your pick to or tweet at us with #sotmovie and you could be part of our next show!


Laura Pellicer is a digital reporter with WUNC’s small but intrepid digital news team. She's currently filling in as the station's digital news editor.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.