Return from Witch Mountain
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|Return from Witch Mountain|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Hough|
|Written by||Malcolm Marmorstein|
|Based on||Characters created by Alexander Key|
|Music by||Lalo Schifrin|
|Edited by||Bob Bring|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Distribution|
Return from Witch Mountain is a 1978 American science fiction-adventure film and a sequel to Escape to Witch Mountain (1975) and the second film in the Witch Mountain franchise. It was produced by Walt Disney Productions. It was written by Malcolm Marmorstein and is based on the novel by Alexander Key. Ike Eisenmann, Kim Richards, and Denver Pyle reprise their roles as Tony, Tia, and Uncle Bené—humanoid extraterrestrials with special powers including telepathy and telekinesis. The two main villains are played by Bette Davis as Letha Wedge, a greedy woman using the last of her money to finance the scientific experiments of Dr. Victor Gannon, played by Christopher Lee.
In September 1978, the film was re-released to theaters on a double bill with Escape to Witch Mountain.
Tony and his sister Tia are in need of a vacation. Uncle Bené drops them off in their flying saucer at the Rose Bowl stadium in Los Angeles, California, after which the siblings quickly become separated from each other. A man named Dr. Victor Gannon (Lee) and his assistant Letha Wedge (Davis) happen to see Tony using his powers to save Letha's nephew Sickle from certain death. Realizing that Tony has supernatural powers, Dr. Gannon drugs the boy with a tranquilizer shot and takes him back to their laboratory. There, Dr. Gannon successfully tests a new mind-control technology on him. Under its influence, Tony is completely hypnotized and does everything that his kidnappers want him to do, including stealing gold from a museum exhibit and stopping Tia from finding them. With Tony at his robotic bidding, Dr. Gannon hopes to achieve recognition within the scientific community and worldwide power, while Letha merely wants a return on her investment.
A group of would-be tough boys whom Tia comes across, called the Earthquake Gang, are being chased by the Golden Goons, in which Tia then telepathically gets rid of them. The gang of boys accept her into their gang and help look for her brother. They let her sleep in their secret hideout where she often gets many visions of where her brother is; first at the gold museum where Tony is controlled by a chip attached to his ear. He unstacks the gold but is followed by Mr. Yokomoto the truant officer who thinks Tony has to go to school and chases the doctor, aunt, nephew, and Tony in his mini bus unsuccessfully. As a result, Mr. Yokomoto destroyed public property and ends up losing his job. Next Tia uses her telepathy to trace Tony's hideout but is caught by Sickle and is put under the influence of chloroform. She telepathically asks Alfred the goat who is in the house to find the Earthquake gang. They chase the goat back to the hideout. In the meantime Tony, Letha, Sickle and Victor drive to a Plutonium Plant as it is more expensive than gold. Tia traces their location and describes it to be a " big round ball" One of the members assume the location to be another place and Tia is upset. They come across Mr. Yokomoto who tells them he lost his job and the only thing that works is the radio. The news given about the plutonium plant stresses on the word "molecular flow."
Tia then asks Mr. Yokomoto to drive them to the location after she magically repairs the mini bus. After Victor and his gang reach the site, he shuts down the plant's cooling system. In exchange for turning it on, he requires 5 million dollars in cash. The people working at the plant make arrangements for money as soon as possible, but Tia reaches the site in time where she and Tony battle to turn on the cooling system. Tia manages to turn it on but Victor commands Tony to kill his sister. In this course of time, she understands how he is been controlled and destroys the device. Tia explains what had happened to him, in which Tony makes Victor, Sickle and Letha go up to the ceiling with no way of getting down. Mr. Yokomoto drives the kids to the Rose Bowl Stadium and the Earthquake gang come along to say bye. Tony and Tia bid farewell to the kids after they board the flying saucer back to Witch Mountain.
- Bette Davis as Letha Wedge
- Christopher Lee as Dr. Victor Gannon
- Kim Richards as Tia Malone
- Ike Eisenmann as Tony Malone
- Jack Soo as Mr. "Yo-Yo" Yokomoto
- Anthony James as Sickle
- Richard Bakalyan as Eddie
- Ward Costello as Mr. Clearcole
- Christian Juttner as Dazzler
- Brad Savage as Muscles
- Poindexter Yothers as Crusher
- Jeffrey Jacquet as Rocky
- Stu Gilliam as Dolan
- William Bassett as Operations officer
- Tom Scott as Monitor
- Helene Winston as Dowager
- Albert Able as Engineer
- Denver Pyle as Uncle Bene
- Brian Part, Pierre Daniel as Goons
- Wally Brooks as Taxi fare
- Mel Gold as Security guard
- Bob Yothers as Cop
- Casse Jaeger as School patrolman
- Larry Mamorstein as Guard
- Bob James as Gate guard
- Ruth Warshawsky as Lady in car
- Adam Anderson as Man in museum
- Rosemary Lord as Woman in museum
- Ted Noose as Policeman
- Wally Berns as Man in car
Actors Kim Richards and Ike Eisenmann appear in at least four films together—this one, the original 1975 Disney film Escape to Witch Mountain, and the television film Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell. Richards portrays the roadside waitress and Eisenmann portrays the Sheriff in a re-imagined remake of the original film Race to Witch Mountain, released in March 2009.
Jack Soo (Mr. "Yo-Yo" Yokomoto) was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in the autumn of 1978, several months after the film's release. Return from Witch Mountain would be his final movie appearance, as he died the following January.
Filming started on April 11, 1977.
The otherwise vacant lot, upon which the children's dilapidated hideout mansion stands, was at the Alameda Street railroad yard in California, where the Rochester House (a relic from 1880s) was waiting for restoration and relocation. The house was never restored and was ultimately demolished in 1979.
Scenes of Dr. Victor Gannon's mansion, the location of his laboratory, were filmed at Moby Castle on Durand Drive, Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles.
The gold-bar robbery sequence was filmed at the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park, Los Angeles. The building facing the Park's Rose Garden was used for exterior shots of the museum. The scene in which Yokomoto's van is overturned and breaks a fire-hydrant was filmed near the Sunset Boulevard bridge and Glendale Boulevard underpass intersection, in the Echo Park district.
Return from Witch Mountain was released on VHS on June 25, 1986. It was first released as a Special Edition DVD in Region 1 on September 2, 2003, re-released on DVD in a two-movie collection along with Escape to Witch Mountain on September 5, 2006, and re-released as part of the Walt Disney Family Classics line on March 10, 2009.
On October 13, 2015, Return from Witch Mountain was released on Blu-ray Disc as a Disney Movie Club exclusive title.
- Kilday, G. (1977, Apr 11). Paramount signs MTM team. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/158200734?accountid=13902
- Bariscale, Floyd B. (April 5, 2007). "No. 11 - West Temple Apartments (The Rochester)". Big Orange Landmarks. Retrieved June 25, 2016.