The Good Witch

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The Good Witch
Cover of the movie The Good Witch.jpg
Written by Rod Spence
Directed by Craig Pryce
Starring Catherine Bell
Chris Potter
Country of origin United States
Canada
Original language(s) English
Production
Producer(s) Orly Adelson
Ian McDougal
Frank Siracusa
Editor(s) George Roulston
Running time 89 minutes
Release
Original network Hallmark Channel
Original release
  • January 19, 2008 (2008-01-19)
Chronology
Followed by The Good Witch's Garden

The Good Witch is a television film that aired on the Hallmark Channel on January 19, 2008. It stars Catherine Bell as Cassandra Nightingale and Chris Potter as Chief of Police Jake Russell. The film has spawned six sequels and a television series.

Plot[edit]

Grey House—an old, abandoned building in the town of Middleton—is infamous for being haunted by its former owner, known as "The Grey Lady". Police Chief Inspector Jake Russell decides to investigate when rumors start to spread of someone occupying the house. He enters the building, accompanied by town mayor Martha Tisdale, and is welcomed by a mysterious, beautiful woman who introduces herself as Cassandra Nightingale. She tells them she had just moved in, and plans to open a shop on Main Street.

Later, Jake Russell's children Brandon and Lori are chased by a dog on their way home from school. They end up in the front yard of Grey House and Lori falls and bruises her knee. Cassie appears and makes the dog stop just by looking at it. She talks to the dog, and tells it to behave better and go home. The dog does as told. She invites the children into her house to take care of Lori's knee. The kitchen is full of vials and bottles containing various herbs, which leads Brandon to believe that Cassie is a witch.

The new shop on Main Street is also filled with elixirs and herbs from around the world. This leads many townspeople, especially Mayor Tisdale, to believe Cassie practices Black Magic.

As Jake Russell investigates mysterious occurrences, he and Cassie frequently interact. A mutual attraction evolves, leading him to ask her out on a date.

As time passes, some people in Middleton continue to be hostile toward Cassie and she considers leaving town. However, she postpones the date when Jake convinces her to stay. The couple spend a romantic evening at Grey House where they kiss.

Cast and Characters[edit]

  • Catherine Bell as Cassandra Nightingale. A mysterious woman who moves into Grey House. She seems to have multiple strange abilities, the extent and origin of which are mostly unknown. These include communicating with animals, and suddenly appearing out of nowhere. Born Sue-Ellen Brook, Cassie's parents died in a car crash when she was a child, and she was raised in foster care. Cassie has a shop in Middleton called Bell, Book & Candle, where she sells various curious objects. Towards the end of the film she begins a relationship with Police Chief Jake Russell.
  • Chris Potter as Chief of Police Jake Russell. Jake is the father of Brandon and Lori. Since the death of his wife Jennifer three years ago, he gets help raising them by his father-in-law George. Since his wife's death he has become overly protective of his children. Jake is fascinated by Cassandra, but as opposed to her intuitive decision-making, he relies mainly on facts. Toward the end of the film, the two begin a relationship.
  • Matthew Knight as Brandon Russell. The son of Jennifer and Jake Russell. Brandon spends his free time playing video games. He cares for his younger sister, despite often being annoyed by her. He gets bullied by another boy in school, but after learning the boy comes from an abusive home, the two boys become friends. Brandon tells his father about the abuse, and helps get his friend away from the situation.
  • Hannah Endicott-Douglas as Lori Russell, Jake's youngest child. Since her mother's death, she has been haunted by nightmares about monsters. She receives a dreamcatcher from Cassie and is told not to dream of bunnies, which makes her nightmares disappear.
  • Catherine Disher as Martha Tinsdale, a strong willed member of city council. Martha is afraid of Cassandra ruining the good image of Middleton, as the town is looking for new investors. Convinced that Cassie practises Black Magic, she petitions for the shop to be closed.
  • Paula Boudrea as Nancy, also a member of city council. Nancy buys a parfum in Bell, Book & Candle that increases her husband's attraction to her. At the end of the film, she is revealed to be pregnant, after having tried for a long time. She befriends Cassie and makes some effort to defend her.
  • Noah Cappe as Deputy Derek Sanders, a laid back and easygoing police officer. In addition to Jake being his boss, the two men are also friends. Derek is surprised when he first sees Cassie, as she does not look like the witch townspeople have called her.
  • Peter MacNeill as George O'Hanrahan.
  • Nathan McLeod as Michael, son of Martha Tinsdale.
  • Jesse Bostick as Kyle.

Promotion[edit]

On January 15, 2008, Hallmark Channel and Limbo, the mobile entertainment community, teamed up to create and launch the cable network's first-ever mobile interactive initiative. The campaign "enhanced viewers' experience of the premiere of the network's original movie ... through 'Limbo Unique' – a game played via cell phone or online". The grand prize was $2,000 and a portrait of the "Grey Lady" that was featured in the movie.[1]

Production[edit]

Although set in Middleton, USA, it was filmed in Hamilton and Niagara on the Lake, Ontario in Canada. In the sequel, The Good Witch's Charm, the map on the wall in the police station shows Middleton located northwest of Chicago, in the vicinity of DuPage County. The names of the suburbs and interstates that are west of Chicago can be clearly seen.

Reception[edit]

The movie had great success on Hallmark Channel on the night of its premiere, making it the second-highest-rated original movie to that date. It premiered with a 3.8 HH (household) rating and was in nearly 3.2 million homes.[2] It also was #1 in its time period, propelling the channel to the #4 spot in weekly ranking.[3]

Home media[edit]

The Good Witch (Region 1) DVD was released on January 5, 2010.

The Good Witch Collection (Region 1) DVD was released October 14, 2014.[4]

Sequels[edit]

On February 7, 2009, the Hallmark Channel aired a sequel, The Good Witch's Garden.[5][6] The third installment, The Good Witch's Gift,[7] aired on November 13, 2010, on Hallmark. The fourth installment, The Good Witch's Family, aired on October 29, 2011. The fifth installment The Good Witch's Charm premiered on October 27, 2012. The Good Witch's Destiny sixth installment premiered on October 26, 2013. A seventh installment, The Good Witch's Wonder, aired October 25, 2014.[8]

Television series[edit]

In February 2014, the Hallmark Channel announced that Good Witch had been green-lighted for a ten-episode series, starring Catherine Bell, to premiere on February 28, 2015.[9][10] Production for the first season began on October 29, 2014, in Toronto,[11] with Sue Tenney as showrunner. Bailee Madison and James Denton also star.[11][12]

Characters[edit]

  • A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film.
Character Title
The Good Witch Garden Gift Family Charm Destiny Wonder Season 1 Halloween Season 2 Secrets of Grey House Season 3 Spellbound Season 4
Cassie Nightingale Catherine Bell
Jake Russell Chris Potter
Martha Tinsdale Catherine Disher
George Peter MacNeill Peter MacNeill
Brandon Russell Matthew Knight Dan Jeannotte Dan Jeannotte Dan Jeannotte
Lori Russell Hannah Endicott-Douglas
Derek Noah Cappe
Tom Tinsdale Paul Miller Paul Miller Paul Miller Paul Miller Paul Miller
Michael Tinsdale Nathan McLeod Edward Ruttle Edward Ruttle
Gwen Elizabeth Lennie Elizabeth Lennie
Abigail Pershing Sarah Power Sarah Power
Tara Ashley Leggat Rebecca Dalton Rebecca Dalton Rebecca Dalton
Grace Russell uncredited uncredited Lily-Fay Mowbray Bailee Madison
Jarod Randal Edwards Randal Edwards Randal Edwards
Sam James Denton
Ryan Anthony Lemke Anthony Lemke
Stephanie Kylee Evans
Nick Rhys Matthew Bond
Anthony Shane Harte
Linda Gabrielle Miller
Ben Jefferson Brown
Eve Kate Corbett
John Dover Dan Payne
Courtney Alanna Bale Alanna Bale
Liam Seann Gallagher
Noah James Swalm James Rittinger
Phil Sebastian Pigott

References[edit]

External links[edit]