Wicked Stepmother

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This article is about the 1989 comedy film. For the fairy tale archetype, see Stepfamily § Fairy_tales. For Disney's Cinderella's stepmother, see Lady Tremaine.
Wicked Stepmother
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Larry Cohen
Produced by Larry Cohen
Written by Larry Cohen
Starring Bette Davis
Barbara Carrera
Music by Robert Folk
Cinematography Bryan England
Edited by David Kern
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
February 3, 1989 (USA)
Running time
93 minutes
Language English
Budget $2,500,000 (estimated)
Box office $43,749 (USA)

Wicked Stepmother is a 1989 American comedy film written, produced, and directed by Larry Cohen. It is best known for being the last film of Bette Davis, who withdrew from the project after filming began, citing major problems with the script and the way she was being photographed. Cohen later claimed she really dropped out due to ill health but avoided publicizing the truth for fear it would affect potential future employment.[1] The actress died eight months after the film was released.


The original plot cast Davis as the title character, a chain smoking witch named Miranda, who has married Sam while his vegetarian daughter Jenny and son-in-law Steve are on vacation. They return to find their new stepmother has filled their refrigerator with meat and played havoc with their collection of herbs. To explain Davis' absence, the script was rewritten to introduce Miranda's daughter Priscilla, who takes on a human form while her mother's spirit inhabits the body of a cat. Priscilla then sets out to get Jenny who has figured out that there is something going on. She accuses her of messing up the kitchen while Jenny's on a bike ride. Priscilla ends up sleeping with Jenny's husband. The entire time she refuses to switch bodies with Miranda. Jenny then figures out that they're witches and tries to stop them from ruining her family.

Principal cast[edit]

Principal production credits[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

TV Guide calls it "a good-natured, occasionally hilarious spookshow, graced with a few ingenious special effects and sassily acted - with Davis giving a gleefully nasty, if abbreviated, last film performance.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cohen, Larry (2012). "I Killed Bette Davis". Filmcomment.com. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  2. ^ TV Guide review

External links[edit]