It’s October so you know what that means…non-stop airing of Disney’s Hocus Pocus, better known as the best Fall flick ever. You haven’t seen it? Shame on you. You simply must. Not only is it about one of my favorite historical subjects, the Salem Witch Trials, but it is funny and stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy. What more could you want? Before you watch it, check out this fun trivia to get you in the mood. Happy watching!
–In this film, Sarah Jessica Parker plays a witch who was executed during the Salem Witch Trials in the late 1600s. While researching her family history for the show Who Do You Think You Are? (2004), Parker was shocked to discover that her 10th great-grandmother Esther Elwell was arrested in Salem in the late 1600s for committing “sundry acts of witchcraft” and choking a neighbour to death. Esther’s case never went to court, she escaped with her life and the accusation ended the Salem Witch Trials. Parker said: “It has changed everything about who I thought I was.”
–The film grossed $39,514,713, although it became more popular over the years. Not only is it a cult favorite but it also can be viewed regularly on television during the month of October.
–During a 20th anniversary screening of Hocus Pocus, Doug Jones (“Billy Butcherson”) revealed the moths that come out of his mouth at the end of Hocus Pocus are real and not CGI.
–The role of Max Dennison was originally offered to Leonardo DiCaprio, but was given to Omri Katz when DiCaprio turned it down to appear in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993).
–Strangely, the film was released in the Summer of 1993, rather than in the Fall.
–It is often incorrectly reported that the song Sarah Sanderson sings from the sky was written by Edgar Allan Poe. It isn’t by him, nor does it carry the style or meters he would have used. It was written specifically for the film.
–When Bette Midler takes the stage at the town Halloween Party, she says “Hello Salem, my name is Winifred. What’s yours?”. This is a take-off of the famous line, “Hello world, my name is Rose, what’s yours?” that is spoken by Mama Rose in the musical “Gypsy”. Midler played Mama Rose in the television version, Gypsy (1993), the same year this film was released.
–Brother and sister Garry Marshall and Penny Marshall play husband and wife. He’s the one dressed as Satan.
–During the final fight in the cemetery, the background music imitates Miss Gulch’s (the Wicked Witch) theme from The Wizard of Oz (1939).
–The three little girls who steal the witches’ brooms from in front of the house are dressed as the sisters themselves: Winifred with red hair and green cape, Mary with black hair and red cape, and Sarah with blond hair and purple cape.
–When taking photos on the steps before trick-or-treating you see a painting of the Dennisons’ house behind them.
–Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Midler co-started together in the movie First Wives Club. Parker’s character played the younger woman Midler’s husband left her for.
–There were seven statues made of Bette Midler for the scene in which she bursts in the sunlight toward the end of the movie. One of the statues, along with Winnie’s spell book, is housed at the Planet Hollywood restaurant in Orlando, Florida.
All trivia courtesy of IMDB