"THE CRONE OF CAWDOR"
"When the earth turns once around the sun, let the crone go forth til day is done. Another's form she'll take and her form leave from six in the morn til six in the eve. And in this guise if she can secure a willing kiss from a mortal pure, To her will pass the mortal's youth, to him will pass her age forsooth."
One of the all-time best episodes has Darrin in danger of becoming 500 years older ("...but no wiser!") if he falls under the spell of the ancient Crone of Cawdor, a "reptile in women's clothing." The combination of R. Robert Rosenbaum's excellent direction and Ed Jurist's best script written for "Bewitched" is absolutely top-notch: suspenseful, mysterious and very funny.
Many key elements make this a sophisticated departure from the usual plots starting with the brilliant concept of having folklore from Samantha's world materialize into the present. With the Crone, Jurist has created a faux mythical creature which sounds just as frightening as any of the fables from our modern day consciousness (i.e. Medusa and her Gorgon sisters.) Having her inhabit the beautiful form of Terry Warbell is a clever touch straight out of any Hammer Horror film and Julie Gregg's performance as the gorgeous crone is perfect.
Agnes Moorehead is wickedly droll throughout and especially marvelous in her scene as a snooty fashion designer (cleverly parodying Edith Head, filmdom's top costume designer) and Liz looks like a million dollars in her pink "anniversary of our first meeting" outfit, complete with gorgeous hair and make-up. Heather Woodruff as Darrin's secretary does her best to be the WORST actress ever to play Betty but it doesn't even make a ripple in this otherwise flawless script which sparkles from beginning to its thrilling climax -- one of the best ever devised for this show.
GUEST STARS: A blonde Julie Gregg appeared earlier as Samantha's nemesis in "Double Split" (#64) and would later go on to appear in "The Godfather." Dorothy Neumann (Old Crone) co-starred with Elizabeth Montgomery in a 1961 episode of "Thriller" entitled "Masquerade" (playing an old hag!) and before that was a featured player in many classic films such as "Sorry, Wrong Number," "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and "The Ten Commandments."
FAVE QUOTE: Darrin: "The WHAT of WHAT?!"
©Review Copyright 1998 by SCOTT VIETS
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