Monday, November 24, 2008

'Witch' Craft

I couldn't help but get nostalgic last night when a friend e-mailed to say that they were updating the (classic-to-me) Disney "Witch Mountain" movies. I was obsessed with the originals, and still have both instant paperbacks in my collection today. While Jodie Foster and Helen Hunt were the best-remembered child actresses of the 1970s, for me the one with the most box-office appeal by far was Kim Richards. (She was pretty as Marcia and tough as Jodie, but seemed like way more fun than both!) After falling in love with her Prudence in "Nanny and the Professor," my siblings and I raced to see 1975's "Escape to Witch Mountain." (ESP, telekinesis, Winky the cat AND a totally cute brother -- what more could a gay boy ask for?)

And just when I thought that was the greatest movie of all time, she topped herself a year later in "No Deposit, No Return" as a kidnapped heiress opposite Don Knotts and David Niven! (You KNOW how badly I dreamed of being kidanapped!) Next she turned up as James' kid sister on the unparalleled "James at 15" before making the greatest sequel of all time(!), "Return From Witch Mountain" in 1978 -- opposite Bette Davis! (You could also get your weekly fill of her on television as she made guest appearances on virtually every big show of the decade, including "Family," "The Streets of San Francisco," "Police Woman" and "The Rockford Files.")

Before tonight, I hadn't thought of Kim in ages until her name popped up a couple years ago in an article about Paris Hilton. Like that big-foot doesn't HAVE EVERYTHING already, it turns out Kim is her aunt! (Kathy Hilton is Kim's sister.)
A quick look at IMDB and I discovered that not only did Kim and her onscreen brother Ike Eisenmann appear in "The Blair Witch Mountain Project" spoof in 2002 (anyone see that???), they're also reprising their roles in the new "Race to Witch Mountain"! (This time instead of the lovable Eddie Albert they have The Rock playing the grownup.) I'm hoping the film comes out at just the right moment so I can take my nephew, AJ, to see it. Sure, it's a kids movie. But something tells me a Kim Richards cameo (and some Sno-Caps) could make me outkid any 6-year-old any day of the week. Thanks for the heads-up, Steve. Now keep me posted on the "Apple Dumpling Gang," "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and " Bedknobs and Broomsticks" remakes, would ya?


Princessa lil mexico said...

oh my i love those movies. I know they are older than me. But when they would come on tv i would have to fight my brothers just to watch it with my younger sister!

Anonymous said...

i LOVE these movies ... have them both at home and watch them occasionally, usually when i'm couch-bound-sick and need something homey and comforting to remind me of my youth ... these and "The Cat from Outer Space" were my 3 favorite live-action Disney films from childhood.

Anonymous said...

This is funny... I just had a conversation about Kim Richards with a friend a couple weeks ago. I also love all those movies you mentioned. And, thanks to Netflix, I can rent them and no one has to see!

EduardO said...

Here's the hi-def trailer link for your viewing pleasure: Release Date: March 13, 2009

Matthew said...

Stop stealing my life! I looooved those movies in a sickly fascinated way. I also was peeved to see Kim is related to Paris Hilton, which I discovered a couple of years ago.

Anonymous said...

WOW - and I thought I was the only person on this planet who remembers "Nanny & The Professor"!!

Don't forget, Kenneth - Kim was also on one of the worst sitcom/spinoffs in history: "HELLO LARRY"!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my God! I totally loved the Witch Mountain movies. Kim Richards was a star!

I hate to say it, but the Rock version doesn't look too bad, only it doesn't really capture the charm of the original, at least not from the trailer. It's too much about the Rock, not enough about the kids.

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