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  • I'll admit, I was predisposed to like this movie -- Catherine Bell and Chris Potter, two of TV's most telegenic actors, and two of my favorites, in the same feel-good family movie -- what could be better! (The grandfather and granddaughter are particularly well-cast as well.)

    Although the script follows a typical stranger-in-town plot, combining mystery, conflict, and redemption, the whole thing is very well executed with nary a misstep. The explanations regarding the title character's background make total sense when revealed, and can even let viewers who don't analyze by thinking ahead enjoy a surprise or two.

    If TV movies were all there were, I'd rate this a 10, but in the larger context -- after all, it's not "great art" -- I gave it an 8.

    (Note: When I originally wrote this comment, the running time for this movie was not yet listed, so I noted here that, as shown on the Hallmark Channel, it runs for 89 minutes, plus commercials to fill out the two-hour time slot. The running time has since been added where it belongs.)

    Addendum: Rewatching this movie two years later, I find it has lost none of its charm, and indeed is even more endearing upon second viewing.
  • leilabaileyanna20 January 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    I was waiting for weeks for this movie to come out on the Hallmark Channel. Finally I saw it and was very happy. First of all Catherine Bell does a fabulous job in her character. She is funny, brilliant, and has fun with her character. She proves that even when you play a good witch people will still act skeptical. The character that she plays is closer to who she really is, and she does it brilliantly. If you are in the mood for a fun movie that you can watch with the rest of your family, this is the perfect movie. Great for all ages. Catherine Bell and Chris Potter have great chemistry, and for all fans of Catherine Bell this is a movie for you. This is a great movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Although the actors were not at all familiar to me, and the "feel" of the movie is typical made for TV movie/Hallmark fair, please don't let this stop you from seeing this great "feel good" movie.

    It seems as if I have seen this movie a million times as it feels formulaic and clichéd but it somehow has a refreshing charm and character as told by a "witch" stranger who comes to a small town and moves into a mansion who no one notices at first. The closest movie I could compare this to in terms of theme would be Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988).

    OK, now for the witchy part of this review: The only God/dess mentioned is Isis, the name Cassandra's familiar, a black cat. Her jewelry is non-descript, and I saw no alters or ritual tools in the background sets of her house (believe me I was looking for them), except for the most recognizable "witch" tool to muggles, a round broom that would appear at "magical" times throughout the movie with its own "magical" music. There are Native American tools (dream catcher) and New Age tools (Crystal), but this only shows her eclectic nature. The character is very good with herb and salve lore. There are no rituals depicted unless you can call reciting a mantra such as "I will not dream of bunnies" a ritual.

    To cannibalize Starhawks quote, the main character in the story Cassandra "Changes everyone she touches" both directly and indirectly for the better. The theme of "the truth/answer/solution/magic is within yourself, you only need to find it" is pervasive throughout the movie and Cassandra is the catalyst that helps the other characters work through their problems. Cassandra answers can best be described as spoken by an "old soul," as she is very wise beyond her years.

    Besides the general "feel good" nature of this movie, I highly recommend this movie as a "coming out" of the broom closet movie to show disapproving family and friends, as I cannot find one negative/incorrect treatment of Cassandra in this movie. In short it paints "wise women" in a very positive and accurate light. Some questions to ask after finishing watching this movie would be: "So what do you think of witches now?" Followed by "What would you say if I was/want to be one?" I can only hope to see more positive/accurate media portraying witches in such a good light.
  • I've seen the movie twice and thoroughly enjoyed it both times. If you live in a small town, you can really appreciate different aspects of this movie. Catherine Bell is wonderful. She really makes you fall in love with Cassandra Nightingale. All of the characters are wonderfully cast. Chris Potter is great as Police Chief, Jake Russell. The children are fun and believable. I couldn't help but smile throughout the whole movie. It is wholesome and fun. A movie for the whole family. The movie has some really cute twists and turns. The first movie I've seen in a while with no sex, violence or foul language. A very typical Hallmark feel-good movie. I LOVED IT and hope to see several sequels.
  • janice1436 September 2008
    I have watched this movie several times on cable, and I just really love the entire concept of the haunted house, the widowed father with two adorable kids, Catherine Bell as the so-called witch. She is so beautiful and so believable. Maybe it is schmaltzy but I really just love watching a wholesome program where the "good guys" win.

    The scenes from Halloween were exceptionally wonderful, you could see the two main characters falling in love.

    And the Mayor's wife getting her comeuppance, the actress playing the Mayor's wife was really great, I loved her. A good feel good movie!

    I heard that there is a sequel in the works, and I really hope so. This is a true wholesome family movie and I look forward to it!
  • Kmmal1218 January 2009
    I absolutely adored TGW. It was a wonderful family movie that my niece and nephew enjoyed watching w. me. As a huge Catherine Bell fan since her days on JAG, I have always loved the characters that she portrays. Btw, she is one of the most under-rated actresses today who deserves more recognition from her industry. With that said, you will not be disappointed in this very feel good sweet and fun story with beautiful acting from Catherine Bell and Chris Potter. In this day and age when movies are violent and have bad language, TGW is clean good fun. I would recommend this movie to anyone. It is not scary and really sends a strong message to people. As a teacher, I would want my students to watch a movie like this (3rd graders)because of the important message it sends. TGW is the best- it was Hallmark's highest rated movie for 2008 and second highest rated movie in their history.
  • This was your run of the mill Hallmark channel movie but that certainly didn't stop me from enjoying it. It was great to just sit on the couch with my popcorn and watch a good, clean, movie. The acting was good and all the characters were believable. I enjoyed watching Catherine Bell the most. She was perfect for the part. I MIGHT watch this movie again but nevertheless, it was still good to just sit and watch something without violence, sex, etc. It's definitely worth your time and it'll keep your interest 'til the end. 'Witches' don't exactly coincide with my beliefs but knowing it was a Hallmark movie, it didn't make me standoffish at all.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Good Witch has the same charm as Bell Book and Candle (1958). It's a benevolent look at a very kind women that seems to be a witch. Like most of us - she just wants a place to call home. To that end she helps others she meets with in the small town community in an informally magical way resolve their own problems.

    The show made me smile. I don't do that very often - but it felt good. The only other film has the ability to do that is Pollyanna (1960) - the original. The film is just charming. It is a film that looks for the good in people and helps them find it with in themselves. We could use a lot more films of this type. I hope to pick up a copy as a DVD as soon as possible. "My favorite line is: Life's a journey - not a destination." How's that for an optimistic outlook?
  • demakowski20 January 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    A feel good movie, Catherine Bell play a mysterious woman that come to town, and moves into the Old House of the Grey Lady. Her interactions with the townsfolk causes some of them to think she's a witch.

    Her character fixes up the old house and opens up a shop that sales knickknacks, potions and charms, the city counsel wants to run her out of town. The mayor's wife is the main one that wants to close her down. She finds romance with the Sheriff, and the story end with the question is she a witch or not, you decide.

    Catherine Bell brings a great performance to her character. She bring a new degree to the characters she can play. I can't wait for more movies and TV from Catherine Bell.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Jake's question to Cassandra in the final scene seems to epitomize the premise of the movie. Is she? Or isn't she? A review of the events in the plot support the conclusion that most feats of "magic" were actually accomplished by the recipient of its benefit...Lori's monster removal, Brandon's "taming" of Kyle, George's decision to visit Ireland, and Nancy's pregnancy. The two episodes that was never explained to be other than supernatural was Cassandra's "conversation" with the enraged Doberman and the miraculous appearance of Cassandra's broom in the shop during the final scene.

    Yes, Cassandra was involved in each of these events, but was it magic or merely the effect of her suggestions that caused the change? Was it the dream catcher, or was it the "prescribed" bunnies that chased Lori's monsters? Was it the purple rock or was it Cassandra's insistence on Brandon's closer contact with Kyle that changed their relationship? But isn't that what witches do? Don't they employ the various forces already existing in nature (and in people) to effect their "magic"? When Jake asked "You're not a witch, are you?", Cassandra merely replied "Silly!" She neither confirmed not denied the implication, leaving us to our own conclusions, but that last depiction of her with that half smile and those knowing eyes certainly cemented my own.

    Kudoes to the entire cast and to the writers for an entrancing tale. Special applause should go to Catherine Bell for her sparkling performance as Cassandra and to the director(s) of this intriguing story which left me wanting to see more of and to be a part of this "magic" throughout several sequels.
  • In the days of gory and seedy exposure of human behavior this movie is refreshing in showing the pleasant side.

    I am probably prejudiced because I watched Catherine Bell in the JAG series and I adored her. In this movie she looked pregnant at least that was my impression but it added an allure to her role.

    It is interesting that it was filmed in Canada and not US. More movies like this so the world does not seem to be comprised of mentally deranged seedy characters. We grandfather also acted very humanly and supportive. I identify with such intra family advise.

    Question remains why it is not shown in the movie theaters?
  • Let me say at the start that this film is about as far from "normal" as it gets for me. I don't have a family, I don't watch afternoon TV (and this film *definitely* fits both those bills), and I generally avoid Hallmark movies like the plague. But, you know what? I liked this one.

    It is VERY low-key - perhaps even overly so at times - but it's the very "ordinaryness" of the characters that makes Cassie stand out, and the languid pace of the story fits well with the small-town atmosphere.

    Everyone, the kids included, do their jobs well; and the upshot is a very pleasant hour and a half immersion in a children's story, with just enough to keep the adults amused. It's not J.M. Barrie, but it's not pap either, and it has the good sense not to overstay its welcome.

    And for someone who likes Seagal and Willis and Pacino (when he can't find a "Casablanca" or a "Shawshank") that's pretty high praise.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I thoroughly enjoyed this movie,& somewhat expect it's a pilot for a regular series.If not,I hope the producers will consider making one, or possibly make other movies with the characters.Another idea might be have Cassandra be a roving witch,going from one place to another helping locals out.Catherine Bell was top-notch in the role, as were all the others.In many ways,this movie was a composite of BEWITCHED & THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW, although without the special effects of the former classic series.It may not ever be the classic series either became,but still,I hope the networks,broadcast & cable,& the stars & producers will consider a series if they haven't already.
  • ctomvelu129 August 2010
    Old-fashioned, never-never-land fable about a mysterious woman who comes to a small town to claim an inheritance, specifically, the town's notorious haunted house. She sets up a shop full of potions and gemstones and charms, which does not go down well with the mayor's pompous wife (and tellingly, the only fat woman in the entire cast). This chubby busybody, straight out of a 1940s comedy, is convinced the new arrival is a witch (she does own a black cat and an antique broom) and spends the rest of the film trying to drive her out of town. Meanwhile, the newcomer performs a series of subtle good deeds that help various town folk with problems ranging from sterility to bullies. This Hallmark movie bears more than a passing resemblance to "Bell Book and Candle," and in fact the reputed witch names her New Age-y store Bell Book and Candle. The delectable Catherine Bell plays the mysterious woman, a woman similar to the character played by Kim Novak in "Bell Book and Candle." Since this is a Hallmark TV movie, Bell has to rein in her incredible sensuality, but she's still quite a dish even while playing more of a Mary Poppins character. I got a kick out of the cover for this one, which shows Bell grasping what appears to be a long, black phallic object, while giving us a knowing smile. The object, if you look hard enough, is actually a very long broomstick. Familiar TV actor Chris Potter plays the local sheriff, a widower with two small children who is smitten by Bell at first sight. Spending an evening alone on a couch in front of a roaring fireplace, wineglasses in hand, Bell and Potter manage one chaste kiss -- no tussling in the sheets for these two. This is a Hallmark movie, after all. So a chaste kiss is all we get. Entertaining, low-key family movie that was shot in Canada.
  • dspear777718 June 2008
    I think this is a take-off on the French movie Chocolat (1988). A mysterious but sweet wandering woman comes into a small town. She opens up a shop where she gives away things that magically make people better. But the conservative element tries to drive her out simply because she's different from them.

    A complement to the movie is that although I missed the start, I recognized the plot immediately. It did have a similar feel to Chocolat.

    But it wasn't nearly as good because it got distracted by a typical Hollywood love interest which wasn't germane to the main plot of intolerance. And it ended abruptly with a typical Hollywood cop-out. The question is not whether she's a witch, but could enough people in town change to accept her goodness.
  • waynecoldman19 May 2019
    Good story and good idea but poor acting and poor directing...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is a Hallmark movie shown last night. We generally like Hallmark movies and this is a nice one. In many ways it reminded us of the Fench movie "Chocolat."

    I hadn't seen Catherine Bell since I watched 'JAG' a few years ago. She started on that show as a 28-year-old, and while we weren't watching she turned 40. She is as pretty as ever, and really a good actress too.

    Here she is the new lady in this small town, Cassandra Nightingale. There is an old, dilapidated house that the kids think is haunted, and Cassie turns up there. Seems she now owns it and plans to make their small town her new home. She opens a small shop specializing in herbs and scents.

    We first see her "power" as two kids are chased by a menacing dog that broke loose and escaped his yard. Cassie held the dog and whispered to it, and after that it was nice to everyone, much to the consternation of the owner.

    The two kids happened to belong to widower Chris Potter as Jake Russell, the town Sheriff. Chris takes a certain liking to Cassie, but there is trouble in town. The mayor's wife is a busybody and seeks to "protect" the integrity of the town and takes it upon herself to run Cassie and her business out.

    Good movie. It is never established positively that Cassie is a witch, but the story sure hints at it.

    I see that "Good Witch 2" is now in production.
  • I didn't know about this movie until I noticed the 3d part of it on this site. And I thought that it will be interesting. So, today I watched the first part of the "Good Witch". It is a story of a beautiful woman, who came to live in the Grey House. Everybody around thought that she was a witch, because once she talked with dog, who scared children, and after that the dog has changed a lot. She had friends, but she had enemies. We can see how this woman tried to survive in this small town. It was very well-done, very bright, colorful and kind. A very good story with love and rivalry. I think that you can watch it with your family if you want to rest. The acting was brilliant, the plot is not very difficult to understand. Watch it! You will love it!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I had seen the series on Netflix and enjoyed it enough to check out this movie, but...

    I was NOT expecting to like this movie so much!!

    I can definitely see how this movie spawned so many follow-up movies and a popular series.

    It is fun, relatable, sweet. a definitely family film, but in the good kind of way where everybody in the family can enjoy the film, not just where it's safe for everybody in the family.

    I admit that it is totally up my alley- with a mysterious woman who you can't quite figure out whether she's magical or incredibly, impossibly intuitive happily and unselfishly going around changing people's lives for the better. And I like how upbeat she is even when karma doesn't quite seem to be taking care of her the way I think it should be. And of course, the way the good people around her rally for her when she needs them is heartwarming.

    Definitely making it into my library and going to become 1 of my more worn out DVDs pretty quickly.

    And now, I'm off in search of the rest of the movies :)
  • This is such a lovely family movie. It has everything you need for a warm tale about love kindness and all things magical. It makes you want to be a better person and be more open and accepting towards all others. I know sappy right...but who doesn't love a sappy clichéd movie.

    I originally thought this movie would be kind of like Sabrina the Teenage Witch with lots of magical power, potions and spells but instead they have gone down the pathway of inner magic that everybody has the ability to possess. It's nice. Not what I was expecting but it does let your imagine run wild with the possibilities.

    If your looking for something to watch that makes you feel good inside then I would definitely recommend this movie. I will certainly continue watching the entire series.
  • Lovely Catherine Bell is perfectly cast as Cassandra Nightingale, a beautiful and mysterious newcomer who opens a shop in the small town of Middleton and has a knack of solving people's problems with relative ease. She quickly makes a good impression on the widowed police chief (Chris Potter) and his kids. Unfortunately, she makes a bad impression on the mayor's wife, a busybody who leads a campaign to have Cassie's shop closed down because she's a witch. The question of whether she really is a witch is never definitively answered. The movie does a clever and cute job of keeping that mystery intact right up until the final (and somewhat odd) slow-mo shot. The cast backing up Catherine Bell is extremely likable and appealing. The Good Witch has a wholesome quality about it but it's never corny or cloying. I especially appreciated the movie's leisurely pace. The score helps, as well. It's a relaxing movie with a little bit of humor, drama, and romance...and a lot of magic.
  • I've seen all the films in the good witch series they are filled with mystery, magic and enchanting romance this role was made for Catherine Bell. She has a unique style of her own that makes the character of Cassie so fresh and original. The chemistry between her and Chris Potter from Kung Fu The Legend Continues is natural, simple not to mention fantastic.

    When mysterious newcomer Cassandra Nightingale (Bell) moves into a home once owned by The Grey Lady people in the small town of Middleton are curious and unsure if this new arrival should stay or leave. However she does make few friends and even widowed police chief Jake Russell (Potter) finds her to be enchanting, she helps his two children Brandon (Knight) & Lori (Douglas) with their problems. When she opens a shop called The Bell, Book & Candle the mayor's wife Martha Tinsdale (Disher) believes her to be a witch and starts a campaign to close down the store and enlists the help of other citizens to accomplish this goal.

    Jake wants her to stay because of the changes she's made in his kids lives and his, after the Tinsdale boys vandalize her shop their father puts an end to his wife's vendetta against Cassie and she's allowed to stay in Middleton. The final scene has Jake asking her is she really a witch? she simply hugs him and winks possibly implying that it's true.

    With a great cast and nice setting The Good Witch is a wonderful and mystical tale of family, romance and acceptance for who one is.
  • artpf1 November 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    Jake Russell, the friendly police chief in town so small initially worries about mysterious outsider heiress Cassandra 'Cassie' Nightingale, who moved into the house held to be haunted by the 'grey lady', and opens a strange gift shop full with attributes of occultism, soon causing the rumor she's a wicked witch. After Cassie kindly helps his brave son Brandon (and his sissy sister Lori) with a dog, bully Kyle -abused by his own poor dad- and their own fears, Jake soon makes friends with her, even romantically interested. Yet the 'chief' is professionally obliged to handle a flood of complaints and harassment started by the mayor's haughty wife, her busy bodies-bunch, and teenage brats. Finally Derek Sanders, Jakes's only deputy, hits on Cassie's hidden background.

    Silly throw away movie that's awfully slow.
  • peter-cyprian1 November 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    First of all, Catherine Bell's beauty will grab you from the start. The storyline is good, the cast was very well selected. I liked the movie- especially since they don't really ever show if this beautiful woman is, in fact, a witch or if she's just very intuitive. Does she simply understand humans and human nature VERY well or is she a witch? Is she just one of those "animal people" or does her witch powers allow her to communicate with the fur people? I enjoyed the story and thought the acting was excellent. Keep in mind, this is a holiday film- not intended to be a major Holleywood release. This film is not intended to be a competitor for the Oscars for Best Film or anything like that. With that clearly in mind, you have to really enjoy it for what it is.
  • naoutland2787015 October 2020
    The characters are rather too idealistic; every few episodes, it feels as though you may have to give yourself an insulin shot just to keep things normalized. The kisses.... cold, emotionless. I haven't seen anyone face-bump and hold someone's arms that much since about 3rd grade back in the late 1970's. My cat actually displays more genuine tenderness and affection when he bumps my face to go feed him in the morning. The writing is massively predictable-- five minutes into it and you can guess what'll happen and how things will end. And while yes, the show is founded on magic, you have to suspend belief A LOT when it comes just to day-to-day basics of life. And some characters just suddenly disappear without explanation. The writing is too... elementary. My wife gets after me about it, but it's hard NOT to laugh and gently mock the show for it. Wholesome entertainment is one thing, but it's so wholesome that it's... bland.

    HOWEVER... the REAL magic however is that the characters are lovable and endearing and show a way of living that you'll WANT to believe in. You'll want tea with Cassie and a friendly ear. You'll want to shoot hoops with Sam. You'll pray there are kids like those influencing your kids. And maybe if you're lucky, you'll remember a grandpa or grandpa-figure in your life as cool as George. That is what takes it above average though the "concerns" with it are just too much NOT to notice and break the binge here and there.
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