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Vincent Price, who played Matthew Hopkins
Vincent Price, who played Matthew Hopkins

Witchfinder General is a 1968 British period horror film directed by Michael Reeves. The screenplay, by Reeves and Tom Baker, was based on Ronald Bassett's novel Witchfinder General. The plot follows Roundhead soldier Richard Marshall, played by Ian Ogilvy, who pursues witchfinder general Matthew Hopkins, played by Vincent Price (pictured), and his assistant John Stearne, played by Robert Russell. The low-budget film was produced by Tigon British Film Productions. In the United States, the film was retitled The Conqueror Worm by its distributor American International Pictures to link it with their earlier series of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations. Witchfinder General became a cult film, partially attributable to Reeves's death nine months after its release. Critics' praise for the film highlighted its direction, performances, and musical score by Paul Ferris. In 2005, the magazine Total Film named Witchfinder General the 15th-greatest horror film of all time. (Full article...)

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Did you know ...

Fu-Go balloon bomb
Fu-Go balloon bomb
  • ... that the first intercontinental weapon was not a missile, but a Japanese balloon (example pictured)?
  • ... that YouTuber Joey Santore is known for his "Bill Swerski–esque" Chicago accent and use of profanity on his channel Crime Pays But Botany Doesn't?
  • ... that makwerekwere is the South African equivalent of "barbarians", an offensive and derogatory slur used to refer to foreigners?
  • ... that Marisa Anderson organized and participated in multiple cross-country walks to raise awareness for various political causes?
  • ... that the World-Wide Navigational Warning Service divides the entire ocean into just 21 radio areas?
  • ... that the 1943 North Texas Aggies went from "kitchen maid" to "queen of the ball" when the Marine Corps sent players from major universities "tumbling onto" the campus?
  • ... that Montserratian playwright Edgar Nkosi White only wrote his first play after he was dared by actor Martin Sheen?
  • ... that Cusrow Baug in Mumbai had only a few tenants in the 1950s even at a low rent of 40 rupees per month?

In the news

Guillermo Lasso in October 2022
Guillermo Lasso

On this day

May 19: Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day in Turkey (1919); Sanja Matsuri begins in Tokyo, Japan (2023)

John Franklin
John Franklin
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From today's featured list

The basal eudicots are a group of 13 related families of flowering plants in four orders: Buxales, Proteales, Ranunculales and Trochodendrales. Like the core eudicots (the rest of the eudicots), they have pollen grains with three colpi (grooves) or other derived structures, and usually have flowers with four or five petals (sometimes multiples of four or five, sometimes reduced or fused). Unlike other eudicots, these orders sometimes have flowers with petals in twos or multiples of two. They include trees, shrubs, woody vines and herbaceous plants. Cultivars of Buxus are used for hedges and topiary, and the high-quality wood is commonly used for decorative carvings and musical instruments. The sacred lotus is the national flower of India and Vietnam, and the waratah is the floral emblem of the Australian state of New South Wales. (Full list...)

Today's featured picture

Violet sabrewing

The violet sabrewing (Campylopterus hemileucurus) is a species of hummingbird in the tribe Trochilini, sometimes known as the emeralds. It is the largest hummingbird of Mexico and Central America, being 13 to 15 centimetres (5 to 6 in) long with a weight of 9 to 12 grams (0.3 to 0.4 oz). Both sexes have a black bill. There are two subspecies, C. h. hemileucurus and C. h. mellitus. This male C. h. mellitus violet sabrewing in flight was photographed in the Mount Totumas cloud forest in Panama.

Photograph credit: Charles J. Sharp

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