Love at Stake (1987)

Love at Stake (1987)

Taglines: Blazing witches. Young exorcists.

Miles Campbell, recent graduate of Harvard Divinity School, arrives in Salem, Massachusetts to become the local parson’s assistant. He meets with his childhood sweetheart, baker Sara Lee, and plans to marry her. Meanwhile, greedy Judge Samuel John arrives to meet with idiotic Mayor Upton to discuss plans for a (anachronistic) Mall for Salem. To acquire the necessary real estate they hatch a scheme to accuse certain villagers of witchcraft.

When the accused are tried, convicted and burned, their land can be confiscated. The plan is succeeding, as the villagers, egged on by the parson’s shrewish mother, enthusiastically accept the Judge’s message. Then saucy Faith Stewart (secretly a real witch) arrives from London for Thanksgiving with her cousins. Faith falls for Miles and accuses Sara of witchcraft. Miles must prove Sara’s innocence before she is burned at the stake.

Love at Stake is a 1987 comedy film, directed by the creator of the TV series The Ed Sullivan Show and director of The Werewolf of Woodstock John C. Moffitt, based on a screenplay by Lanier Laney and Terry Sweeny. It stars Patrick Cassidy and Kelly Preston, with Barbara Carrera, Bud Cort, Dave Thomas, and Stuart Pankin. Joyce Brothers makes a cameo appearance as herself.

The film is an obvious spoof of the infamous Salem witch trials, moving in the Mel Brooks comedy vein in Blazing Saddles, moving in the anarchic comedy films genre that was popularized in that time by the Monty Python films and from the Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker films.

The film was produced by Hemdale Film Corporation and was distributed by Tri-Star Pictures. Many critic reviewers on film reviews websites were wondering why Moffitt’s film had a short theatrical life and why it didn’t become a cult classic. Filming took place in Kleinburg, Ontario.

Love at Stake Movie Poster (1987)

Love at Stake (1987)

Directed by: John Moffitt
Starring: Patrick Cassidy, Kelly Preston, Georgia Brown, Barbara Carrera, Bud Cort, Annie Golden, David Graf, Audrie Neenan, Stuart Pankin, Anne Ramsey, Joyce Brothers
Screenplay by: Lanier Laney, Terry Sweeney
Production Design by: Roy Forge Smith
Cinematography by: Mark Irwin
Film Editing by: Danford B. Greene
Costume Design by: Linda Matheson
Set Decoration by: Oral McPherson
Music by: Charles Fox
Distributed by: TriStar Pictures
Release Date: August 1, 1987