Escape to Witch Mountain
Richards was already an established child actor at the time Escape to Witch Mountain was released, having made many commercials and television appearances, in addition to 54 episodes of Nanny and the Professor (1970). She followed Escape to Witch Mountain with No Deposit, No Return (1976) and Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), in which her character meets a shocking end. Her younger sister, Kyle Richards, makes an appearance in Escape to Witch Mountain, portraying the younger Tia. Their half-sister, Kathy, went on to gain a different kind of notoriety as a Hilton and mother of Paris and Nicki.
Ike Eisenmann, now known as Lake Eisenmann, moved behind the camera in 1987 after a rich television career. He works as a sound technician and directs and produces animated projects.
Director John Hough (The Legend of Hell House, 1973) was well-versed in horror and suspense when he took on Escape to Witch Mountain, beginning in the UK as assistant director on The Avengers (1961). He returned, as did Richards and Eisenmann, for Return from Witch Mountain (1978).
That television staple of the '70s and '80s Denver Pyle (Dukes of Hazard, 1979) plays Uncle Bené, who has been looking for Tony and Tia since their spaceship crash-landed. And '70s teen star Lance Kerwin (James at 15, 1977), makes a short appearance in the film as one of Tony and Tia's fellow orphans, as does a young actor named Dermott Downs, who was often misidentified afterwards as another red-headed child star by the name of Johnny Whitaker.
The distinctive score for the movie was written by Johnny Mendel, who also composed the music for the film and television versions of MASH.
Escape to Witch Mountain was remade in 1995 and another version is due to be released in 2009, titled Race to Witch Mountain, in which Richards and Eisenmann will both make appearances.
Producer: Jerome Courtland
Director: John Hough
Screenplay: Robert Malcolm Young; Alexander Key (book)
Cinematography: Frank Phillips
Art Direction: John B. Mansbridge, Al Roelofs
Music: Johnny Mandel
Film Editing: Robert Stafford
Cast: Eddie Albert (Jason O'Day), Ray Milland (Aristotle Bolt), Donald Pleasence (Lucas Deranian), Kim Richards (Tia Malone), Ike Eisenmann (Tony Malone), Walter Barnes (Sheriff Purdy), Reta Shaw (Mrs. Grindley), Denver Pyle (Uncle Bene), Alfred Ryder (Astrologer), Lawrence Montaigne (Ubermann), Terry Wilson (Biff Jenkins).
C-98m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.
by Emily Soares