6.9/10
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Bell Book and Candle (1958)

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A modern-day witch likes her neighbor but despises his fiancée, so she enchants him to love her instead, only to fall in love with him for real.

Director:

Richard Quine

Writers:

Daniel Taradash (screenplay), John Van Druten (play)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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A modern-day witch casts a spell over her engaged neighbor, only to fall in love with him herself.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Stewart ... Shepherd Henderson
Kim Novak ... Gillian Holroyd
Jack Lemmon ... Nicky Holroyd
Ernie Kovacs ... Sidney Redlitch
Hermione Gingold ... Bianca de Passe
Elsa Lanchester ... Queenie Holroyd
Janice Rule ... Merle Kittridge
Philippe Clay Philippe Clay ... French Singer at the Zodiac Club
Bek Nelson ... Tina - Shep's Secretary
Howard McNear ... Andy White - Shep's Co-Publisher
The Brothers Candoli The Brothers Candoli ... Musicians at the Zodiac Club
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Storyline

Gillian Holroyd is just your average, modern-day, witch, living in a New York apartment with her Siamese familiar, Pyewacket. But one day a handsome publisher, Shep Henderson walks into her building and Gillian decides she wants him--especially as it turns out he's marrying Merle Kittridge, an old poison penpal from Gillian's college days. So, Gillian casts a spell over Shep. But her powers are in danger of being exorcised by something stronger than the bell-book-and-candle routine: Love. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A bewitching comedy about an enchanting subject! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

19 December 1958 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Bell, Book and Candle See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Australians were still mainly tea drinkers in 1958 and they would have been amused to see Kim Novak put about 7 spoonfuls of tea in the VERY small pot she brewed for James Stewart. The tradition is "one for each person and one for the pot". In this case 3 spoons. That tea would have undrinkable. See more »

Goofs

When Queenie throws back the curtain to join Gillian in the back room for the "summoning" scene, you can see the thread that keeps the curtain back so that the camera can follow Queenie. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Gillian 'Gil' Holroyd: Oh, Pye, Pye, Pyewacket. What's the matter with me? Why do I feel this way? It's such a rut. The same old thing day after day. Same old people. I know I'm feeling sorry for myself but it's true. Why don't you give me something for Christmas, Pye?
The Cat: Meow.
Gillian 'Gil' Holroyd: What would I like?
The Cat: Meow.
Gillian 'Gil' Holroyd: I'd like to do something different. I'd like to meet something different.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in You Bet Your Life: Episode #9.33 (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Le Noyé Assassiné
(uncredited)
Words by Charles Aznavour
Music by Florence Véran
Performed by Philippe Clay at the Zodiac Club
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Charming
28 March 2004 | by laffinsalSee all my reviews

Kim Novak, at the peak of her career, is lovely here, as beautiful (single) witch, Gillian Holroyd. New neighbor, Shep (James Stewart) moves in upstairs, and suddenly that "ole black magic" is brewing all over the place.

Based upon the popular 1950s stage play, this movie does have a bit of the stagy feel to it. Despite that, there is the good use of Technicolor, George Duning's pleasant score, and the great cast of comic actors. Ernie Kovaks looks a little out of place, but he does well. Jack Lemmon is great as Novak's warlock brother, Stewart is fine, Elsa Lanchester is good as well, and so is Hermione Gingold. The real star of the film, however, is Pyewacket, Novak's handsome seal-point Siamese cat. What ever happened to him?

Not exactly a knee-slapping comedy, but pleasant, lite and fluffy entertainment. Enjoyable, and a stark contrast to Novak and Stewart's earlier pairing (the same year) in Hitchcock's "Vertigo". Worth seeing.


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