111 user 49 critic

Bell Book and Candle (1958)

2:37 | Trailer
A modern-day witch likes her neighbor but despises his fiancée, so she enchants him to love her instead.


Richard Quine


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





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 ... 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


Gillian Holroyd (Kim Novak) is a modern-day witch living in Greenwich Village. A publisher named Shep Henderson (James Stewart) moves into the apartment above hers and she becomes interested in him. When she learns he is going to marry her college nemesis, Merle Kittridge (Janice Rule), the next day, Gillian uses her cat, Pyewacket, to cast a love spell on Shep. Shep is immediately enamored with Gillian and breaks up with Merle on the morning of their wedding. Gillian makes it so that author Sidney Redlitch (Ernie Kovacs) visits Shep in the hope that Shep will publish his next book, about witches in New York. When Gillian learns that her warlock brother, Nicky (Jack Lemmon), is collaborating with Sidney, she is worried that Shep will learn about her true nature and her spell on Shep. Since Gillian finds herself actually falling in love with Shep, something that will make her lose her powers, she must make a choice as to what she really wants. Written by Patrick Depew

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Did You Know?


The exterior street where Kim Novak had her shop, and James Stewart had his apartment, was filmed on the western end of Brownstone Street on the New York set of MGM's lot #2. This street set was used often in films and television. It appears in numerous The Twilight Zone (1959) stories of the period. The Zodiac Club exterior was just around the corner of Brownston'es eastern end where a three-way alley split the block. See more »


Gillian and Shep live in Greenwich Village, but at one point Gillian tells Shep about Nicky turning off all the street lights on 57th St., which is over 3 miles from where it happened. See more »


[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.
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Alternate Versions

The 1999 U.S. DVD release includes both the original theatrical version (as seen in theaters and on VHS) and an extended version (which is obviously not labeled as such). The theatrical version runs for 102 minutes, while the extended version is approximately 4 minutes longer at a runtime of 106 minutes. The theatrical version is presented in 4:3 full screen, while the extended version is presented in 16:9 widescreen. See more »


Referenced in The Good Witch (2008) See more »


Deck the Halls
Traditional Welsh melody, lyrics by Thomas Oliphant (uncredited)
[Lyrics incorrectly credited as Traditional]
Performed by James Stewart by whistling
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User Reviews

Bewitching Romantic Comedy -- Sunday Afternoon Delight!
28 November 2004 | by mdm-11See all my reviews

Kim Novac is wonderful as the 'good witch' falling in love with mortal James Stewart. The special treat with this film is that there is a complete 'underground society' (literally) of witches and warlocks, of whom we get to know Elsa Lanchester and Jack Lemon, both recommending Kim Novak quickly forget her romance with the mortal man.

This film is a visual feast with some tidbits of 1950s Jazz music in the score. Complete with black cat, spell-book and magic tricks. Who can blame Jimmy Stewart for falling for Kim Novak's spell? The International cast of supporting actors includes an authentic Parisian Night Club Act, as well as the ultra-eccentric Hermione Gingold (of Gigi/Moulin Rouge fame). Elsa Lancaster is an absolute delight as the intuition-plagued Auntie Queenie. Don't miss this bewitching piece of light entertainment!

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | French

Release Date:

19 December 1958 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Bell, Book and Candle See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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