6.9/10
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100 user 43 critic

Bell Book and Candle (1958)

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2:35 | Trailer

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Airs Thu. Jan. 24, 2:30 AM on TCM

ON DISC
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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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 ... 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:

Getting here is half the fun... 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

The title "Bell, Book and Candle" is a reference to excommunication, which is performed by bell, book and candle. It is opened with "Ring the bell, open the book, light the candle," and closed with "Ring the bell, close the book, quench the candle." See more »

Goofs

Contrary to what was said in this film, warlocks are not male witches. 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

Featured in To Die For (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Stormy Weather
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Ted Koehler
Performed by Jack Lemmon on drums with The Brothers Candoli, the band at the Zodiac Club
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Do You Believe in Magic in a Young Girl's Heart? Jimmy Stewart sure does.
24 November 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

It took Bell, Book, and Candle almost a decade to get from Broadway to the screen. John Van Druten's play ran for 233 performances during the 1950-1951 season and served as a starring vehicle for the then married Rex Harrison and Lilli Palmer. I'm sure that the Shepherd Henderson that Harrison portrayed must have been light years different than Jimmy Stewart. Also the entire play took place in the Holroyd apartment and a whole lot of characters were added for the screen.

A good job was done in transferring this stage work for the screen, it barely betrays it's stage origin. Stewart is very good as the puzzled publisher who gets ensnared in a witch's spell because Kim Novak takes a fancy to him.

Novak was quoted as saying that her favorite leading man during her career was Jimmy Stewart and her two favorite films, Vertigo and Bell Book and Candle are the ones she did with him.

Hermione Gingold is absolutely brilliant as the head witch, Mrs. DePass, and watching Stewart drink that concoction she mixed up to kill Kim Novak's spell was a scream.

Jack Lemmon plays Novak's brother and by this time he was doing leads and carrying films on his own. He's good, but I do wonder why he accepted a supporting part here.

One thing I am curious about. How did they manage to get Pyewacket the cat to act on stage for 233 performances?


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