|Bell Book & Candle [VHS]
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Staid, secure publisher James Stewart leads a quiet life until he meets his bewitching downstairs neighbor, Kim Novak. John Van Druten's lighthearted Broadway comedy becomes a lush if lightweight romantic vehicle for Stewart and Novak, who would reunite for Hitchcock's Vertigo the next year. Novak is at her best as a Greenwich witch halfway between the worlds of magic and mortals, looking after her dotty aunt (Elsa Lanchester) and mischievous warlock brother (Jack Lemmon) as they keep their skills in practice. Novak's specialty is making men fall for her, but it's a one-way street: when a witch falls in love, she loses her powers. Director Richard Quine gives the witches an almost beatnik sensibility, a real Greenwich Village subculture hanging out in underground clubs and smart curio shops. Elegantly photographed in rich, glowing colors by James Wong Howe, Bell, Book and Candle is a fantasy world in New York set to a funky bongo-laced jazz score by George Duning. Quine's gliding camera is somewhat marred by abrupt editing, but his handling of actors is superb, in particular Novak, whose mysterious beauty masks inner turmoil and romantic yearnings. Ernie Kovacs appears as a wry author whose specialty is the supernatural, and Hermione Gingold is suitably florid as a witch elder with a penchant for theatricality. For once in his life Stewart is actually upstaged by the slyly comic performances around him. --Sean Axmaker
- A Romantic Comedy Named After an Exorcism Method?!
I can see that this unusual and silly movie has its admirers. As there are a number of reviews on this page giving ample background on it, let me point out that perhaps the film's principal oddity is the fact that a lithe Kim Novak would be so smitten with the decidedly older and rather dull character played by James Stewart.
No matter, the actors are all quite droll, particularly a florid Ernie Kovacs. And a special shout-out to the Siamese cat that played Pyewacket.
SIDELIGHT: Pyewacket was allegedly a familiar of the "witch" that Englishman and "witchfinder general" Matthew Hopkins found in 1644. Through physical coercion, the woman named her other familiars as well. They included animals named Vinegar Tom, Pecke in the Crowne, and Griezzel Greedigutt. (I particularly like that last one.)
Also recommended: The Last Witchfinder: A Novel (P.S.)...more info
- What A Cast!!! & What A Spell They Cast!!!
This little gem boasts one of the great casts of the 1950s. Jimmy Stewart who had become the leading man to go to after Cary Grant and Kim Novak who was soon to become indelible in the publics mind in Vertigo, again with Stewart, led an ensemble that worked their magic everybit as dexterously as the witches in the movie. Jack Lemmon young and kinetic, bouncing around with that comic energy that would make him a supertar. Stellar support from Elsa Lanchester and Hermione Gingold, two old pros slyly stealing scenes from Jimmy and Kim while charming their way into their good graces no doubt. But the real jewell here is Ernie Kovacs who was at this time still searching for his movie persona. He never quite found it before his untimely death, but his genius shines through in every little scene he outright hijacks in this movie.
When you have all this talent working with a tale of romance, the supernatural, and human folly you can't go wrong. It's funny, it's heart-tugging, and thanks to Lemmon and Kovacs, it's outright hilarious. Fun for the family....more info
- "Have you been engaging in un-American activities or something?"
In the memorable VERTIGO (1958), Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak proved to have smoking chemistry together. BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE (1959) is the second of their only two pairings on screen. But unlike Hitchcock's psycho-suspense/thriller, this is a sophisticated romantic comedy about love and witchcraft, and while their chemistry here isn't as palpable as in VERTIGO, it's still potent enough to make the movie delightfully work. BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE is urbane and witty, being somewhat reminiscent of frothy cinematic confections involving the magical such as Veronica Lake's I MARRIED A WITCH and Noel Coward's BLITHE SPIRIT. According to TCM host Robert Osbourne, BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE is also partly responsible for having inspired the television series BEWITCHED (Elsa Lanchester's Aunt Queenie does strongly bring to mind Marion Lorne's bumbling but good-natured Aunt Clara).
On Christmas eve, New York art gallery owner and modern day witch Gillian Holroyd (Kim Novak) is attracted to publisher Shep Henderson (Jimmy Stewart) and decides to entrap him, even though Shep's about to imminently get married to another woman, who it turns out is a disliked old college acquiantance of Gillian's. But Gillian gets Shep alone, hums a magical tune (which suspiciously sounds like the movie's theme song), and bewitches the fella into falling in love with her. Of course, Gillian pays no heed to that old legend, that a witch who falls in love is in grave danger of losing her witchcraft powers.
Meanwhile, a demonstrated spell (a Christmas gift from her warlock brother Nicky) comes back to haunt Gillian as, recalling that Shep wants to meet the best-selling author Sidney Redlitch (Ernie Kovacs), she bespells the writer, compelling him to come to New York. The gung-ho but befuddled Redlitch arrives at Shep's office the very next day and unveils his current project, which is, coincidentally, an expose on witchcraft. It turns out that Redlitch touts himself as an expert in the field of magic. Nicky, who's something of a numbnut and isn't much of a forward thinker, doesn't hesitate to divulge to Redlitch that he himself is a warlock (he proves it by enchanting a car horn) and offers to collaborate with Redlitch on his book for a split of the profits. Now, Gillian finds herself in a quandary. She must try to keep Shep from publishing Redlitch's book, but she's starting to genuinely care for him...
After Jimmy Stewart's twisty, psychologically intense portrayal of Scottie Ferguson in VERTIGO, this is a welcome return to his affable, more easy-going roles. Stewart takes his patented everyman persona and plonks it straight in the middle of this witchy film, becoming the viewer's point of view character and this fantasy's grounding element. In any case, Jimmy Stewart is always good and watchable.
Other than the clever and sophisticated script, the main reason for Stewart wanting to do this flick is Kim Novak. At the time, in 1958, Novak was Columbia Pictures' number one star commodity (after Rita Hayworth had taken off), thanks largely to her performances in PICNIC (1955) and PAL JOEY (1957). With her gorgeous body, enigmatically beautiful face (oh, those mysteriously arched eyebrows!), and captivating, well-modulated voice, she just smacked of class and unattained beguilement. Kim Novak here is cooly endearing as she plays the elegant but cold and just a tad immoral witch who comes to relinquish her occult powers for love. Novak reveals a measured quality that makes viewers think of her as somewhat distant, but she, later, loosens up enough and does reveal an appealing vulnerability to make the viewer root for the romance. In fact, without that display of distance, her emotional turnaround wouldn't have been as effective.
The other actors? Jack Lemmon is engaging as the carefree warlock Nicky, who enjoys turning out lamppost lights, while Elsa Lanchester's effectively distracted performance reminds us all of that one kindly, wacky - but not-all-there - relative that we all have occasionally pop out from our family closet. Ernie Kovac's follicly unkempt Sidney Redlitch is also fun.
BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE is also greatly abetted by the musical score, lending a certain cosmopolitan sensibility and mood to the film, and is ideal for the New York setting. The sequences in the nightclub are interesting as they treat the audience with pocket-culture jazzy music and synchopated beats (Nicky plays on the bongos). In the confines of the Zodiak Club, it seems that witches and warlocks can most easily blend in as they rub elbows with New York's kooky weirdos and off-kilter, artsy-fartsy hipsters and beatniks. With its lively, counter-culture nightclub ambiance, one could see why Shep becomes even further intrigued by the more hip Gillian, who is a constant frequenter. His fiancee Merle (Janice Rule, in a thankless role), on the other hand, doesn't come off too well as she is ultimately chased out of the club (and, for all purposes, out of the picture) by a strident circle of trumpet players.
- A very pleasant romantic comedy...
Stewart is a distinguished bachelor and a successful executive who is
about to marry his fianc¨¦e Janice Rule but instead gets involved with a
capricious, sensual art dealer (Kim Novak) who turns out to be a
Greenwich Village witch... Novak desires earnestly and intensely to love,
but is unable to feel it...
Stewart slowly falls in love with her, and looks for a way to free her
from her witch-spell... Novak resents his well-intentioned concern, as
does her Siamese cat, Pyewacket... Still, Stewart continues in his
attempts to change her into a loving, feeling woman as he aspires to
Also blocking his way are such talented supporting actors as Novak's
brother (Jack Lemmon), a silly, charming sorcerer who can walk
nonchalantly through walls; a terrible author who is writing a book
about witchcraft; and the Head of the Association of Manhattan Witches,
none other than the incredible Hermione Gingold...
Novak's Aunt Queenie (Elsa Lanchester), unlike her other relatives, is
a tender witch who accepts that nothing should prevent the course of
true love... She aids and stimulates them in turning Novak into the
woman of Stewart's dreams, for a happy ending...
If you like to see a lightweight comedy about magic, fantasy and love;
beautiful cinematography; stunning use of color; and with an
exceptional cast; don't miss this enjoyable and amusing movie......more info
- Still dynamite
This is a classic. Just seeing the all-star cast at their best is worth the price. Kim Novak (who never needed any enhancements) Jimmy Stewart, Jack Lemon, Hermoine Gingold, Ernie Kovaks.... all in one package. The quality of the recording is great, and the story is a classic. ...more info
- Bell, book and candle
This movie is another Kim novak and Jimmy Stewart classic.They show great chemistry on screen.Jack Lemmon also plays a good part.This is one of my all time favorite Christmas movies......more info
- Not as good as Vertigo, but very pleasing...
I bought the DVD. I saw the film when it was released many years ago. It's a fun film with a great cast. Jimmy Stewart is a charming in this as he was in Harvey, and Kim Novak is great. The best performance is given by Jack Lemmon -- brother warlock (seeing the fiendish look on his face as he plays the drums is worth the price of the DVD). Ernie Kovaks is his usual self--mildly funny. Several British actresss play witches (Hermione Gingold, Elsa Lancaster) and they are as droll as their modern counterparts Maggie Smith and Judy Dench....more info
- A rare bird....
Yet another one of the perfectly made romantic comedies of the late fifties/early sixties that, along with "Auntie Mame", "Charade" and the slew of Doris Day movies, starting with "Pillow Talk" and ending with "Send Me No Flowers", gave an ideal and funny take on life in an innocent time.
Kim Novak plays Gillian Holroyd, a kittenish practioner of the eldritch arts living in Greenwich Village, NYC, with her Aunt Queenie, played by Elsa Lanchester. Jack Lemmon plays her brother, Nicky, (always a favorite name of any young male involved in the dark arts in fiction for some reason.) It's Christmas, and, believe it or not, these three conjurers are celebrating it like anybody else, exchanging presents and watching it snow.
James Stewart plays the unlikely object of her desire, (the only mismatch I can think of that was worse about this time was Doris Day and Danny Thomas in "I'll See You In My Dreams"!) named Shepherd Henderson ("Shep"). I think maybe someone like John Gavin or Cary Grant or Robert Sterling might have been better choices, but there is one scene in this movie that only Stewart could have done, and it is HILARIOUS!
The plot goes like this: Gillian is lonely. She sees Shep moving into her very apt. building just before she and her small family celebrate Christmas. She wishes, using her cat, Pywacket, as a 'familiar', to actually meet him. Shep goes upstairs to get settled in and finds Gillian's aunt, Queenie, fooling around at his desk, even though he distinctly remembers locking the door when he left earlier. She explains that he did NOT lock the door, and she saw how sloppy his desk was and that his window was open on a snowy night, and straightened it all out. After objecting mildly about her unbidden presence there, he dismisses her, seeing how eccentric she is, (and conceding that it IS Greenwich Village, after all,) not realizing the whole truth. Queenie objects to his treatment of her and puts a temporary curse on his phone so he only hears garbled nonsense on it.
Early Christmas morning, after partying at the Zodiac Club with Shep and his fianc¨¦e, Gillian, Nicky and Queenie exchange gifts at Gillian's place. Gillian gives Nicky records, Queenie a scarf, and Nicky gives Gillian a vial of summoning fluid, which she puts to the test immediately. It isn't clear whether she uses it to bring Shep to her apartment, curse his fianc¨¦e or what, but Shep DOES show up fairly quickly and they get to know each other. This is AFTER Shep tells her that he and his intended are getting married later that very day. Gillian then starts humming the haunting theme song, again using Pywacket as a familiar, to put the kibosh to THAT business!
What follows is a series of classic scenes that didn't see any equals until the 80s! The scene in Miss De Passe's house where Shep goes to get "de-spelled" and is forced to drink a disgusting potion she whips up is almost worth the price of the DVD on its own. The scene where Nicky meets an author character, played by Ernie Kovacs, (Shep is a publisher,) and takes him to an occult apothecary, is also funny, as the camera pans down the list of diseases and spells it has remedies for.
For some reason, after the mid-sixties, Hollywood couldn't make another good romantic comedy to save its life. "A Thousand Clowns" was the last really good one, made smack dab in the middle of the decade, in 1965!
"Bell,Book & Candle" is a rare movie that's hard to find, no matter WHO you know, so, if you can find it, (and I found it right here at Amazon,) GET IT!!
You'll wonder why the people who produced "Bewitched" even tried, it's such a pale imitation. It's been reported that "B,B&C" was the basis for "Bewitched"...DON'T YOU BELIEVE IT! "Bell, Book and Candle" is in a class by itself, and so much more enjoyable than its saccharine TV counterpart, it isn't funny!...more info
- Color oh Color
The color in these old movies is the best. Sadly you don't see that quality today. Great movie too....more info
- Old Movies
I again found Amazon having a great selection of old movies. This is a favorate of mine. It was one of three that I purchased for my 60th birthday Jan. 9th. So I will watch them on my birthday....more info
- Holy cow... what are people seeing in this movie?!
To start off, I'm a huge Jack Lemmon fan. So far, have seen 21 of the roughly 60 films he has been in. He was the reason why I watched this movie. That was mistake one. Jack Lemmon really isn't in this film that much. He is here and there and doesn't add much to the chemistry (who does in this movie?) and is wasted talent.
The movie itself has a decent idea behind it, but really does betray itself in the end. I'd rather not go into details and spoil the plot, but as I noted, the end of the movie was intellectually unsatisfying.
The movie isn't really funny, isn't really dramatic, isn't really anything, but boring and pandering. Ultimately, there is too much star power in this movie to be this bad a movie. A waste of time. ...more info
- Christmas with witches
Lots of fun, characters were interesting. Didn't realize it was a Christmas movie!...more info
- Bell, Book and Candle - an offbeat Christmas movie
That's right, I said, "An offbeat Christmas Movie." It's a mature Jimmy Stewart with a very sexy mature Kim Novak surrounded by a great caste that includes Jack Lemon, Ernie Kovacs and other great character actors who meet on Christmas Eve and create some magic that changes their lives forever. It is a funny movie that is not at all satanic or scary or anything but good clean fun. The scene where Jimmy Stewart drinks a majic potion is priceless. There are no special effects; just Jimmy acting. It was a very funny scene. The movie ends with boy getting girl and girl loosing cat -- well you'll see. It's fall so get the movie, and watch it while you are carving a pumpkin or eating some hot freshly baked cookies shaped like a witch....more info
- Magic in the Plot, Magic Onscreen
A few months after they made 'Vertigo' together, Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart made 'Bell, Book and Candle.' Two movies could hardly be more dissimilar, but this one shines as brightly as the Hitchcock film, in a very different way.
Kim's a witch, and Jimmy's a publisher with whom she falls in love. Complications set in when it becomes obvious that Kim is becoming humanised by the experience, and is beginning to lose her witchly powers. Will she give them up? Of course she will, but not without a fight- and it's the battle that's such comic fun to watch.
'Vertigo'- in a class by itself- aside, this is Novak's most complete and engaging performance. She's gorgeous, she's funny, and she's a woman you'll remember for a long time. It probably helped that she'd learned to adore and respect Jimmy Stewart when they worked for Hitchcock; her comfort level with him is highly evident. It probably also helped that she was doing her first Columbia film after the death of her boss and nemesis, Harry Cohn. Kim was calling a lot of shots on this one, and you can see her blossoming. Her touch is perhaps most evident in her spectacular Jean Louis wardrobe; her most beautiful dress is severely high-necked in front, but completely backless. It's a WOMAN's idea of sexy, not Harry Cohn's, whose tastes ran more to the frontless.
Stewart's impeccable touch with comedy is every bit as awe-inspiring as his dramatic work for Hitchcock. How did one actor get so much talent? He's backed up with a terrific supporting cast, too. Hermione Gingold and Elsa Lanchester are two witches, Jack Lemmon is Kim's warlock brother, and Ernie Kovacs is a tippling writer trying to sell Jimmy an idea. Lemmon is especially good here; this movie was one of the performances that made him a star.
The George Duning score is one of the chief delights of 1950's film; it's what we think Kerouac-era beatnik jazz was- and probably wasn't. Jazz fans will recognise the playing of Pete and Conte Candoli, hired specially for this movie, in the combo playing in the Zodiac nightclub Kim uses for a hangout. For those who appreciate truly esoteric performances, there's also French singer Philippe Clay performing his famous "Assassine", with Hermione Gingold providing a hilarious- and accurate- translation. One of the few disappointments around 'Bell, Book and Candle' is the fact that its soundtrack is not currently available, despite the enormous popularity of the old LP version-used copies sell for a fortune. Rhino owns the rights, I believe, and they could do a lot worse than to do a CD release (hint, hint).
From its witty opening- full of a king's ransom worth of African and Oceanic art used to symbolise the cast members in the title sequence- to its end, this one is sheer elegant delight. At the film's close, Kim gives up her powers in favour of her romance with Stewart, and I've heard a few people say that maybe that was a 1950's cop-out. I see it differently- all her friends want her to be a witch, and Kim chooses what she wants instead of meeting anyone else's expectations. The power of choice trumps mere black magic, and that, to me, is as it should be.
What you should choose is to see this charming artifact of a time when Hollywood still knew what it was doing. "Bell, Book and Candle" has gorgeous people, places and things, it's got wit and heart, and it effortlessly merges art both high and low. See it as soon as you can- you'll be very glad you did....more info
- Wonderful Witchcraft!
This film is a wonderful classic love story with a twist. Anyone who remembers the early episodes of Bewitched is bound to see the similarities. It has become one of my "comfort" movies....more info
- love it
I realy love this movie or should I said I dig this flik. I got the movie about one month ago and every time that I fell down I have put it on and it brings a smile to my face. Now granted it's a old movie but it has manage to keep all of is charm. In my short but very long life I have seen so many bad movies and good ones also. But this one has that certain qualitie that makes it makes
You forget about your problems for a little while. You beleive that Kim Novak and James Stewart are Gillian and Sheperd(perhaps you wish that they really exist who knows not me I never loose control).You have sometime to whish the impossible dream and that everything is possible like chasing clouds and that dreams do come truth. If you like romantic comedy and happy ending with a lot of twist to get there I am positive that you will love this beautifull movie . But know if you like violence ,explotation ,cheap sex or anything to make a dollar maybe you should see this movie it might change your way of thinking (because all you need is love) (violence is not the only thing that will make you see senses). I should tell you more about the story but I will let you dream and discovered this sweet movie for yoursell and maybe thank me for this little review....more info
- Vintage Stewart
This movie is great fun for those of you who enjoyed movies in the late 50's and early 60's. One of Jack Lemmon's earliest movies, he is great in his secondary roll as Kim Novak's warlock brother. This film was made around the same time that Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak made the Hitchcock classic, Vertigo, and their onscreen chemistry is just as wonderful in this cleverly written, light comedy, as it was in the dark and riveting Hitchcock thriller. Even the musical score takes you back to a time when movies really were the perfect fare for escapism, instead of the sometimes nauseating food for depression that some films can be today. Enjoy.They truly DON'T make 'em like this anymore....more info
- Classic but awesome witch flick!
I have not been one to watch many classic movies, but I'd heard Bell Book and Candle mentioned time and time again. Finally broke down and bought it and I was surprised. Yes, it's classic, (1958) but if you love all things witchy, you may love Kim Novac's version of a witch. Jack Lemmon is pretty humorous in this flick. Worth the money, in my book. ...more info
- Classic Movie Fan
This is one of my most favorite movies. I purchased the Columbia Classic version of this on DVD. I found the picture quality to be bright and clear, and the sound to be great (even though it is in mono). It is well worth the price....more info
- A quirky gem!!!...
If you viewed the Hitchcock Masterpiece Vertigo, then you should wish to see the teaming again of the stunningly beautiful Novak and Stewart in this tale of witches in Manhattan. Stewart is the henpecked fiance of the socialite that used to be a college roomate of Novak. Now Stewart is Novak's tenant, who does not suspect he is surrounded by witches. The whole cast is perfection with a very young Jack Lemmon playing her younger witch brother.
Great fun!! A nice contrast to the heavy melodrama of Vertigo....more info
- Romantic, fun and quirky
This is a delightful film with Jimmy Steward and Kim Novak that tells story of a family of witches in modern day (1950s) America. Kim Novak is the aloof young witch who makes it her task to take Stewart away from his snooty girlfriend who just happens to be an ex-college friend of Novak's. Casting a spell over Stewart is initially easy but Novak soon falls foul of her own powers when her act of revenge becomes an act of real love for her hapless victim. Unfortunately witches who fall in love, loose their powers, and Novak soon finds she can no longer control her cat familiar Pyewacket who is the source of her powers. This causes her real heartaches as she strives to gain Stewart's love by mortal means and there are many rib ticklingly funny moments as the young witch learns that human love can be painful as it is wonderful. Jack Lemmon in one of his earlier roles plays her nutty but likable Warlock brother who spends most of his time in a nightclub banging out funky rhythms on his bongo drums and Ernie Kovics is great as an eccentric author drawn into the plot by his interest in the supernatural. This is a gentle fun film that sparkles even forty years on, with its wry wit, superb photography and cracklingly good music score that has your feet tapping long after the film has ended. Well worth watching if you like a romantic, supernatural comedy....more info
- Great Classic!
This film has been a favorite for years! I'm pleased to now have a copy on hand. It will make an excellent addition to an eclectic Halloween collection. This product arrived in great condition and in a time frame that was as expected....more info
- She's one of them
Boy meets girl. Girl is actually a witch. Boy dumps fiancee. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy finds out that girl put a spell on him. Let the fireworks begin.
That's the basic plot of "Bell Book and Candle," which tackled the funny witchy-romance story long before Samantha or Sabrina existed, and with more humour and polish than either. It's just a cute romance with a unique twist, a cute cat, and meddling sorcery.
It's Christmastime, and Manhattan witch Gillian Holroyd (Kim Novak) is in a rut. Then she meets hunky publisher Shepherd (James Stewart), who is engaged to her old college nemesis. So with the assistance of her cat Pyewacket, she casts a spell to make Shep fall madly in love with her, and drop backstabbing Merle (Janice Rule). Itr works like a... well, like a charm.
But things start to go wrong when Gil's aunt Queenie (Elsa Lanchester) and her pal Nicky (Jack Lemmon) start talking to a bestselling author on witchcraft -- who decides to write a book on the Manhattan witches. What's worse, Gil is falling in love with Shep -- which means her powers will vanish -- and decides to tell him the truth about the love spell.
"Bell Book and Candle" is not really a romantic comedy, so much as a romance movie with some funny characters. And of course there's a low-key fantasy angle -- basically all the witches and warlocks do is cast a few spells, honk car horns, and occasionally boil something in a cauldron. (Hermione Gingold as a showy old witch)
James Stewart tried out whimsy in the delightful "Harvey," where he's a man who claims to have a companion pooka. He plays the opposite side in "Bell Book and Candle" -- he's the victim of magic weirdness rather than the source. Kim Novak gives a chilly, otherworldly performance as a sophisticated witch. Expect weird romantic sparks to fly.
The plot does come slightly unwound in the last act, after Shep takes his love spell cure (his face as he drinks the potion is the funniest scene of the movie) and leaves the building. But it winds itself back up for a satisfactory finale. It also benefits from snappy dialogue that lasts from the first to the last scene ("That girl you know, Gillian Holroyd -- she's one." "A witch? Shep, you just never learned to spell")
All this "Bell Book and Candle" business creates a charming romance, with solid acting, great script, a dash of humor and newt's liver. Enchanting....more info
- The Last Romantic Days of Jimmy Stewart.
In this charming comedy, Jimmy Stewart plays Sheperd Henderson, a somewhat stodgy book publisher and editor. Henderson becomes bewitched on Christmas Eve after he has telephone problems and uses the phone of his lovely downstairs neighbor, Gillian Holroyd (Kim Novak). Henderson's life quickly changes after meeting Holroyd and his entire perspective is altered. But is it love or only magic?
Jack Lemmon has an interesting role as Gillian's quirky brother, Nicky. His timing in the role is perfect and he steals much of the show. Elsa Lanchester plays pesky Aunt Queenie and Ernie Kovacs makes a running cameo throughout the film as Sidney Redlitch, a writer who has become famous by authoring books about witches.
BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE is a quite enjoyable film. There isn't much substance, but the movie is written well. The film begins rather slow and mundane, but the pace rapidly quickens. Jimmy Stewart was in his 50's when the movie was made and other than the Broadway play it is based on, it's best known for being Stewart's last "leading romantic man" role and for supposedly being the inspiration for the "Bewitched" television show. Simplied, the movie is a usual romance between a muggle and a witch. However, the performances by Novak, Lemmon, Lanchester, Kovacs and the mere prescence of Stewart make the film a notch above the ordinary....more info
- She's a witch? You just never learned to spell!
One of my favorite all time comedies. Better than the stage play. Jimmy Stewart is perfect as the publisher who after moving into a new house finds that that the woman up-stairs (Elsa Lancaster) has uh, fixed his phone. Needing to borrow a phone, he goes down stairs to the "shop around the corner" where instead of wallets and music boxes he finds himself in a store of primitive African art, and a beautiful hostess played by Kim Novak. Oh, did I mention an up scale magical cat named Piewacket? Pi can make all sorts of things happen when Kim hums a strange but interesting melody to him, or her, whichever the case may be. From then on the film takes off into a world wind romance. Jimmy Stewart dumps his demanding and sullen girl friend and falls madly in love with Kim. But then Ernie Kovacs, a weirdo author who is always looking for his next drink, enters the scene. Jimmy Stewart discovers that Kovac has written a best selling book about witches and warlocks in Mexico. He mentions the author off hand to Kim Novak. Kim sets up the meeting magically, thinking Kovac knows nothing, but Kovac makes friends with Kim's weird brother, Jack Lemmon, a bongo player in the witches favorite haunt, the Zodiac club on Christmas eve.
After that, Kim finds out that her brother is giving away all the private witchy secrets to Kovac and she arranges (magically, of course) that Jimmy Stewart (who is now her lover) dislike the book and refuse to publsh it. Well I won't tell anymore. The climax of the film will have you in stiches when Hermione Gingold enters the scene with a very witchy scene to break a love spell that Kim had cast on Stewart. If you like this kind of humor, you'll love the film. And it's nothing like Bewitched, though they may have gotten the idea from the film. ...more info
- Bell, Book and Candle
It has been one of my Favorite Movies for years!!! Never miss it when it is shown on TV!!
Jack Lemmon is Great!...more info
- one of my favorite classic movies
It's a fun ride from beginning to end. You'll Laugh and wish you could be in on all the fun. Kim Novak and Jimmy Steward are on top of their game...more info