6.9/10
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94 user 41 critic

Bell Book and Candle (1958)

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.

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(screenplay), (play)
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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:
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...
...
...
Sidney Redlitch
...
Bianca de Passe
...
...
Merle Kittridge
Philippe Clay ...
French Singer at the Zodiac Club
...
Tina - Shep's Secretary
...
Andy White - Shep's Co-Publisher
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

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Getting here is half the fun... See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

19 December 1958 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Bell, Book and Candle  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Pyewacket was really Kim Novack's pet cat with the same name. See more »

Goofs

In the Zodiac Club, when the Candoli Brothers begin playing "Stormy Weather", the soundtrack features trumpets with cup mutes, but the performance on screen is without mutes. 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.
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Connections

Referenced in Bride of Monster Mania (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Deck the Halls
(uncredited)
Traditional lyrics and Welsh melody
Performed by James Stewart by whistling
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Bewitched
3 October 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"Bell Book and Candle" was shown recently on cable. Not having seen it for a while, we decided to take another look at this comedy. Based on the James Van Druten's Broadway hit, which was a vehicle for Rex Harrison and Lilli Palmer in the early fifties, the film was adapted for the screen by Daniel Taradash. The film was directed by Richard Quine, who turned the play into a delightful comedy.

Evidently, judging by some of the comments submitted by IMDb, the big issue seems to be the pairing of the two stars, who had collaborated on "Vertigo", released the same year. Movie audiences didn't think anything about the age difference when this film was released. In fact, most of the aging male stars of that period were always involved with much younger women.

The film set in Manhattan during Christmas is a delightful comedy that has enchanted viewers. Kim Novak was at the height of her beauty as it's clear the camera adored her no matter what was she playing. As the witch that becomes human, her Gillian is charming. James Stewart, who plays the publisher Shep' Henderson, is also seen at his best. Mr. Stewart was an excellent comedy actor who shows in here why he was at the top.

In supporting roles the wonderful Elsa Lanchester, playing Queenie, is a welcome addition to any movie, as she proves here. Jack Lemmon's Nicky Holroyd, the brother of Gillian, is also good. Ernie Kovacs is also seen as the writer Sidney Radlitch.

This is an excellent way to spend a winter night at home watching "Bell Book and Candle".


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