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Bell, Book and Candle (1958)

James Stewart , Kim Novak , Richard Quine  |  PG |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (243 customer reviews)


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Blu-ray 1-Disc Version $59.99  
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Bell, Book and Candle + I Married a Witch (Criterion Collection)
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Product Details

  • Actors: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon, Ernie Kovacs, Hermione Gingold
  • Directors: Richard Quine
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 28, 2000
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (243 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767821556
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,866 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bell, Book and Candle" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Vintage Advertising

Editorial Reviews

Meet Gillan Holroyd (Kim Novak), Greenwich Village's most seductive sorceress. Powerful, glamorous,and a wee bit bored, Gillian knows that witches can't fall in love. But they can have fun... especially if their lover belongs to another woman! So when Gillian discovers handsome new neighbor Shep Henderson (James Stewart) is the fiance of an old college nemesis (Janice Rule), she promptly puts the befuddled publisher under her spell. But while her sex hex may have heated up Shep's heart, it hasalso unthawed her own, leading to a romantic complication that not even Pyewacket, Gillian's mind-reading cat, could have foreseen. Presented in eye popping Technicolor transfer that beautifully captures James Wong Howe's stunning cinematography, BELL, BOOK and CANDLE co-starring Jack Lemmon, ErnieKovacs, Hermione Gingold and Elsa Lanchester is "a delightful spoof on witchcraft with the cast members at their very best." THE MOTION PICTURE GUIDE!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
90 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming, colorful, quirky.....bewitching. October 28, 2001
Format:DVD
Adapted from the stage comedy of the same name, Bell Book and Candle stars Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak, fresh from their successful teaming in Hitchcock's Vertigo. Novak plays Gillian Holroyd, a genuine, bonafide witch who runs a south seas antiquities shop. Falling in love with her neighbor, publisher Sheperd Henderson (Stewart), Gillian casts a spell on him. With help from her aunt (Elsa Lanchester), she obliges him to dump his fiancee, and ex college rival, and rush to her side. All of this goes against the grain of Gillian's Endora-like mentor Mrs. DePass (Hermione Gingold), who does her best to counterract the love spell. Meanwhile, Gillian's wacky warlock brother Nicky (Jack Lemmon) courts disaster by coauthoring a book on black magic with Sidney Redlitch (Ernie Kovacs). Legend has it that a witch can neither cry or fall in love. If she falls in love, she will lose her powers....can you guess what happens?
Rumor has it that this is the inspiration for the televisions series Bewitched. There are several striking, undeniable similarities. This film was released in 1958, and I find it just as enjoyable today as I'm sure it was then. Memorable performances by Novak as the icy-cool Gillian and Stewart in his last "romantic leading man" role drive the film. Jack Lemmon and Elsa Lanchester add a lot of quirky flavor as Gillian's spell casting family. Fast pacing, clever writing, great costumes and fabulous eye-popping technicolor make this a film worth watching over and over. It's sure to cast a spell on you too.
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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky Romantic Film January 4, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
If watching unpredictable films are your cup of tea, Bell, Book and Candle is the one to watch. The teaming of James Stewart and Kim Novak is excellent. The supporting roles from Elsie Manchester and Jack Lemmon bring a touch of comedy to the movie. And the sloppiness of Ernie Kovacs as the snooping author brings dimension to the story.
A scene at the Zodiac Club where Lemmon bangs on the bongos with his combo brought the atmosphere of the counterculture of the late 1950s in Greenwich Village. It was hilarious when the band blared their tune of "Stormy Weather" and speeded it up in front of James Stewart's character's fiance. You could feel the tension between Kim Novak and the woman since Novak's character was a witch, and was falling for Shep(Stewart) she got Nickie(Lemmon) to get the band to annoy Novak's rival. I thought this scene stood out.
Though some make think the movie is outdated, it is not at all. I loved the wintery street scenes of New York during Christmas time and the swurling colors of purple, pink,and green throughtout the film. The soundtrack was good too.
An excellent romance film, but also a film of relationships of characters from different worlds.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bewitching May 8, 2005
Format:DVD
Shepherd "Shep" Henderson (Jimmy Stewart) is a nice, normal, everyday kind of guy. He is a publisher with everyday problems and works in an everyday kind of office. His fiancé, on the other hand, is much less than everyday, being the beautiful, and slightly obnoxious, Merle Kittridge (Janice Rule). When Shep's neighbor Gilliam "Gil" Holroyd (the always stunning Kim Novak) becomes irked with Merle, she decides to cast a spell on Shep to make him fall in love with her. Be careful what you ask for, sometimes you get it.

At the beginning of this movie Merle acts in a way that makes the audience generally dislike her. While we have yet to like Gil, we know that Merle is a manipulator. Thus, we find it easy to accept what Gil does to Shep and indirectly to Merle. Unfortunately for Gil, the more she is around Shep, the more she grows to like, and then love him. Of course, there is the inevitable heart breaking scene when Shep discovers, and believes, that she is a witch. There are moments near the end of the movie where you want the two to get together, but you wonder whether it can possibly happen. Kim Novak's Gil is perfectly played in the closing moments, where all of us want to smack Shep and tell him to wake up to the fact that Gil truly loves him and that love has changed her forever.

This movie features an excellent cast of supporting characters. Jack Lemmon is Gil's brother Nicky Holroyd. Nicky is the kind of warlock who enjoys doing little things, such as turning lights off and on, and tricking people. However, Nicky is humorously harmless. Hermione Gingold is Bianca de Passe, a rival witch to Gil, who has a more traditional approach to witch craft that appears relatively old-fashioned compared to Gil's modern sophistication.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic, fun and quirky July 25, 2000
By Kali
Format:DVD
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Witchery, Lechery & True Love..
It's a lovely spin on witchery, lechery, and true love. There's a style and charm to it that still holds--it isn't dated at all. Read more
Published 1 hour ago by Kathleen O'Connor
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-Ray For Sale at screenarchives for $34.95
This is still for Sale at screenarchives for $34.95. $60.00 is a rip-off. (34.95 isn't much better, but it is cheaper). Read more
Published 15 hours ago by albabe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just what I wanted
Published 2 days ago by royce honeycutt
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful movie! The cast is unsurpassed
What a wonderful movie! The cast is unsurpassed, right down to Pyewacket. How many people named their cats Pyewacket after this movie? And Kim Novak's eyes. Amazing. Read more
Published 2 days ago by L. J. Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars This may be the best non-creepy witch movie ever made
This may be the best non-creepy witch movie ever made, with outstanding and believable performances, especially by the bewildered James Stewart and quixotic Jack Lemmon. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Janis Hendler
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
loved this movie. 5 big ,great stars in the movie for era:)
Published 15 days ago by marianne
3.0 out of 5 stars With a fine comedic cast it sets the tone for the TV ...
For those interested in film and television history, this film is the unofficial inspiration for the television series "bewitched". Read more
Published 19 days ago by Robert Schaffer
1.0 out of 5 stars Five Star Movie with a One Star Blu Ray Transfer
Friends, this Blu Ray is definitely NOT worth it, even it weren't obscenely high-priced. Grainy is the word, in fact, the original DVD has a better overall look to it because it... Read more
Published 26 days ago by JC
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a funny movie. My favorite Kim Novak movie
This is a funny movie.
My favorite Kim Novak movie. And I love the actors playing the characters in it, It's so fun!
Published 1 month ago by Sacred Chapel
5.0 out of 5 stars ... times since it first came out and I still love it!
I have watched this movie dozens of times since it first came out and I still love it!
Published 1 month ago by Marilyn F. Mahoney
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