Bell Book & Candle [Blu-ray]
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After teaming memorably in Alfred Hitchcock's haunting Vertigo, James Stewart and Kim Novak are together again in the whimsical Bell, Book and Candle (1958), a spellbinding romantic comedy directed by Richard Quine and based on John Van Druten's Broadway hit. Stewart plays a New York publisher entranced by a mysteriously bewitching young woman (Novak); mesmerizing supporting performances by the likes of Jack Lemmon, Ernie Kovacs, Hermione Gingold, Elsa Lanchester, and Janice Rule lend quirky comic charm to the proceedings. Cinematographer James Wong Howe gives us a glamorous vision of Manhattan, enhanced by George Duning's sophisticated score (available here as an isolated track).
- Isolated Score Track
- "Bewitched, Bothered and Blonde"
- "Reflections in the Middle of the Night"
- Original Theatrical Trailer
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A true classic. Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart at their old-school best.Published 11 days ago by ultragolden
I love old movies and I saw this one on TCM, so I had to get it for my collection.Published 21 days ago by Carla Nelson
THIS ITEM CAME FAST AND PACKAGED WELL , THE MOVIE IS GREAT I LOVE IT , THANK YOUPublished 28 days ago by Susan
Love this classic. Have watched it over and over. Love jimmy Stewart and whole cast. Wish they made good movies like this today. Love movies set in New York. Debbie bournePublished 1 month ago by Debbie Bourne