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Bell, Book and Candle

1 rating: 4.0
Classics and Comedy movie directed by Richard Quine

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 … see full wiki

Director: Richard Quine
Genre: Classics, Comedy
1 review about Bell, Book and Candle

Kim Novak in a "bewitching" performance

  • Sep 27, 2007
Long before Elizabeth Montgomery played everyone's favourite domesticated witch on television's "Bewitched", another blonde bombshell cast her own spell on the big screen. Kim Novak conjures up a delightful performance in BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE, the film version of the smash-hit play written by John Van Druten.

The story centers on Gillian Holroyd (Kim Novak), a certified witch living in Greenwich Village with her warlock brother (Jack Lemmon) and eccentric aunt (Elsa Lanchester). Bored with her life, Gillian takes a fancy to the new neighbour, Shep Henderson (James Stewart). Never mind that he already has a beautiful fiancee (Janice Rule)! Thanks to a powerful love spell, Gillian finally has her man...but will her conscience get the better of her?

Both this film and the earlier "I Married a Witch" (starring Veronica Lake and Fredric March) became the inspiration for the 1964 TV sitcom "Bewitched". But that's where the similarity ends. Novak's character of Gillian is a very complex, sophisticated careerwoman, world's apart from Elizabeth Montgomery's goody-goody housewife on "Bewitched".

Reunited following their performances in "Vertigo", James Stewart and Kim Novak exude the same strong chemistry, which makes the romance in the film very fun to watch. In a rare all-comedy role, James Stewart is a delightful presence. Jack Lemmon's hysterical performance as a bongo-playing warlock was the one that finally got him noticed in Hollywood--the following year he starred in "Some Like It Hot". Elsa Lanchester, Ernie Kovacs and Hermione Gingold also impress with their solid comedy work.

Grab the cat, spread out on the couch and enjoy!

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