Bell, Book and Candle (1958)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

John Van Druten's stage comedy Bell Book and Candle starred Rex Harrison and Lilli Palmer on Broadway. The 1958 filmed version stars James Stewart and Kim Novak, fresh from their successful teaming in Hitchcock's Vertigo. Novak plays Gillian Holroyd, a genuine, bonafide witch. Falling in love with publisher Sheperd Henderson (Stewart), Gillian casts a spell on him, obliging him to dump his fiancee and rush to her side. All of this goes against the grain of Gillian's mentor Mrs. De Pass (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 pompous, bibulous novelist Sidney Redlitch (Ernie Kovacs).
Rating:
PG
Genre:
Classics , Comedy , Science Fiction & Fantasy , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Cast

James Stewart
as Shepherd 'Shep' Henderson
Kim Novak
as Gillian 'Gil' Holroyd
Jack Lemmon
as Nicky Holroyd
Ernie Kovacs
as Sidney Redlitch
Hermione Gingold
as Mrs. De Pass
Elsa Lanchester
as Aunt Queenie Holroyd
Janice Rule
as Merle Kittridge
Philippe Clay
as French Singer
Bek Nelson
as Secretary
Howard McNear
as Andy White
Wolfe Barzell
as Proprietor
Joe Barry
as Exterminator
Gail Bonney
as Merle's Maid
Monty Ash
as Herb Store Owner
Don Brodie
as Cab Driver
Ollie O'Toole
as Elevator Operator
John Truax
as Cab Driver
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Bell, Book and Candle

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (1)

Stewart, playing the foil, deserves better material, and the movie's midsection is perfunctory. But the fun quotient is high ...

Full Review… | April 20, 2015
New Yorker
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

This whimsical comedy about modern-day witches stars Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak in their second teaming (after Vertigo), but it's the supporting cast that shines.

Full Review… | August 20, 2012
EmanuelLevy.Com

The airy Novak makes a strong impression, Stewart's comic chops remain in fine fettle, and the distinctive supporting cast can't be beat... [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | April 23, 2012
Groucho Reviews

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | April 21, 2011
House Next Door

Audience Reviews for Bell, Book and Candle

½

Interesting idea ("there be witches among us!") given a weak treatment. Stewart and Novak, together again after Vertigo earlier in the same year, cannot overcome the 25 years of age difference between them this time given a script without substance. Lemmon refuses to let the material overcome him though, and the cat, one Pywacket by name, seems to fare well. Eventually developed into the old teevee series, Bewitched.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

½

This movie is so fun, and was probably the inspiration for the show Bewitched. It has a great cast too. The movie is pretty good, but it could've been better.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Enchanting comedy with a nice sense of whimsy. Jimmy and Kim are well matched and the supporting cast is perfect. The casting director was spot on the day they cast Elsa Lanchester, Hermione Gingold and Jack Lemmon, with his mischievious grin, as witches and warlock. Kim Novak was at the peak of her beauty here and her clothes not only compliment her character she looks amazing in them.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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