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Bell Book and Candle (1958)

Bell Book and Candle

Director:Richard Quine
Cast:James Stewart, Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon, Ernie Kovacs
Genre:Film, Comedy

By Luisa F. Ribeiro | Posted

Wizardry these days may mean a kid in taped-up spectacles, but if your taste in witches and warlocks leans more to the witty and adult, try the playful Bell Book and Candle, set in a weirdly magical New York. With her va-voom body and entrancingly husky voice, Kim Novak easily bewitches as Gillian Holroyd, a sorceress who keeps a lid on her great powers, living quietly with her cat Pyewacket and running a small shop selling rare artifacts. Gil's latent magical impulses are stirred by her practical--and mortal--neighbor, publisher Shep Henderson (James Stewart, who teamed the same year with Novak in the far darker Vertigo). Shep is engaged to a saucy social butterfly, who happens to be a despised former college mate of Gil's. Egged on by her ditzy aunt Queenie (Elsa Lancaster, who steals the film), Gil casts a spell on Shep, intending to break up his engagement, but she gets caught up in a little unexpected black magic herself. Trouble with Gil's rash warlock brother Nicky (Jack Lemmon in far too small a role) and a dogged writer determined to blow the lid off the world of witchery (a pleasantly befuddled Ernie Kovacs) rounds out this fun farce based on John Van Druten's stage hit.

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