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Bell, Book and Candle (1958)

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Videos & Photos

  • Trailer for this bewitching comedy

Movie Info & Cast


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).~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide


  • James Stewart
  • Kim Novak
  • Jack Lemmon
  • Ernie Kovacs
  • Hermione Gingold
  • Elsa Lanchester
  • Janice Rule
  • Philippe Clay
  • Bek Nelson
  • Howard McNear

Did You Know?


  • The title "Bell, Book and Candle" is a reference to excommunication, which is performed by bell, book and candle. It is opened with "Ring the bell, open the book, light the candle," and closed with "Ring the bell, close the book, quench the candle."
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  • In the Zodiac Club, when The Brothers Candoli begin playing "Stormy Weather", the soundtrack features trumpets with cup mutes, but the performance on screen is without mutes.
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    • Shepherd 'Shep' Henderson: That girl you know, Gillian Holroyd, she's one.
    • Merle Kittridge: A witch?
    • Shepherd 'Shep' Henderson: Yes!
    • Merle Kittridge: Shep, you just never learned to spell.
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