Bell, Book and Candle

Bell, Book and Candle U

Reclaiming the Witch


Please note: This was screened in Nov 2018

Richard Quine
James Stewart, Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon
106 mins, 1958, USA
Primary language:

Following the success of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Kim Novak and James Stewart team up again in this wonderfully wicked alternative to a white Christmas with a bit of the ol’ black magic.

Gillian (Kim Novak) is a fiercely independent young woman living in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village and running a shop selling African art and artefacts. After taking a liking to her neighbour Shep (James Stewart), and then subsequently discovering that he is engaged to her old school nemesis Merle (Janice Rule), Gillian decides to break them up by bewitching him with spell to make him fall for her instead.

Supported by her eccentric Aunt Queenie (Elsa Lanchester) and her bongo-playing warlock brother Nicky (Jack Lemmon), Gillian must decide whether to stay with her community of witches and warlocks or give up her powers to be with Shep.

Despite the film serving as inspiration for the series Bewitched (1964-1972), these witches are certainly not nose-twitching, sweet-as-apple-pie domestics. Prepare yourself for black magic and sinister spells in enchanting technicolour!