Bell, Book & Candle

BELL, BOOK & CANDLE (PG)
D: Richard Quine
Columbia/Phoenix (Julian Blaustein)
USA 🇺🇸 1958
103 mins
 
Comedy/Fantasy
 
W: Daniel Taradash [based on the play by John Van Druten]
DP: James Wong Howe
Ed: Charles Nelson
Mus: George Duning
PD: Cary Odell
 
James Stewart (Shep Henderson), Kim Novak (Gillian Holroyd), Jack Lemmon (Nicky Holroyd), Ernie Kovacs (Sidney Redlitch), Hermione Gingold (Bianca de Pass), Elsa Lanchester (Aunt Queenie Holroyd), Janice Rule (Merle Kittridge)
 
A book publisher slowly discovers that his new girlfriend is a witch.
The plot is very similar to 60's TV show Bewitched (which was probably inspired by this) but lacks any real comedy. There's no slapstick or farce, therefore the final result is the sort of film Disney would release in the early 1970's with some very questionable casting decisions, especially James Stewart, far too distinguished an actor to be in this kind of fare.
5/10

Kim Novak in Bell, Book & Candle
Kim Novak in Bell, Book & Candle
Did You Know:
This was James Stewart's final appearance as a romantic lead. This was because many of the leading ladies that were playing his romantic interest were becoming younger and a few were half his age. The critics in 1958 felt that Stewart was miscast as a suave New York businessman, and he apparently agreed. After this film he would concentrate more on roles that portrayed him as an everyman or as a father figure.