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Bell, Book and Candle


"She's a witch? Oh, you just never learned to spell..."

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It’s Greenwich Village in the 1960s, and amid the beatniks and the squares lives a community of witches and warlocks with a penchant for jazz clubs and herb shops. One of the most powerful witches of her generation is Gillian (Kim Novak), a louche lady who slinks around barefoot while running her own African art store. Her warlock brother Nicky plays the bongos at the local magic hang-out, The Zodiac Club, and her trouble-maker aunt Queenie (Elsa Lanchester) lives upstairs. When mortal publisher Shep (James Stewart) moves into the same building, the restless Gillian decides to place a love spell on him using her feline familiar Pyewacket, upending his life, career and romantic engagements.

Why See This Film

This is a rare chance to see this underrated gem in a cinema. Made in the same year as Hitchcock’s Vertigo, with the same two leads of Novak and Stewart, Bell, Book and Candle is the only film we can think of that boast all of the following: Christmas, New Year’s, witches, warlocks, beatniks, Greenwich Village, a painter whose work looks suspiciously like that of Joan Miro, a secret magical speak-easy and an all-star cast.

Richard Quine
Jack Lemmon, James Stewart, Kim Novak
98 minutes

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