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Location: California, United States

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bell, Book and Candle

This week's movie rental was Bell, Book and Candle, a 1958 film starring James Stewart and Kim Novak ....

During the Christmas holiday season, Greenwich Village witch Gillian Holroyd (Kim Novak), a free spirit with a penchant for going barefoot, has been unlucky in love and restless in life. She admires from afar her neighbor, publisher Shep Henderson (James Stewart), who one day walks into her gallery of primitive art to use the telephone. When she learns he is about to marry an old college enemy of hers, Merle Kittridge (Janice Rule), she takes revenge by casting a love spell on him while falling for him herself. She must eventually make a stark choice, as witches who fall in love lose their supernatural powers. Gillian's cat and familiar, Pyewacket, becomes agitated and leaves her when she decides in Shep's favor.

I mostly liked the movie, though it was a bit silly, and then there was the disconcerting 25 year age discrepancy between Stewart and Noavk. The magic stuff was interesting and the cat Pyewacket looked like my cat Grendel :) ...

You can read a New York Times review of the movie here.

And here's a clip in which Stewart's character tells Novak's character about his impending marriage to someone else as she puts a spell on him with Pyewacket's help ...


Blogger Christine Natale said...

One of my favorite movies. When a witch falls in love (supposedly) or in order to fall in love, she has to become "human", lose her "powers". One of the premises in the movie is that she can't cry. When she chooses to love, she sheds her first tear and loses her ability to communicate with her familiar (Pyewacket). I don't have a problem with the age difference, but I have questions about this movie and the "Bewitched" and "I Dream of Jeannie" old TV series in as much as they promoted this propaganda that a woman's greatest ambition in life should be to be "normal" and a housewife!! Samantha and Jeannie didn't lose their powers but they were happy to give them up for their "masters." Part of the whole 50's/ 60's/ early 70's propaganda of "normalcy". Otherwise a fun movie that I like to watch at Halloween!

10:01 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Thanks for the comment.

Yes, I agree. All those movies, tv series were far from ideal from a feminist point of view. I cringe sometimes when watching them :)

1:02 AM  

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