Bell Book and Candle (1958)

Bell Book and Candle (1958), directed by Richard Quine.


Auntie, don't you ever wish that you weren't...what we are? That you could just spend Christmas Eve in a little church somewhere, listening to carols instead of bongo drums?

A witch casts a love spell on her upstairs neighbor to spoil his engagement with an old rival. Paradoxically, she wonders if she could make it as a normal person...

It has some good bits (James Stewart getting de-hexed) but is strangely low-key. They quickly assemble a little fantasy world but could have done more with the plot. Stewart was getting too old for the women he was paired with: Grace Kelly in Rear Window (1954), Kim Novak here and in Vertigo (1958) -- you could count her twice for Vertigo (1958).

I think it is clear they are actually doing a bit "more" by suggesting another subculture, not witches. People who are invisible to the mainstream but who recognize each other. They have their own clubs. They are not suited to marriage, but yearn for a different, unhidden life.

Twilight Time limited edition Blu-ray with isolated score and subtitles.