Spooks, Spells, and Screams
John Van Druten's stage comedy Bell Book and Candle starred Rex Harrison and Lilli Palmer on Broadway. The 1958 filmed version stars James Stewart and Kim Novak, fresh from their successful teaming in Hitchcock's Vertigo. Novak plays Gillian Holroyd, a genuine, bonafide witch. Falling in love with publisher Sheperd Henderson (Stewart), Gillian casts a spell on him, obliging him to dump his fiancee and rush to her side. All of this goes against the grain of Gillian's mentor Mrs. De Pass (Hermione Gingold), who does her best to counterract the love spell. Meanwhile, Gillian's wacky warlock brother Nicky (Jack Lemmon) courts disaster by coauthoring a book on black magic with pompous, bibulous novelist Sidney Redlitch (Ernie Kovacs).