Tuesday, 24 August 2010

bell, book and candle: to like or to loathe?

Bell, Book & Candle, you are charged with being a 1958 film about a Greenwich Village witch (Kim Novak) who casts a spell on a book publisher (James Stewart) that makes him leave his fiancee for her, leading to enchanting comedy and bedazzling romance. 

The case for this film:

1) Kim Novak (Gillian) is a witch
2) Gillian's a beatnik witch, dressed in black, and sultry cool
3) She has a cat called Pyewacket
4) She runs a shop selling tribal art in Greenwich Village
5) Jack Lemmon plays her brother, Nicky, a warlock
6) Jack Lemmon plays bongos
7) Elsa Lanchester and Hermione Gingold's performances make the adjective kooky sound like a good thing
8) Jimmy Stewart (Shep) never looks better stunned than when he discovers the hoodoo's been put on him
9) The Zodiac Nightclub
10) Love saves the day

The case against:

1) Witches can't fall in love. Apparently
2) The happy ending is that Gillian gets Shep because she loses her powers and changes into what he wants
3) Shep doesn't want to be a warlock
4) Pyewacket needs a bigger role (no talking cats, just a bigger role)
5) The Zodiac club scene should be longer (or even , for reasons 6-10 here, be the entire film)
6) Gillian swaps the cool beatnik wear for bland pastels after she loses her powers
7) Likewise, instead of selling tribal art, Gillian switches to selling really ugly seashells and possible silk flowers 
8) Pyewacket is forced out his home (he finds another, but still...)
9) If she's lost her powers how's Gillian going to hang out with Nicky and her friends at The Zodiac?
10) Basically, it's a really sad ending if you're for the witches and warlocks

Evidence: The Zodiac Club scene. I rest my case.

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