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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
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Coven: Bell Book And Candle

Team Experience is assembling our own coven of preferred witches for Halloween. Here's Anne Marie on Kim Novak and her kitty.


How does a studio follow up one of the most iconic thrillers ever made? With a supernatural rom-com, of course! Bell Book And Candle was released in 1958 a few months after Vertigo. Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak once again play a bewitched man and the woman who desperately loves him, but this time Kim Novak wields magic and doesn't die twice.

As Gillian Holroyd, Kim Novak is the sexiest sorceress to ever sling a spell. By day, Gil sells "primitive art" from her chic New York art gallery. By night, she weaves powerful enchantments to ensare her rival's fiance and exact her revenge. One thing that never changes is her sense of style: Gil pulls off this double life in some stunning (Academy Award nominated) ensembles.

Broom - Who needs cumbersome transportation in New York City? A true Greenwich girl can walk most anywhere she wants. (Preferably barefoot.)

Favored Spell - Love potions with a tendency to backfire.


Pointy Hat - Instead of a drab dull hat, why not this gorgeous backless gown?

Familiar - A communicative siamese cat named Pyewacket. Bonus - he matches her eyes.

"Only Bad Witches Are Ugly" - If Glinda is right, then Gil must be the Queen of the Good Witches. Never mind that she ruined an engagement through her witchcraft - she looks fabulous! Besides, she gets her comeuppancce: Gil falls in love and loses her powers as a result. Karma can be a real witch.

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Reader Comments (5)

everytime i hear a reference to this movie or see an article about it i wish i was watching it instead of doing whatever it is i'm doing... but i don't remember it AT ALL. it's been decades.

October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Also one of the most coded gay films/plays ever. Kind of amazing. Love that Kim Novak.

October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

... and I'm off to find a copy of this.

October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTravis

I saw this on TV when I was a kid and was just fascinated by it. I thought if I was a witch I'd like to look like Kim Novak, so adult and so sexy. I loved her cat and her wild warlock cousin Jack Lemmon. Seeing it a few years ago again, I was a little more ambivalent. I didn't want her to give up anything. And James Stewart can come across as a little creepy sometimes.

October 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteradri

I caught this on TCM months ago and found it delightful and sort of a rarity in its theatricality. Kim looked like she was having so much fun.

October 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

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