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1958 saw two team-ups with James Stewart and Kim Novak. They first worked together in Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Vertigo before reuniting for the adaption of Bell, Book, and Candle.
For Novak, Stewart was more than she could ask for in a co-star. She said, “Jimmy Stewart was Bell, Book, and Candle… a real soulmate.”
Making the film was a highlight of her career, as she was also teamed with a talented cast and director.
She remembered, “Bell, Book, and Candle was one of my favorite movies, and of course, it was one of my favorite subjects – witchcraft. Loved it!”
1. On James Stewart.
“James Stewart for me was the best thing that ever happened. What an incredible man. It’s hard for me to think that in a way he was part of Hollywood. He was such a real person. He was so non-Hollywood to me, and yet he was completely Hollywood. He was totally real. What a great human being he was. He was a terrific person to have as a friend.”
2. On director Richard Quine.
“He was the director of my very first movie that I made at Columbia – Pushover. I fell in love with him. He was just a wonderful person. Great director.”
3. On working with Stewart.
“Just even the very first time I met him, it was almost like slipping into morning slippers that you’ve had for years that feel so comfortable. And we both had that feeling.”
4. On Jack Lemon.
“Jack was just a lot of fun. He was just a really good character, good person, good friend.”
5. On her part.
“It was a lot of fun to play. I liked the whimsical part of it. Dick Quine made it a lot of fun. He was wonderful at letting me really explore a character. He was a great director really. I think underrated a lot in this country… he gave me a lot of leeway. He allowed me quite a bit of freedom as far as playing this role.”
6. On the potential of teaming with Stewart after the film.
“After that time, Jimmy said, ‘You know, I don’t think I’m going to make a lot of films after this.’ I don’t know how many films he did after [Bell, Book, and Candle], but he didn’t feel he was going to be doing a lot of films… He didn’t feel that he was right for playing romantic leads anymore. To me he was ageless. He was timeless. I miss him so much. I missed him the day I met him.”