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Stewart and Novak are bewitching in... Bell, Book, and Candle (1958)

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Bell, Book, and Candle (yes, I add the extra comma -- I'm all about the Oxford comma) is a special film for me. As I've mentioned here before, my sister can be a tricky customer when it comes to the classics. She really enjoyed Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but she hated From Here to Eternity. High Society is tops, Philadelphia Story is decidedly not. After watching Bell, Book, and Candle in her theatre class when we were both in high school, she raved about it and I immediately bought it for her for Christmas. (I do this a lot with friends and family who say they like an old movie. I think I'm scared that if they don't watch it consistently, they'll lose their enjoyment of it and I'll have lost yet another classic film convert.)

My first time seeing Bell... was with my sister and I was quickly charmed. Subsequent viewings have only made me adore it even more, so much so that I thought instead of my usual review, I'll just make a list about all of the thing…

Bette and Errol.

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"The most beautiful person we've ever had on the screen...He openly said he knew nothing about acting, and I admired his honesty because he was absolutely right."
Bette Davis on Errol Flynn

"Now Bette was a dynamic creature, the great big star of the lot, but not physically my type; dominating everybody around, and especially me, or trying to. This drove me off."
Errol Flynn

The relationship between Flynn and Davis was not an easy one. In the late 1930's, both stars saw their popularity rising to astronomical heights. After setting the screen on fire in 1935 with Captain Blood, Flynn became a swashbuckling icon with The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Dodge City, and The Dawn Patrol to name a few. Similarly, at this time, Davis gave some of her own career-defining performances in Jezebel and Dark Victory. During this period, Davis and Flynn made two films together: 1938's The Sisters and 1939's The Private Lives of Elizabet…