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Bell, Book and Candle

Bell, Book and Candle(1959)

Remind Me

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  • Gillian's cat is named Pyewacket. This name has become a popular one for cats because of this movie, but few know its origin: Pyewacket was one of the familiar spirits of a witch detected by the "witch finder generall" Matthew Hopkins in March 1644 in the town of Maningtree, Essex, UK. He claimed he spied on the witches as they held their meeting close by his house, and heard them mention the name of a local woman. She was arrested and deprived of sleep for four nights, at the end of which she confessed and named her familiars, describing their forms. They were:- Holt- Jarmara- Vinegar Tom- Sacke and Sugar- Newes- Ilemauzer- Pyewacket- Pecke in the Crowne- Griezzel Greedigutt Hopkins says he and nine other witnesses saw the first five of these, which appeared in the forms described by the witch. Interestingly, only the first of these was a cat; the next two were dogs, and the others were a black rabbit and a polecat. So it's not clear whether Pyewacket was a cat's name or not. As for the meanings, Hopkins says only that they were such that "no mortall could invent." The incident is described in Hopkins's pamphlet "The Discovery of Witches" (1647).
  • The title "Bell, Book and Candle" is a reference to exorcism, which is performed by bell, book and candle. It is opened with "Strike the bell, open the book, light the candle," and closed with "strike the bell, close the book, blow out the candle."
  • This was James Stewart's final appearance as a romantic lead. This was because many of the leading ladies that were playing his romantic interest were becoming younger and a few were half his age. After this film he would concentrate more on roles that portrayed him as an everyman or as a father figure.

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