Actor, Columbia reach agreement on 'Candle'

Sept. 17, 1958

GOOD MORNING: The billing beef between Jack Lemmon and Columbia on “Bell, Book and Candle” may be settled via a “special billing” gimmick. Lemmon’s contract calls for costar billing. However Jimmy Stewart’s pact calls for him (and Kim Novak) to be the only stars listed above the title. Meanwhile, Lemmon has not inked his new Gower St. pact — but he’d like a long rest anyhow following “Some Like It Hot.” … At the “Bell” sneak in Pomona, Ernie Kovacs’ nine-year-old dotter Kippy admitted she filled out one of the preview cards. But she informed poppa Ernie, “I used a different name” “And what did you write?” asked Kovacs. “I said,” answered the sprig, “my daddy was the BEST!” (2008 update: in Variety’s review, Oct. 22, 1958 Powe noted: ” ‘Bell, Book and Candle’ is a good example of casting for boxoffice rather than story.” Kim did not fare well in the review. But in the previous year, Kim starred with Stewart in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo,” which many consider her best film. She went on to appear in many movies until 1991 in “Liebestraum.” She moved to Oregon and married veterinarian Dr. Robert Mallory in March 1976. When I spoke to her on the phone this week (ah, that same sexy voice!) she said they were packing for a trip — a camping out trip in the highest mountains of Oregon. She and her husband will be joined by another couple, all on horseback. “I hope we don’t meet any mountain lions,” she said. “Bears would be OK.” Recalling “Bell, Book and Candle,” she gave another tribute to working with Jimmy Stewart. She laughed as she told me a remake of “Bell, Book and Candle” had been in the works with Sharon Stone playing her role “and me playing Queenie, the role originally played by Elsa Lanchester.” Thinking for a moment about the possible switch of roles in a new version, Kim laughed, “We need some comedy in our lives today!”)

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