#When the words, "Bell, book and candle," are uttered in the play King John, they are instantly recognizable. One might even recall the 1958 movie, "Bell, Book and Candle," starring Kim Novak, Jimmy Stewart, Jack Lemmon, Ernie Kovacs, and Hermione Gingold. But what exactly do these words mean? The phrase refers to being cursed by excommunicated from the Catholic Church. The process would involve - ringing the bell, closing the book, and blowing out the candle - Poof - you're excommunicated. In the play King John, Bastard says, (yes that is what they call him) "Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me back - When gold and silver becks me to come on." Which we now know roughly translates to - "I'd rather be thrown out of the church than give up the pursuit of riches." Well, at least he was truthful. It's interesting to know exactly what he meant. (We don't think he was referring to the movie.)