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Bells Are Ringing (1960)

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Ella Peterson is a Brooklyn telephone answering service operator who tries to improve the lives of her clients by passing along bits of information she hears from other clients. She falls ... See full summary »



(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: Bells Are Ringing (1960)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Larry Hastings
Eddie Foy Jr. ...
J. Otto Prantz
Ruth Storey ...
Inspector Barnes
Blake Barton
Valerie Allen ...
Bernard West ...
Dr. Joe Kitchell (as Bernie West)
Steve Peck ...
Gangster (as Steven Peck)
Gerry Mulligan ...
Ella's Blind Date


Ella Peterson is a Brooklyn telephone answering service operator who tries to improve the lives of her clients by passing along bits of information she hears from other clients. She falls in love with one of her clients, the playwright Jeffrey Moss, and is determined to meet him. The trouble is, on the phone to him, she always pretends to be an old woman whom he calls "Mom." Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The screen is singing M.G.M. is bringing Broadway's Bell-Ringer of a Musical to the World!


See all certifications »





Release Date:

14 November 1960 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Esta rubia vale un millón  »

Box Office


$2,203,123 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(Turner library print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Eddie Foy Jr.'s character, Otto Kreunz, was named Sandor in the original Broadway version. Sandor was also the name of a villain from one of the old serials from the 1930s and '40s, so the name had to be changed for the movie. See more »


When Ella leaves with her suitcases, her hair is mussed from performing her song, but when she returns it is neatly in place again. See more »


Ella: I'm going back where I can be me, at the Bonjour Tristese Brassiere Company!
See more »


Referenced in The Nanny: The Party's Over (1995) See more »


Drop That Name
(1956) (uncredited)
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Performed by Judy Holliday and Chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

Happy Holliday
26 October 2000 | by See all my reviews

Made late in the cycle of great MGM musicals, with the reliable producer-director combo of Arthur Freed and Vincente Minnelli, this is a fairly clunky adaptation of a Broadway hit. Despite some location filming, it looks stagebound, and the stylized playing and jerrybuilt musical-comedy plot look false as hell. Some excellent musical numbers from the original are badly truncated or left out entirely, and what's left is grotesquely over-orchestrated. One senses that Minnelli, in particular, didn't trust the material--look at how quickly he dispenses with the "Mu-Cha-Cha" number, seemingly embarrassed by its musical-comedy silliness--and the supporting cast seems to be playing to the second balcony.

That's the bad news; now we get, thank heaven, to Judy Holliday. Having played this part on Broadway for two years and toured with it longer, she looks amazingly spontaneous. Given her health problems at the time, she looks happy and healthy. And while we can't expect to experience her legendary warmth and charisma as stage audiences did, it's an incomparable performance. Every reaction, every inflection, every seemingly improvised movement rings true and lends depth and poignancy to a paper-thin character traipsing around in a contrived plot. What a lesson for any young actor in transforming everyday material into something memorable. My favorite moment comes early, when she's reclining on a sofa and looks up dreamily and starts singing, a capella and with perfect naturalism, "I'm in love..." I'm in love, too, Judy. We miss you.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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