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Bells Are Ringing (1960)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,843 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 13 critic

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 »

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

Bells Are Ringing (1960) on IMDb 7.1/10

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

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Cast

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

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


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 November 1960 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Det ringer, det ringer  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,203,123 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sydney Chaplin won the 1957 Tony Award (New York City) for Supporting or Features Actor in a Musical for "Bells are Ringing" for his portrayal of Jeff Moss. See more »

Goofs

Ella tells Jeff that she used to procrastinate by sharpening her Ticonderoga pencil down to the T (or rather the "tuh"). However, Dixon Ticonderoga say that their pencils have always read from point to eraser, so the T would be the *first* letter to disappear. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Do It Yourself
(1956) (uncredited)
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Performed by Dean Martin
See more »

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User Reviews

Plaza 0-4433
12 October 2002 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Judy Holliday originated the role of Ella Petersen, the Susanwersphone switchboard operator, in Vincente Minnelli's adaptation of the Broadway musical, with music by Jules Styne and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Although filmed in 1960, this musical belongs to the conventions of the 1950's with a brassy orchestration, superfluous supporting cast for comic relief, and a Brando impersonator. That Holliday remains as the best thing about it, in spite of Minnelli's less flattering treatment of her than George Cukor, is a tribute to her gifts as an actress, in particular a Broadway performer with the subtlety to adapt for film acting.

Holliday's two solo numbers - It's a Perfect Relationship and I'm Going Back

  • are triumphs of personal charm, in spite of the director. Minnelli has


trouble de-staging the switchboard environment and the film only comes to life after Holliday leaves it to meet Dean Martin, as her favourite client, in person. In the Better than a Dream number, where both Holliday and Martin sing oblivious to the other's reality, this is Minnelli finally presenting a musical sequence cinematically. This pattern continues with Martin's funny I Met a Girl, sung as he battles street crowds. Minnelli treats Holliday's plaintive ballad The Party's Over simply, if disappointedly in long and medium shot presumably since he thinks Holliday's voice doesn't deserve a closeup, in contrast to the botched Just in Time, the score's most lovely song, wretchedly staged. The Drop That Name number is probably more about Minnelli than Holliday, since he scores points off her, comparing her perceived frumpiness to the vacuous stereotypical 1950's society vamp.

Holliday and Martin play off each other well, overcoming the oddness of their union. Martin actually looks not at his best, which undermines the romantic appeal, and his solo reveals he shouldn't be given one. It's hard not to consider his character's fear of success without his partner and not have thoughts of Jerry Lewis, though believing Martin as a playwright is trouble enough. Thankfully there's Holliday. Far more likeable and individual than say a Doris Day, Minnelli's having her lower her head for pathos is the lowest appreciation of her potential. This wasn't considered a great musical to begin with, and the film is pretty hard to take whenever the supporting players take over, with excruciating bits featuring Eddie Foy and The Titanic record company, vice squad surveillance, and the mafia, however the songwriting dentist gave me a few chuckles.


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