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 »
Drama critic Larry McKay, his wife Kay, and their four sons move from their crowded Manhattan apartment to an old house in the country. While housewife Kay settles into suburban life, Larry... See full summary »
Huckleberry Finn, a rambunctious boy adventurer chafing under the bonds of civilization, escapes his humdrum world and his selfish, plotting father by sailing a raft down the Mississippi ... See full summary »
A Union ex-officer plans to sell up to Anchor Ranch and move east with his fiancee, but the low price offered by Anchor's crippled owner and the outfit's bully-boy tactics make him think ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson
It's 1929. The studio gave the cinema its voice gave offered the audiences a chance to see their favorite actors and actresses from the silent screen era to see and for the first time can ... See full summary »
An authoritarian rancher, Barbara Stanwyck, who rules an Arizona county with her private posse of hired guns. When a new marshall arrives to set things straight, the cattle queen finds ... See full summary »
After a band of Indians kill a group of soldiers, Sergeant Hook captures them and their leader Nanches. Among the prisoners is Nanches' son and the boy's white mother captured by them nine ... See full summary »
Charles Marquis Warren
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
Since the play, "Laurette," was never realized, the movie version of "Bells are Ringing" serves as Judy Holliday's "final" performance.
It's to her credit that she comes off as well as she does. The film is extremely stagey, and looks contrived and bloated, despite a most competent cast and director.
Yet Holliday is buoyant, full of fun, and energetic--all hallmarks of her theatrical persona.
I've read Holliday's complete bio, and am amazed she was able to overcome the tremendous obstacles she endured, from her sad childhood and family relationship through the communist "witch hunt" period--which left her saddled with protest pickets that followed her around--to failed marriages, lack of employment, and care giving responsibilities for her child and parent. All the while working wherever she could and keep smiling.
In many respects her career is quite similar to that of Montgomery Clift. Both apparently gave their best work on the stage, night after night before live audiences, rather than on film. Had both stayed in the theatre, their respective careers and lives might have remained more stable and healthy--and be alive today.
"Bells are Ringing" is a final tribute to a great talent, an Oscar-winning actress and comedienne who graced the stage and screen with a radiant presence and winning demeanor. Fortunately, as long as her films are shown, Judy Holliday will live and be rediscovered by future generations.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?