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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)

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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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?


The building that housed the phone answering service was a unique old building that was the only one on the block. Steven Spielberg used it 25 years later for the setting of *batteries not included (1987) which was supposedly owned by the only holdout in the middle of a construction project. See more »


While Jeff is singing "I Met a Girl," various people in the background can be see mouthing the words along with him. See more »


Ella: I'm in love with a man - Plaza Oh- Double four- Double Three. What a perfect relationship - I can't see him, he can't see me!
See more »


Hot and Cold
(1956) (uncredited)
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Performed a cappella by Bernard West
See more »

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User Reviews

Great Actress' Swansong
3 May 2004 | by (Cleveland, Ohio) – See all my reviews

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.

25 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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