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 »
After eight years of marriage, Robert and Nina divorce. He takes up with his womanising Navy buddy Charlie Nelson while she looks to her interfering mother for guidance. Both start dating ... See full summary »
Gladys Glover has just lost her modelling job when she meets filmmaker Pete Sheppard shooting a documentary in Central Park. For Pete it's love at first sight, but Gladys has her mind on ... See full summary »
Captain Wade Hunnicutt is the wealthiest and most powerful citizen in his Texan town; he is also a notorious womanizer, which has turned his wife Hannah against him. She has brought up ... See full summary »
Florence and Chet Keefer have had a troublesome marriage. Whilst in the middle of a divorce hearing the judge encourages them to remember the good times they have had hoping that the ... See full summary »
In order to get back into the good graces with his wife with whom he has had a misunderstanding, a young chemistry professor concocts a wild story that he is an undercover FBI agent. To ... See full summary »
Tom Lee is a sensitive boy of 17 whose lack of interest in the "manly" pursuits of sports, mountain climbing and girls labels him "sister-boy" at the college he is attending. Head master ... See full summary »
Constance Shaw is a dance star on Broadway, Joseph Rivington Reynolds is a keen fan of her. After she is fed up with her friend, she meets Joseph and marries him, because she thinks he is ... See full summary »
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
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 »
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 »
I'm going back where I can be me, at the Bonjour Tristese Brassiere Company!
See more »
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.
14 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?