IMDb > Bells Are Ringing (1960)
Bells Are Ringing
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Bells Are Ringing (1960) More at IMDbPro »

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Bells Are Ringing -- Ella works for Susanswerphone, a hole-in-the-wall answering service run by her cousin Sue, but our girl Ella can't help but become involved in the lives of her customers.

Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   1,996 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Betty Comden (screen play) and
Adolph Green (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Bells Are Ringing on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 November 1960 (Sweden) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The screen is singing M.G.M. is bringing Broadway's Bell-Ringer of a Musical to the World!
Plot:
Ella Peterson is a Brooklyn telephone answering service operator who tries to improve the lives of her... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The Susanswerphone Community See more (28 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Judy Holliday ... Ella Peterson

Dean Martin ... Jeffrey Moss

Fred Clark ... Larry Hastings
Eddie Foy Jr. ... J. Otto Prantz

Jean Stapleton ... Sue
Ruth Storey ... Gwynne

Dort Clark ... Inspector Barnes

Frank Gorshin ... Blake Barton

Ralph Roberts ... Francis
Valerie Allen ... Olga
Bernard West ... Dr. Joe Kitchell (as Bernie West)
Steve Peck ... Gangster (as Steven Peck)
Gerry Mulligan ... Ella's Blind Date
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jimmy Ames ... Bernie Dunstock (uncredited)
Suzanne Ames ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Nancy Anderson ... Actress (uncredited)
Phil Arnold ... Man on Street (uncredited)
Jan Arvan ... Headwaiter (uncredited)
Susan Avery ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Doria Avila ... Carl (uncredited)
Micki Barlow ... Specialty Dancer (uncredited)
Rayford Barnes ... Bookie (uncredited)
Irene Barton ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Virginia Bates ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Rodney Bell ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Nicky Blair ... Nick - Hood (uncredited)
Madge Blake ... Woman on Street (uncredited)

Oliver Blake ... Ludwig Smiley (uncredited)
Lela Bliss ... Dowager Art Lover Party Guest (uncredited)
Gail Bonney ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Nesdon Booth ... Mike - Coffee Shop Proprietor (uncredited)
Leonard Bremen ... Irate Pedestrian (uncredited)
John Bryant ... Doorman (uncredited)
Robert Cabal ... Subway Passenger (uncredited)
Aileen Carlyle ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Sue Casey ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Helen Chapman ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Marian Collier ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Richard Collier ... Peanut Eater (uncredited)
Jimmy Cross ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Lucille Curtis ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Donna Douglas ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Michael Dugan ... Cop (uncredited)
Joan Dupuis ... Actress (uncredited)
Tommy Farrell ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Paul Frees ... Singing Voice of Tommy Farrell (voice) (uncredited)
Leona Gage ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Jeanne Gerson ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Bill Giorgio ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Joe Gray ... Bartender (uncredited)
Jacqueline Green ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Christian Haren ... Actor (uncredited)
John Hart ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Barbara Hines ... Party Guest (uncredited)
John Holland ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Stuart Holmes ... Man in Park (uncredited)
Bob Hopkins ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Mark Houston ... Actor (uncredited)
William Hudson ... Party Guest (uncredited)
John Indrisano ... Bookie (uncredited)

Roy Jenson ... Cop (uncredited)
Michael Johnson ... Actor (uncredited)
Morgan Jones ... Telephone Man (uncredited)
Sally Ann Jones ... Actress (uncredited)
June Kirby ... Party Guest (uncredited)
William Kirschner ... Man with Kitchell (uncredited)
Marina Koshetz ... Mme. Grimaldi (uncredited)
Frank Kreig ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Gil Lamb ... Pratfalling Party Guest (uncredited)

Len Lesser ... Charlie Bessemer (uncredited)
Buddy Lewis ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Hal Linden ... Singer of 'The Midas Touch' (uncredited)
Margie Liszt ... Mrs. Mollett (uncredited)
Donna Lynne ... Girl Walking (uncredited)
Evan MacNeil ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Gregg Martell ... Man on Street (uncredited)
Paul Maxwell ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Eugene McCarthy ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Owen McGiveney ... Janitor (uncredited)
Joe McTurk ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Johnny Melfi ... Actor (uncredited)
Shepard Menken ... Narrator of Susanswerphone Ad (voice) (uncredited)
Frank Mitchell ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Titus Moede ... Beatnik Actor (uncredited)

Elizabeth Montgomery ... Girl Reading Book (uncredited)
Jean Moorhead ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Forbes Murray ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Milton Parsons ... Pedestrian Next to Barney Lampwick (uncredited)
Robert Patten ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Carole Perkins ... Girl in Cluttered Room (uncredited)
Ruth Perrott ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Mae Questel ... Olga (voice) (uncredited)
Frank Richards ... Barney Lampwick's Friend - Man on Street (uncredited)
Nina Roman ... Actress (uncredited)
Virginia Rose ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Don Ross ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Frank J. Scannell ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Karen Scott ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Pamela Searle ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Maida Severn ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Della Sharman ... Actress (uncredited)
Olan Soule ... Nervous Man (uncredited)
Helen Spring ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Tony Springer ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)

Joan Staley ... Blonde in Susanswerphone Ad (uncredited)
Steve Stevens ... Actor (uncredited)

George E. Stone ... Blind Bookie (uncredited)
Herb Vigran ... Barney Lampwick (uncredited)
Joseph Vitale ... Bookie (uncredited)
Nancy Walters ... Katherine Arnold (uncredited)
Chris Warfield ... Young Man on Street (uncredited)
Sandra Warner ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Sammy White ... Vendor (uncredited)
Wendy Wilde ... Actress (uncredited)
Doris Wiss ... Actress (uncredited)
Wilson Wood ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Directed by
Vincente Minnelli 
 
Writing credits
Betty Comden (screen play) and
Adolph Green (screen play)

Betty Comden (musical play "Bells Are Ringing") and
Adolph Green (musical play "Bells Are Ringing")

Produced by
Arthur Freed .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Jule Styne 
 
Cinematography by
Milton R. Krasner (director of photography) (as Milton Krasner)
 
Film Editing by
Adrienne Fazan (film editor)
 
Casting by
Don McElwaine (uncredited)
Bobby Webb (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
E. Preston Ames  (as Preston Ames)
George W. Davis 
 
Set Decoration by
F. Keogh Gleason (set decorations) (as Keogh Gleason)
Henry Grace (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Walter Plunkett (costumes designed by)
 
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist
William Tuttle .... makeup creator
Jane Gorton .... hairdresser (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Dave Friedman .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William McGarry .... assistant director
Ted Butcher .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Geoffrey Davis .... prop man (uncredited)
Harry Lazzarre .... prop man (uncredited)
Frank Wesselhoff .... painter (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Franklin Milton .... recording supervisor
Van Allen James .... sound editor (uncredited)
Conrad Kahn .... sound mixer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
A. Arnold Gillespie .... special effects
Lee LeBlanc .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Virgil Apger .... stillman (uncredited)
Roland Bultken .... best boy (uncredited)
Henry Forrester .... grip (uncredited)
Fred J. Koenekamp .... camera operator (uncredited)
Paul Koons .... camera assistant (uncredited)
Wes Shanks .... gaffer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Russel B. Caplan .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Evelyn Rickart .... wardrobe: women (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Charles K. Hagedon .... color consultant
Al Wilson .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Betty Comden .... lyricist
Betty Comden .... lyricist: musical play
Alexander Courage .... orchestrator
Adolph Green .... lyricist
Adolph Green .... lyricist: musical play
Pete King .... orchestrator
André Previn .... conductor
André Previn .... music adaptor
Jule Styne .... music: musical play
Roger Spiker .... pianist: rehearsal (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Charles O'Curran .... choreographer
Bea Allen .... dance-in (uncredited)
Jay Gerard .... stand-in: Dean Martin (uncredited)
Lyn Murray .... voice coach (uncredited)
Bill Ryan .... assistant to producer (uncredited)
Emily Torchia .... publicist (uncredited)
Amalia Wade .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Dominic Williams .... craft (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • Theatre Guild  presented on the stage by (as The Theatre Guild)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
126 min (Turner library print) (copyright length)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Judy Holliday recreated her Broadway role as Ella Peterson. Others who recreated their Broadway roles in the movie were Jean Stapleton as Sue, Dort Clark as Inspector Barnes, Bernard West as Dr. Joe Kitchell and Doria Avila as Carl. The original Broadway production opened at the Shubert Theater (moving later to the Alvin Theater) on November 29, 1956 and played for 924 performances through March 7, 1959. The musical was nominated for the 1957 Tony Award for Best Musical.See more »
Goofs:
Plot holes: When Jeff contacts Susanswerphone from Brooklyn Heights, he speaks with Sue, "the other one", but Sue is supposedly out with Otto at the Crying Gypsy Cafe, not working the switchboard.See more »
Quotes:
Ella:I'm going back where I can be me, at the Bonjour Tristese Brassiere Company!See more »
Soundtrack:
It's a Perfect RelationshipSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
The Susanswerphone Community, 25 August 2008
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Arthur Freed's final musical production for MGM was this very bright musical comedy from Jule Styne-Betty Comden-Adolph Green, Bells Are Ringing. Sadly this was also the farewell film performance of Judy Holliday who was playing the role of Ella Peterson which she had created on Broadway.

Bells Are Ringing ran for 924 performances on Broadway from 1956 to 1959 and won a few Tony Awards including one for Judy Holliday as Best Actress. I'm sure the Tony went well with the Oscar she won for Born Yesterday up on her mantel.

According to a book about Arthur Freed and the films he produced at MGM, Bells Are Ringing was not an easy shoot. Judy Holliday was suffering a lot of health problems with bladder and kidney. In that sequence where she goes on a blind date and her dress catches on fire, Holliday was actually burned. And she had a constant battle with her weight.

Her leading man on Broadway was Charlie Chaplin's son, Sydney who also won a Tony Award and with whom she was involved with. MGM wanted a name with a bit more box office to it, so Dean Martin was cast as playwright Jeffrey Moss. Holliday got along with Dean, but she felt him to lackadaisical in his attitude. That might have been a problem later on, but certainly not here. I'm sure she'd have preferred Sydney Chaplin to work with again.

With the advances in telecommunications, Bells Are Ringing at this point has an almost quaint nostalgic look to it. I'm sure young viewers now who use cellphones and text messaging and have automatic answering systems built in to phones wouldn't even understand what an answering service was all about.

They certainly all weren't like Susanswerphone which is run by Jean Stapleton and employs two other people including Judy Holliday. Despite warnings by Jean to just take messages and a visit by police inspector Dort Clark who misreads what's going on at the Susanswerphone switchboard, Judy is a compulsive do-gooder who insists on meddling in the lives of her customers.

But she does it in such a sweet and winning way, Holliday creates one of the great screen characters and like Billie Dawn from Born Yesterday, one that originated on the stage. In one way Bells Are Ringing is a modern story, it's almost like an internet chatroom with Holliday running the board.

Besides Judy, Jean Stapleton, Dort Clark, and Bernie West who plays the frustrated songwriting dentist all repeat their roles from the original Broadway cast. Freed and director Vincent Minnelli pulled off some real casting gems for some of the other parts. Fred Clark as the producer who's trying to get a play out of Dino, Eddie Foy, Jr. as the dapper conman/bookie who is romancing Stapleton and whose activities arouse the police suspicions in the first place, and Frank Gorshin who I love best playing a second rate Marlon Brando imitator of a method actor.

Most of the musical score remained intact here. Arthur Freed would have been lynched had he attempted to bring Bells Are Ringing to the screen without Just In Time and The Party's Over. The last has become an automatic item the way Goodnight Sweetheart used to be signaling the end of an evening's festivities. And I do so like the Drop That Name number, try to see how many celebrities get their named dropped in that song.

Despite the problems it had with shooting, Bells Are Ringing is certainly a fitting climax for Arthur Freed's career as a producer. Judy Holliday made no more films, but did have another Broadway show, Hot Spot which did not have a long run. What a terrible tragedy, one so talented left us at age 44.

Still her fans can treasure her memory and her art in watching among other of her films, Bells Are Ringing.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (28 total) »

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Who played CARL??? Jessica-656
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46 years and still the same voice! angelroom
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