7.0/10
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38 user 22 critic

Bells Are Ringing (1960)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | July 1960 (USA)
Trailer
3:00 | Trailer
A Brooklyn answering service operator becomes involved in the lives of her clients, including a struggling playwright with whom she begins to fall in love.

Director:

Vincente Minnelli

Writers:

Betty Comden (screen play), Adolph Green (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Judy Holliday ... Ella Peterson
Dean Martin ... Jeffrey Moss
Fred Clark ... Larry Hastings
Eddie Foy Jr. ... J. Otto Prantz
Jean Stapleton ... Sue
Ruth Storey Ruth Storey ... Gwynne
Dort Clark ... Inspector Barnes
Frank Gorshin ... Blake Barton
Ralph Roberts ... Francis
Valerie Allen ... Olga
Bernard West Bernard West ... Dr. Joe Kitchell (as Bernie West)
Steve Peck Steve Peck ... Gangster (as Steven Peck)
Gerry Mulligan 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

Taglines:

The screen is singing M.G.M. is bringing Broadway's Bell-Ringer of a Musical to the World!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The jukebox in Mike's Lunch Room is a 1959 Rock-Ola Tempo 1, model 1468ST. It could hold 120 45rpm "single" records. See more »

Goofs

Ella's red shoes change from 2 inch heels (in the Cha Cha Cha and Just in Time numbers) to 3 inch heels for the non-dancing sequences in between and afterwards. See more »

Quotes

Gwynne: Ella, when are you going to stop worrying about that playboy?
Ella: He's not a playboy, he's a very, talented playwright.
Gwynne: All he does is play, he never writes.
Ella: I beg your pardon. He and his partner have written most of the successful successes on Broadway.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Joan Staley in the credits as "Blonde in Susanswerphone Ad". See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Bells Are Ringing
(1956) (uncredited)
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Performed by MGM Studio Orchestra and Chorus during the opening credits and at the end
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User Reviews

Happy Holliday
26 October 2000 | by marcslopeSee all my reviews

Made late in the cycle of great MGM musicals, with the reliable producer-director combo of Arthur Freed and Vincente Minnelli, this is a fairly clunky adaptation of a Broadway hit. Despite some location filming, it looks stagebound, and the stylized playing and jerrybuilt musical-comedy plot look false as hell. Some excellent musical numbers from the original are badly truncated or left out entirely, and what's left is grotesquely over-orchestrated. One senses that Minnelli, in particular, didn't trust the material--look at how quickly he dispenses with the "Mu-Cha-Cha" number, seemingly embarrassed by its musical-comedy silliness--and the supporting cast seems to be playing to the second balcony.

That's the bad news; now we get, thank heaven, to Judy Holliday. Having played this part on Broadway for two years and toured with it longer, she looks amazingly spontaneous. Given her health problems at the time, she looks happy and healthy. And while we can't expect to experience her legendary warmth and charisma as stage audiences did, it's an incomparable performance. Every reaction, every inflection, every seemingly improvised movement rings true and lends depth and poignancy to a paper-thin character traipsing around in a contrived plot. What a lesson for any young actor in transforming everyday material into something memorable. My favorite moment comes early, when she's reclining on a sofa and looks up dreamily and starts singing, a capella and with perfect naturalism, "I'm in love..." I'm in love, too, Judy. We miss you.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

July 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bells Are Ringing See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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