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Bells Are Ringing (1960)

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

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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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

14 November 1960 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Esta rubia vale un millón See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ella sings about going back to the Bonjour Tristesse Brassiere Company. The novel "Bonjour Tristesse" (French: "Hello Sadness") by Françoise Sagan was published in 1954, and was translated into English in 1955. It was considered quite racy, sort of a "Fifty Shades Of Gray" for the time. Because of this, the phrase took on a salacious connotation in the U.S. See more »

Goofs

After Ella jumps on Jeffrey on the couch and begins kissing him, a moving shadow of the camera falls across them as it moves to the right. See more »

Quotes

Carl: Hey, Titanic Records - is that a new label?
J. Otto Prantz: We have only the finest European recordings.
Carl: Oh, Brandenburg Number Three. I have the Leonard Bernstein recording. Who's on your label?
J. Otto Prantz: The Dusseldorf Zuider Zee Moonlight Hanseatic League Symphony on the Karlsruhe.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References A Hole in the Head (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Mu Cha Cha
(1956) (uncredited)
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Performed by Judy Holliday, Doria Avila, and Ruth Storey
See more »

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User Reviews

Great Actress' Swansong
3 May 2004 | by harry-76See 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.


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