Friday, November 14, 2008

Bells Are Ringing (1960)

Let's take a little trip back in time to the classic movies of the 1960s. Dean Martin and Judy Holliday star in "Bells Are Ringing," a fun musical comedy about all the things that can happen when you're just trying to help someone.

Holliday plays Ella Peterson, a young lady who works as an operator for the Susanswerphone company. Her job is to take messages as they come in and relay them to the appropriate people, like a human answering machine. But Ella isn't a machine; she's very much alive, and she can't help but be concerned about her clients. She has a tendency to go a little beyond the call of duty, helping clients with jobs get in touch with clients who are looking for jobs. And one client gets far more attention than he really should.

His name is Jeffrey Moss, and he's a playwright. He gets calls all the time from his producer, and Ella dutifully takes the messages. One day, she gets the message that if Jeffrey doesn't show up at a certain time for a meeting, he'll lose his contract. When Jeffrey doesn't respond to his wake-up call, Ella's in a tight position.

You see, she's been in love with Jeffrey from the moment she heard his voice. He seemed to need a mother figure in his life, so she pretends to be an older woman known to him as "Mom." With the safety of anonymity, she listens to his problems, gives him advice, and becomes someone he leans on. This message from his producer will make or break his career, and she can't bear to see him sleep through his meeting.

But the plot has thickened. The police are investigating the Susanswerphone company with the belief that it's really an escort service. Ella is given a strict command to stop getting involved with her clients. What is she going to do?

Well, she does what any love-stricken telephone operator does - she goes to Jeffrey's apartment and wakes him up personally. What follows is a sweet romance, but if Jeffrey finds out who Ella is, or if the police find out she contacted him, she could be in a whole lot of trouble.

This movie kept me laughing from beginning to end. Holliday originated this role on Broadway, so she was a natural to star in the film version. Martin introduces the classic song, "Just In Time," which became an American standard. If you love a good comedic romance, this one's for you!

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2 comments:

Framed said...

This looks like a great movie. I'm not a huge fan of Dean Martin, but I can get over that.

Candace E. Salima said...

I absolutely love this movie. I ran across it years ago when I was worked at a video store. I've watched it over and over, it's one of my favorites.

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