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Bells Are Ringing Blu-ray Review

Bells

Dean Martin and Judy Holliday make “Bells Are Ringing” worth a watch.

“Bells Are Ringing” is a romantic musical that centers on Ella (a switchboard girl who works for the answering service Susanswerphone) and Jeffrey (a struggling playwright). The two initially cross paths through a series of wake up calla via Susanswerphone. Ella has a crush on Jeffrey even though he doesn’t know who she really is as she pretends to be an old lady when she calls Jeffrey. One day after a failed wake up attempt, Ella decides to wake him up herself but she won’t reveal who she is. Regardless, the two manage to fall for each other as she essentially inspires Jeffrey to write. Amidst the central story, there are also other key subplots involving a shady record company owner (Otto) that is using his company as a front for horse race betting at the Susanswerphone building, Ella helping out people with the knowledge she gathers from calls, and Police investigating Susanswerphone for suspicious business practices.

As you can no doubt tell from the plot, the plot of director Vincent Minnelli’s 1960 film “Bells Are Ringing” is positively archaic with its phone service story angle. It also resembles in “The Shop Around The Corner” to a certain degree although these two central characters always liked one other. Regardless, the story is definitely a relic of yesteryear, but that’s OK. It’s always fun to step back in time while watching a film. The film itself is a mostly light and charming story about love, misunderstandings, inspiration, and truth although it’s far from perfect. Not only does it run long at 126 minutes, but the middle act definitely meanders about as Ella tries to tell Jeffrey the truth. Mostly, the middle act just bides its time until the eventful finale.

What really makes “Bells Are Ringing” work is the chemistry between Dean Martin and Judy Holliday. Holliday (who sadly had a short lived career after passing away at a young age) has so much charisma here as Ella. Dean Martin is his usual endearing self. Plus you get to hear him song which is always a treat. A special shout-out should go to Frank Gorshin here who plays an actor trying to channel Marlon Brando. It’s a very weird performance but you can’t imagine the movie without it.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1. How does it look? This Blu-ray disc boasts a stunning hi-def print. The colors look so rich here.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This DTS track has an impressive range. It gets a thumbs up from me for sure.

Extras: * “Bells Are Ringing” trailer. * An alternate take of “The Midas Touch” number * 2 outtakes for 2 musical numbers titled “Is It A Crime?” and “My Guiding Star.” * “Bells Are Ringing: Just In Time”- An old school featurette that dives into the history of the film’s production.

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June 12, 2017 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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