Sunday, September 9, 2007

Musical-comedy pencils

Ella Peterson (Judy Holliday) to Jeffrey Moss (Dean Martin):

"When I went to high school, I'd do anything to keep from doing my homework. Mostly I'd sharpen pencils. You know the yellow kind that says Ticonderoga on it? Well, I'd sharpen it to the Ticonderog, and then to the Ticonder, and then to the Ticond, and then to the Tic, and then to the Ti, and then to the T. And then I'd have to start on another pencil."

Bells Are Ringing (1960), screenplay by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Bells Are Ringing, now packaged as a dopey-looking DVD, is anything but dopey. Smart songs, witty repartee, arch double-entendres, rotary phones, a telephone exchange name as part of a song lyric (PLaza 0-4433), a betting operation disguised as a classical record label, and a terrific cast (including Frank Gorshin as a Brando-like Method actor). Judy Holliday, in her last film, is brilliant.
Bells Are Ringing (Amazon)

Related post
Film noir pencils

comments: 4

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, Bells are Ringing was our spring musical when I was a senior in high school (in 1976!). I played the dentist who wanted to be a songwriter, and talked-sang to a pair of windup clacking teeth (character roles are always fun). My favorite number is "Drop that Name," the one right before "The Party's Over," which is probably the best-known song from this musical.

Michael Leddy said...

Norman, Elaine and I are sitting here thrilled about this item from your past. Elaine says that you must have made a marvelous dentist. We both thought that marvelous could be spelled with one l or two, but apparently not.

"Drop That Name" is a great cross-section of mid-20th-c culture. I miss that world.

Anonymous said...

On this side of the Atlantic, marvellous is spelled (or should I say spelt?) with two lls.

Michael Leddy said...

That's what I get for looking up a word online. I typed marvellous in the Merriam-Webster searchbox, and marvelous alone came up. I thought I must be mistaken. Duh!