Bells Are Ringing
Time Out saysMinnelli's last musical before On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, and like it a curate's egg. The two stars are a pleasure to behold, particularly the genially dizzy Holliday, a telephone answering-service operator who can't help involving herself in the lives and hopes of her clients. And old Mr Nonchalance Martin sidles through his part as a doubting, drunken playwright with his customary charm. But their material just isn't up to the mark: Betty Comden and Adolph Green's script involves much jaded satire of jaded topics like Method acting, pop music and smart parties, while Jule Styne's infrequent songs don't really get the bells ringing. Something is also wrong with Minnelli's presentation, for the action tends to hang inside the 'Scope frame looking theatrical and inert; even the location stuff seems phony.