Ella Peterson (Judy Holliday recreating her Broadway role in her last film) is a lonely Brooklyn telephone answering service operator – working for ‘Susanswerphone’ – 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, Plaza 0-double four, double nine – that’s the number of playwright Jeffrey Moss (Dean Martin) – 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.”
Frank Gorshin co-stars as method actor Blake Barton, who is an obvious spoof of Marlon Brando.
Made late in the cycle of great MGM musicals, with the reliable producer-director combo of Arthur Freed and Vincente Minnelli, this is a fairly clunky adaptation of a Broadway hit.
The original Broadway production opened at the Shubert Theater (moving later to the Alvin Theater) on 29 November 1956 and played for 924 performances through to 7 March 1959.
J. Otto Prantz
Eddie Foy Jr
Dr Joe Kitchell