Monday, September 8, 2008

Indian call centers

I had a lot of fun (not) dealing with one of those Banglore-based customer service centers on the phone this morning: a voice-recognition menu, followed by being on hold for 15 minutes listening to a terribly sampled remake of Madonna's sone La Isla Bonita, only to be cut off. I never did get my problem solved. However, it made me think of some movies where telephones are a major part of the plot.

Judy Holliday's Bells Are Ringing, about a telephone answering service, will be airing at 12:15 PM ET tomorrow (September 9) on TCM. Sadly, it was Holliday's last film, as she died at the young age of 43 in 1965.

Ginger Rogers plays a telemarketer in the 1933 movie Rafter Romance. I never knew before seeint Rafter Romance that they even had telemarketers back in 1933.

Don Ameche invented the telephone when he played Alexander Graham Bell in Fox's 1939 biopic The Story of Alexander Graham Bell.

A rather less pleasant use of the telephone occurs in Sorry, Wrong Number, when invalid Barbara Stanwyck answers the phone and hears about a plot to kill her! In fact, overhearing things on phones is probably an overused plot device. Watch for the final scene of The Bad and the Beautiful, in which Barry Sullivan, Lana Turner, and Dick Powell all surround the receiver of a phone listening to producer Jonathan Shields (Kirk Douglas) talking about his latest film proposal.

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