Hello, Dolly! (1969)

G   |    |  Adventure, Comedy, Musical


Hello, Dolly! (1969) Poster

Matchmaker Dolly Levi travels to Yonkers to find a partner for "half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder, convincing his niece, his niece's intended, and his two clerks to travel to New York City along the way.


7.1/10
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  • Barbra Streisand and Michael Crawford in Hello, Dolly! (1969)
  • Michael Crawford and Marianne McAndrew in Hello, Dolly! (1969)
  • "Hello Dolly" Barbra Streisand, Louis Armstrong 1969 20th Century Fox
  • Gene Kelly in Hello, Dolly! (1969)
  • "Hello Dolly" Barbra Streisand with son Jason Gould on the set 1969 20th Cent. Fox
  • Michael Crawford and Danny Lockin in Hello, Dolly! (1969)

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2 July 2018 | drednm
10
| SIMPLY STUNNING STREISAND
Forget the stories about miscasting and squabbles on the set. This production of HELLO, DOLLY! is big and bright and brassy with Barbra Streisand taking center stage as Dolly Levi, the matchmaker with a mind to marry a crusty "half-a-millionaire" from Yonkers.

The story line is familiar. The musical is based on Thornton Wilder's play THE MATCHMAKER and was a Broadway sensation for Carol Channing in 1964. This film version trims the story, drops a couple songs, and adds a new one ("Love Is Only Love"). Directed by Gene Kelly and choreographed by Michael Kidd, the film makes good use of location shooting around New York State.

Streisand, in only her second film, is in great voice and shows a nice comic touch. Yes, Dolly is supposed to be "middle aged," but it really doesn't matter. And with those turn-of-the-century hair styles and clothes, you can't tell anyway.

Walter Matthau is good as crusty Horace (though his accent wanders) and Michael Crawford makes for a delightful Cornelius Hackl. Marianne McAndrew is Irene, E.J. Peaker is Minnie, and Danny Lockin is Barnaby. Others in the cast include Judy Knaiz as Gussie, Tommy Tune as Ambrose, Joyce Ames as Ermengarde, David Hurst as Rudy, and Louis Armstrong as the bandleader.

The songs by Jerry Herman are wonderful and have witty lyrics. Two huge production numbers dominate the film. In the first half, "Before the Parade Passes By" is a stunner, sung by Streisand, it turns into a gigantic parade beneath a summer sky and it's as big and brassy a musical number as you'll ever see.

Of course the title song is a show stopper and well staged in the Harmonia Gardens on 14th Street. Streisand makes her famous entrance (and return to life after a period of widowhood) down a grand staircase. She wears a glittering gown of gold as she sings and dances with a battery of waiters. She also does a memorable duet with Armstrong (in his final film appearance).

Yes, it's old fashioned. But the film is so bright and tuneful, it never lags. It was the #4 box-office hit of 1969.

Bottom line: Streisand makes for a great Dolly, and this is a great film musical.

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