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Hello, Dolly! (1969)

Cast: Barbra Streisand, Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau, more...
Director: Gene Kelly, Gene Kelly
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Rating:
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Musicals
Running Time: 148 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Synopsis
Twenty-seven-year-old Barbra Streisand seemed an inappropriate choice for middle-aged, match-making widow Dolly Levi, but her energy carries her right through the role and dominates the lackluster movie around her. The plot, drawn from Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker (itself based on a 19th-century British farce), is set in motion when Yonkers feed store clerk Cornelius Hackl (Michael Crawford) celebrates his promotion by taking his pal Barnaby Tucker (Danny Lockin) to New York City for a "corking good time." But Cornelius and Barnaby can't avoid crossing paths with their boss Horace Vandergelder (Walter Matthau), who'd give them Holy Ned if he saw them in a fancy restaurant with two fancy girls instead of tending the store. Mr. Vandergelder himself is the object of Dolly's affections, though she pretends to have only a professional interest in the widowed merchant, going through the motions of finding him a new wife when in fact she'd like to be the lucky bride herself. The film's musical set pieces include a show-stopping rendition of the title number, with Louis Armstrong more or less playing himself. The biggest number is "Before the Parade Passes By," in which thousands of costumed marchers and atmosphere extras cavort before a huge replica of a New York City thoroughfare in the 1890s (actually the main entrance of the 20th Century-Fox studio, with period facades adorning the office buildings). An artifact of an era in which Broadway musicals were a significant part of popular culture, Hello Dolly seemed bizarrely irrelevant in the social turmoil of the late 1960s, and it became one of the late-1960s big-budget failures that led Hollywood studios toward a different kind of filmmaking in the 1970s. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

A Bad Case of Hollywood Bloat by BChiles March 16, 2007 - 2:57 PM PDT
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1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
My impression of this adaptation is that it suffers from a severe case of hollywood bloat. What was a thoroughly silly & charming stage musical becomes larger than life on screen. The opening crane shot of Yonkers screams "we spent major bucks on this" rather than drawing you in to the charm of 19th century americana. The outdoor production numbers (show-stoppers on stage) prove the point that bigger is not always better. Streisand works hard but is simply too young for the part. On the plus side, we see Tommy Tune and Michael Crawford at their best in the male ingenue roles.




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 6.25)
24 Votes
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More Singing! More Dancing!
12345678910
Non-musicals and their musical counterpart. (No story is too depressing for musicals.)
AKrizman

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