Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Hello, Dolly!

1969 American Feature

Cast: Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau, Michael Crawford, Marianne McAndrew, Danny Lockin, E.J. Peaker, Joyce Ames, Tommy Tune and Louis Armstrong
Director: Gene Kelly
Writer: Ernest Lehman, based on the stage musical by Michael Stewart, based on the play The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder
Songs: Jerry Herman

Gregarious New York City matchmaker Dolly Levi is hired by grumpy Yonkers shopkeeper Horace Vandergelder to find him a wife. But unbeknownst to him, she has her own sites set on him.


  • Internet Movie Database: 7.2/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 44% / Audience: 76%
  • OMG rating: 8/10

  • DVD/Blu-ray: Available
  • Soundtrack: Available
  • Book: Available


  • Academy Awards for Best Art Direction, Score of a Musical Picture (Original or Adaptation) and Sound; also nominated for Best Picture, Cinematography, Costume Design and Film Editing.
  • American Cinema Editors Award for Best Edited Feature Film.
  • BAFTA Award nominations for Best Actress (Streisand), Cinematography and Art Direction.
  • Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures.
  • Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Motion Picture - Musical/Comedy, Director, Actress - Musical/Comedy (Streisand), Supporting Actress (McAndrew) and Most Promising Newcomer - Female (McAndrew).

  • Thornton Wilder's play The Matchmaker, itself based on an earlier Austrian play (itself based on an even earlier English one-act play), was originally a flop on Broadway under the title The Merchant of Yonkers in 1938. Wilder later revised his script, this time focusing on a previously minor character of a matchmaker named Dolly Levi. Under its new title, The Matchmaker was a hit when it opened in 1955; Ruth Gordon starred. The 1958 film version starred Shirley Booth, Anthony Perkins and Shirley MacLaine.
  • Hello, Dolly!, the musical adaptation of The Matchmaker, had its Broadway debut in 1964. Starring Carol Channing in what would become her signature role, the production (which also starred Eileen Brennan and Charles Nelson Reilly) won ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical. For a time it was the longest-running musical in Broadway history.
  • Hello, Dolly! has since been revived on Broadway three times, the first starring Pearl Bailey with an all-black cast, followed by two more with a returning Carol Channing. In 2016 it was announced that Bette Midler would headline its first Broadway production in over twenty years in 2017. Other stage Dollys included Eve Arden, Yvonne De Carlo, Phyllis Diller, Alice Faye, Tovah Feldshuh, Betty Grable, Lainie Kazan, Dorothy Lamour, Michele Lee, Mary Martin, Ethel Merman, Martha Raye, Ginger Rogers, Ann Sothern, Sally Struthers, Jo Anne Worley and even female impersonator Danny La Rue.
  • Potential Director: Stanley Donen.
  • Casting Call: Julie Andrews, Ann-Margret, Doris Day, Sandy Duncan, Shirley MacLaine, Ron Rifkin, Elizabeth Taylor and Jo Anne Worley.
  • Tommy Tune's film debut.
  • Most of the original Broadway production's score was preserved for the film. Two songs were added: "Just Leave Everything to Me" (written specifically for Barbra Streisand by Jerry Herman for the film, it replaced "I Put My Hand In") and "Love Is Only Love" (originally written by Herman for his stage musical Mame).
  • During filming, Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau did not get along and fought bitterly.
  • Louis Armstrong's final film appearance. In 1964, Armstrong had scored a #1 hit with his recording of the song "Hello, Dolly!"
  • Although it placed fifth at the box office for the year, due to its large budget it was considered a flop and led to the firing of several studio executives at Twentieth Century-Fox.
  • In 1977, Hello, Dolly! was the very first film released to home video (VHS and Betamax) in the United States.
  • Footage from the musical numbers "Put on Your Sunday Clothes" and "It Only Takes a Moment" were prominently featured in the 2008 Disney-Pixar film WALL-E.

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