Hello, Dolly! (1969)

hello dolly poster 1969 movie barbra streisand
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Looks good, sounds good, good cast

Rather typical musical

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Hello, Dolly!

Studio:  Chenault Production

Genre(s):  Musical/Romance

Release Date(s):  December 16, 1969

MPAA Rating:  G

hello dolly walter matthau barbra streisand

I predict wacky hijinks in your future!!!

Dolly Levi (Barbra Streisand) is a widowed matchmaker living in Yonkers after living in New York City.  She has her eyes on storekeeper Horace Vandergelder (Walter Matthau) but Horace is looking to marry New York hat store owner Molloy (Marianne McAndrews).  Dolly sets out to sabotage Horace’s plans by heading to New York with his shopkeepers Cornelius (Michael Crawford) and Barnaby (Danny Lockin) and his niece Ermengarde (Joyce Ames) and her hopeful fiancé Ambrose Kemper (Tommy Tune).  While Dolly works to set up Cornelius and Barnaby with Molloy and her shopgirl Minnie Fay (E.J. Peaker), she also hope to mend the differences between Horace and his niece while landing Horace for her own.

Directed by Gene Kelly, Hello, Dolly! adapts the 1964 stage musical which is an adaptation of Thorton Wilder’s 1955 The Matchmaker (which was previously called The Merchant of Yonkers when he originally penned it in 1938).  The film received Academy Awards for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Score, and Best Sound with nominations for Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Film Editing.

hello dolly michael crawford danny lockin ej peaker marianne mcandrews

We’re just collateral damage for Dolly’s ruthless matchmaking…

Hello, Dolly! is another classic musical.  It was at the end of the musical boom as musicals started to go the way of the dodos on the screen.  I never saw the movie, but watching it now feels more like a throwback to older musicals from the ’50s.

The story is a classic type of story with a busybody insinuating herself into the life of a man she’s actually fallen in love with.  The movie is filled with (predictable) hijinks and moments that will entertain a wide swath of viewers.  The movie ends just as you expect it to…it doesn’t really have to be revolutionary, but those expecting more from a musical might be disappointed.

The cast is strong.  Barbra Streisand was still rather fresh faced at this point having just done Funny Girl and despite being rather young she brings age to the character.  Walter Matthau was such an unlikely leading man that probably would have never risen to popularity now.  The famous stage star Michael Crawford (aka the Phantom of the Opera) plays the young Cornelius Hackl and you can tell his onscreen buddy Danny Lockin is more of a dancer.  The movie also has Tommy Tune in the rather small role of Ambrose but also features a cameo by Louis Armstrong in the big “Hello, Dolly!” number.

hello dolly restaurant barbra streisand

Everyone wants a piece of Dolly!

I can’t say I really liked the music of Hello, Dolly! much.  Other than the big and extremely catchy “Hello, Dolly!”, the movie didn’t really have much music that jumped out.  The movie did look good, but also had the classic look with sets and backdrops at points.

Hello, Dolly! is a must for fans of classic musicals.  If you didn’t grow up watching it, it comes off as a rather typical comedy of errors combined with a matchmaking story.  The music is good but it isn’t my favorite.  The movie remains popular and the stage musical continues to return to the stage…I just think it might show better there.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

One Comment on "Hello, Dolly! (1969)"

  1. Luka Keats June 9, 2017 at 4:59 am - Reply

    I actually like this Movie. I almost love it. Anyway, why do you think that this Movie was a Box Office Flop? What happened? Even though Barbra Streisand was only 27 at the time of Production (playing a Middle aged Widower), could she of succeeded in the Role? I just wonder what Audience and Critical Reception was like and if it was positive. Also why the Film was a Box Office Flop? I am a huge fan of Movie Musicals. I wish that this Movie was more Successful.

    Sincerely LUKA KEATS, 16

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