Hello, Dolly! (1969) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hello, Dolly! (1969)

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Movie Info

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, Rovi

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Cast

Barbra Streisand
as Dolly Levi
Walter Matthau
as Horace Vandergelder
Michael Crawford
as Cornelius Hackl
Marianne McAndrew
as Irene Molloy
Louis Armstrong
as Orchestra Leader
E.J. Peaker
as Minnie Fay
Danny Lockin
as Barnaby Tucker
Tommy Tune
as Ambrose Kemper
Judy Knaiz
as Gussie Granger
Joyce Ames
as Ermengarde
David Hurst
as Rudolph Reisenweber
Fritz Feld
as Fritz, German Waiter
Richard Collier
as Vandergelder's Barber
J. Pat O'Malley
as Policeman In Park
David Ahdar
as Laborer
Will Ahern
as Paper Ricker/Dancer
Ralph Roberts
as Policeman
Scatman Crothers
as Mr. Jones/ Porter
Ben Archibek
as Young Lover
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Critic Reviews for Hello, Dolly!

All Critics (18)

For all its failures in other areas - a bloated, heavy farce, or a character comedy full of generally tedious cartoons - its abysmal shortcomings as a musical are the saddest.

Full Review… | August 27, 2014
Antagony & Ecstasy

A magical, old-fashioned musical.

Full Review… | December 24, 2010
Common Sense Media

It is a work of great entertainment, a product of an era when people looked up at a screen and saw movies instead of cinema.

Full Review… | December 15, 2009
IdentityTheory

Inexplicably nominated for Oscars, Gene Kelly's last musical is a big, bloated, stagy film--despite the presence, charm and voice of Barbra Streisand.

Full Review… | March 24, 2009
EmanuelLevy.Com

It doesn't escape the overproduction trap, not by a long shot.

Full Review… | February 19, 2007
Goatdog's Movies

Splashy Kelly production with a too-young Streisand...but she's stunning.

October 30, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Audience Reviews for Hello, Dolly!

½

Wonderful musical, and Barbra is the perfect fit. Matthau is just as brilliant and silly as ever.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

I don't think I have ever seen a film with more, glitter, sparkles, twinkles, frills and gilded over-the-top spectacle as in Hello Dolly. Simply the most extravagent Hollywood musical I have ever had the pleasure to feast my eyes on. And that is exactly what it is a feast for the eyes, from the epically spectacular songs to the huge sets and countless extras, Dolly is impressive. It is also so very sweet so much so that it is almost bitter, everything is so pretty and colourful. But Streisand steals the show with her amazing voice that never takes a breath. This film, made in 69, is really where old hollywood ends but it goes out with a bang!

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith

Super Reviewer

½

Barbra is decades too young, it would be perfect for her now, but its still fun in its gaudy overstuffed way.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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