Hello, Dolly!

1969

Hello, Dolly!

Critics Consensus

Though Streisand charms, she's miscast as the titular middle-aged widow in Gene Kelly's sluggish and over-produced final directorial effort.

43%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 30

76%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 21,156

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

76%
Average Rating: 3.5/5

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Hello, Dolly! Photos

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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News & Interviews for Hello, Dolly!

Critic Reviews for Hello, Dolly!

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (5)

  • It relies almost exclusively on the celebrated eyes, ears, nose and throat of Streisand. Her musicianship remains irreproachable. But her mannerisms are so arch and calculated that one half expects to find a key implanted in her back.

    Apr 2, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Gene Kelly directed, a long way from Terpsichore apparently, though not, alas, from the Thanksgiving turkey.

    Mar 26, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Streisand is a unique performer, with that inborn vitality which marks great personalities.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The Jerry Herman score is unmemorable, Michael Kidd's choreography is foreshortened to accommodate yards of additional dialogue by Ernest Lehman, and the rest is Streisand capably doing her thing in a series of plushily colossal sets.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Paul Taylor

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • [Director Gene Kelly and produce Ernest Lehmann] have been reverential to the point of idiocy, since, by preserving something basically thin and often witless on a large movie screen, they have merely inflated the faults to elephantine proportions.

    May 9, 2005 | Full Review…
  • Emphasis has been placed on extravaganza, when it should really have been placed on getting good performances out of a talented cast.

    Apr 2, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Hello, Dolly!

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

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

My mom had a habit of dropping us kids off at the theater on Saturday afternoons so she could get in a little "me-time" while the three of us watched a movie. On this particular Saturday, we were the only three people in the theater. That could be because small-town, USA simply was uncultured and unsophisticated, or it could be that this movie sucked big giant ostrich eggs. You decide.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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