September 23, 2011

Hello, Dolly! (1969)

Yes, she's too young, too pretty and too Jewish for the role Carol Channing performed but Barbra Streisand made the titular matchmaker her own using a timeless, pseudo-Mae West characterization and her trademark humor in this film version of Jerry Herman's Broadway hit Hello, Dolly! Yes, the production is overblown and the film is long (like these three lines) but the story moves along at a horse's clip, Walter Matthau shines (working up some chemistry with Streisand despite their reported dislike for each other), and the classic songs (including Just Leave Everything To Me, Before The Parade Passes By, Put On Your Sunday Clothes, and Hello Dolly - sung by Streisand with Louis Armstrong) are so catchy you'll be humming along even if you've never heard them before. So no, it's not a bad movie (although you might want to stay away if you're not a Streisand fan) and, contrary to popular belief, it brought in more money than the $26,000,000 it cost 20th Century Fox to make it.

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