Hello Dolly! [Import]
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Barbara Streisand is a knockout as Dolly Levi, the woman "who arranges things like furniture and daffodils and lives." And Hello Dolly, is the blockbuster musical you'll want to see her in again and again. The famed plot concerns Dolly, a young widow and professional matchmaker who sets her sights, and whatever else she can muster, on conquering tight-fisted Yonkers merchant, Horace Vandergeider, beautifully played by Walter Matthau. How she does it has to be the grandest, singingest, dancingest, marchingest flag-wavingest musical there ever was.
They just don't make musicals like this any more. There are some who would be grateful for that--the plot is but a flimsy excuse to string together song and dance numbers. Some of us, however, love big, splashy, overdone musical scenes, of which there are many. Glittering stage numbers showcase a commanding Barbra Streisand as Dolly Levy, a New York matchmaker who can find a mate for anyone. Anyone but herself, that is. Determined to marry wealthy Walter Matthau, she lures him out of Yonkers and sets about wooing him.
Don't worry about the lack of a solid story or Gene Kelly's pedestrian direction. Watch instead for the musical numbers and the lavish costumes. Listen to Jerry Herman's score, and dance around the living room when a sequined Streisand arrives in a club as Louis Armstrong strikes up the title tune for her benefit. (Just pull the shades first.) Based on Thornton Wilder's play The Matchmaker, Hello, Dolly! won Academy Awards for best sound, art direction, and musical score. --Rochelle O'Gorman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Granted, it's not the perfect fit of her Fanny Brice vehicles or "The Way We Were." Barbra is at her best in material tailored to her unique talents, and "Dolly" was a show that could never be a "Streisand vehicle." By the time she tackled the movie, the role had been played by just about every musical actress worth her salt. Each gave the part her own individual stamp, winning praise for shedding new and different light on a beloved character. So why did Hollywood eviscerate Streisand when she tried to do the very same thing?
It would be pointless to try to speculate on just what politics were in play back in 1969, when the film premiered. Better to examine the most common criticisms one by one, and see if they hold water.
First and foremost: Streisand's age. She was blasted as far too young for the role, making her attempted portrayal of a middle-aged widow ludicrous. What seems to have escaped many people's attention is that Streisand did not attempt to play a middle-aged Dolly. That had already been done quite adequately on the Broadway stage and in countless touring companies. Twenty-six at the time of filming, Barbra was mildly overweight -- which added years -- and wore period costumes. The combination made her look about thirty-five in the finished film. This is a perfectly plausible age for Dolly. At the time of the story (just before the turn of the century), women married young -- usually while still in their teens -- lest they become old maids.Read more ›
After 20th Century-Fox purchased the screen rights to HELLO, DOLLY!, producer/screenwriter Ernest Lehman was fairly certain he'd be asking Carol Channing to recreate her stage performance for the film - that is, until he saw her in the 1967 movie THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE; to put it as delicately as possible, her features didn't translate well to the big screen. Fox executives were equally doubtful about Channing, so the search began for a new Dolly. After flirting with (and subsequently dropping) the idea of Elizabeth Taylor, the leading candidate became Barbra Streisand. The powers-that-be suspected (correctly) she was headed for major film stardom, and they hoped a fresh, younger Dolly would give the multi-million dollar project greater appeal. Lehman immediately revised his script, eliminating all references to Dolly losing her husband fourteen years earlier, and - after concluding that audiences wouldn't accept Streisand as an Irishwoman - changing the character's name from Dolly Gallagher Levi to simply Dolly Levi. The studio made the offer, Streisand signed on the dotted line, and Lehman surrounded her with the creme de la creme of the MGM/Arthur Freed movie musical unit - Gene Kelly (director), Roger Edens (associate producer), Michael Kidd (choreographer), Lennie Hayton (musical scoring), and Irene Sharaff (costumes).
Skeptics, however, dug in their heels, and a period of bad press followed; there was outrage a film novice like Streisand had taken a role they considered her ill-suited for.Read more ›
Fun and charming, and the scene with the waiters is fantastic.
Most recent customer reviews
Best Barbra musical movie ever and with Blu Ray colors and HD sound it is great to see it again, and over and over again.Published 10 days ago by AML, fm Qc
Such a fun movie! Love the grandure, the costumes, choreography and characters! Amazing cast! Be prepared to inherit a few "ear worms" for the week after watching it. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Karin Wilson
Always loved this show & was very happy with this purchase.Published 5 months ago by Margaret Osborne
It's nice to see the old classics released on Blu ray. It was amazing to see the bright colors and the great sound!Published 11 months ago by Ray Carl
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