Film Review


  • print
  • email
Hello, Dolly!
Hello, Dolly! 2 out of 4

star2-0

More infamous for bringing Fox financially to its knees than for being the last major musical directed by Gene Kelly, Hello, Dolly! is one big-assed bull in a china shop. The film cost nearly as much to produce as Cleopatra and made far less at the box office, thus earning the film its reputation as one of Hollywood's foremost turkeys. The role of Dolly Levi, made immortal on Broadway by Carol Channing, was given to Barbara Streisand in one of the most glaring cases of flagrant miscasting. But that's all in the past. How does Hello, Dolly!, an update of The Matchmaker, look today? In a word: campy. Kelly, as a dancer and an actor, was never one to ask "Is this a bit over the top?" The choreography, the performances, the set decoration, the dialogue, everything about Hello, Dolly! is played directly to the back row of the theater, which would be fine on the stage, but on anamorphic widescreen close-ups tends to be more frightening than mirthful (thankfully, home viewing cuts down a bit on the mugging factor). As the youthful dancer-in-training Barnaby Tucker, Danny Lockin looks more like a gymnast doing a floor routine. Still, other aspects of Hello, Dolly! read a lot better with age. La Streisand's rapid-fire delivery recalls such chatter-heavy early talkies as His Girl Friday. The unabated feel-good attitude and emphasis on underhanded plottiness makes the film not that far removed from Singin' in the Rain. The film's centerpiece scene in the Harmonia Gardens restaurant builds up to a satisfyingly complex conglomeration of multiple story threads. And Jerry Herman's song score is peppered with flat-out great showtunes like "Before the Parade Passes By," "Put On Your Sunday Clothes," and the title song. It's no The Band Wagon, but neither is it Paint Your Wagon.

Director(s): Gene Kelly Screenwriter(s): Ernest Lehman Cast: Barbara Streisand, Walter Matthau, Michael Crawford, Marianne McAndrew, Danny Lockin, E.J. Peaker, Tommy Tune, Louie Armstrong Distributor: 20th Century Fox Runtime: 148 min Rating: G Year: 1969

  • print
  • email



From our partners


DOC NYC 2014: Hotline
DOC NYC 2014: Hotline
DOC NYC 2014: Sex(Ed)
DOC NYC 2014: Sex(Ed)


FEATURES

Interview: Mariana Rondón
Interview: Mariana Rondón
Interview: James Marsh
Interview: James Marsh

Around the Web


Site by  Docent Solutions