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Sales Rank: 2,680
Actors: Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau, Michael Crawford, Marianne McAndrew, Danny Lockin Director: Gene Kelly Rating: Features: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD, Widescreen, NTSC Number of Discs: 1 Running Time: 146 minutes Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Release Date: August 19, 2003 Theatrical Release Date: 1969 Studio: 20th Century Fox
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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