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Hello Dolly [VHS]
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Product Description

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

Customer Reviews:

    This movie is wonderful and funny. The music is fantastic. I smille the whole way through. It makes me feel happy....more info
  • Good quality and enjoyable
    This is a good quality DVD and enjoyable to watch. The music is great and for those who are interested, the foreign language dubbing in Spanish is well-done. ...more info
  • What is the real aspect ratio on the DVD?
    This was far from being the greatest musical [opinion based on theatrical viewing], but it was filmed in the greatest widescreen process.

    Since Hello Dolly! was filmed in Todd-AO, it should not have a 2:35:1 aspect ratio (unless --horrors -- they made the DVD from a 35 mm print). Todd-AO, probably the best 70 mm format at the time of Dolly!, had an aspect ratio of 2.2:1, and when projected on a curved screen viewed from pretty much directly in front, more like 2:1, either of which would be more comfortable to look at, and more involving, than the too ribbon-like 2.35:1. So, either both the DVD box and the Amazon website are wrong, and the DVD image is really 2.2:1, or the disk was made from a 35 mm reduction print, which would be too bad. Can anyone tell us which is true? ...more info
  • Streisand does Dolly best ...
    This version of the musical is my favorite ... Carol Channing notwithstanding! Besides an outstanding performance by Streisand, there is an utterly surprising performance by Walter Matthau (who'd of thought of him in a musical with that foghorn voice? somehow it works in this movie). The supporting cast is wonderful, including the role played by Tommy Tune, who went on to bigger and better things. The sets, the costuming, and the location filming are superb. IMHO this DVD is a 'must have" for any collection of classic American musical films....more info
  • Extraordinary!
    I'm biased, everything Streisand does from movies to albums is fantastic. A must buy for anyone that enjoys good quality entertainment....more info
  • Well Hello Dolly!
    A matchmaker named Dolly Levi takes a trip to Yonkers, New York to see the "well-known unmarried half-a-millionaire," Horace Vandergelder. While there, she convinces him, his two stock clerks and his niece and her beau to go to New York City. In New York, she fixes Vandergelder's clerks up with the woman Vandergelder had been courting, and her shop assistant (Dolly has designs of her own on Mr. Vandergelder, you see). Written by Randy Goldberg {}

    Film adaptation of the beloved Broadway musical. Concerns itself with Dolly Levi, a New York-based matchmaker who merrily arranges things... like furniture and daffodils and lives. A widow, she has found herself in love with a "half-a-millionaire" Yonkers merchant named Horace Vandergelder. So she proceeds to weave a web of romantic complications involving him, his two clerks, a pretty milliner and her assistant. Eventually, of course, all is sorted out, and everyone ends up with the right person. Written by Tommy Peter
    ...more info
  • Hilarious, Glitzy, a Great Show!
    Barbara Streisand who is from Yonkers New York, is a ambitious young widow who loves to matchmake. (meddle).
    She has an idea for the perfect match-tight-fisted, local merchant Horace, (Walter Matthau) and-herself!
    She tries to win his heart.
    This is one of the most musically entertaining, hilariously underhanded plots in film history.

    I myself saw this Classic on Broadway twice, once with Streisand & once with Carol Channing.
    Channing is also the lead lady in "Hello Dolly" & did a fantastic unforgettable show, as well as, if not better than Streisand. (not easy to compare, they are both great)
    See for yourself. Don't miss this show!

    Hello, Dolly! Widescreen Edition ...more info
  • Back Where She Belongs!!!
    When this movie came out in 1969, the country was in social turmoil and this light-as-a-feather story was relegated to the "has-been" file. Add the fact that Barbra Streisand (a girl of 26 at the time) was asked to play the widow Dolly!!!

    But now one can enjoy this movie for what is - a happy-step, smile-on-your-face piece of escapism. The movie moves quickly with quirky characters, fantastic songs, and some of the best mugging Streisand has ever put on film.

    Spend a Sunday morning in your jammies with a cup of hot chocolate, and just let this wonderful film take you to a happy place....more info
  • never trust film critics
    is she fabulous or what??? how this movie was ever considered a flop is a puzzlement--i may not have seen carol channing, but barbara as dolly levi is a glorious technocolor achievement. and she lives up to every nanosecond of fullness in the role

    costumes, sets, music, dance (tommy tune!!!!), choreography, the town of yonkers--please people--buy this dvd and experience the joys of being alive--life is a parade and climb on up and have a fun ride wearing ribbons down your back--

    and louis armstrong on the big screen--it DOES NOT get better.

    thanks 20th century fox and every one involved with this project--you can not have too much joy in your life.

    ...more info
    Barbara is Fabulous and spectacular. Her stellar and flawless performance as Dolly Levi is a classic....more info
  • Dazzling Dolly!
    This movie is a timeless classic but is totally wonderful. Barbara Streisand is the quintessential Dolly Levi who sets people up as a matchmaker. In the end she finds a match for herself! Dolly is a strong heroine with a great body and a perfect singing voice. One of my favorite films of all time, Hello Dolly is an amazing cinematic treasure.

    Also, the film features Louis Armstrong in his last appearance before death and Gene Kelly choreographed all of the dance scenes.

    Great movie, great actors, and perfect songs!...more info
  • A Babs Classic!
    Although Babs thought she was too young to play Dolly, this movie is a classic, featuring great supporting roles, a terrific score and tremendous cinematography. Of course, what is any musical without Streisand!...more info
  • Hello Dolly!
    This is an awsome musical I am updating to DVD's so I had this on VHS. Have watched it over and over. Anything with Barbara Streisand and Walter Mathew is wonderful....more info
  • So funny and entertaining
    Always loved Hello Dolly. This is a great version. Great picture and sound. Nice extras...more info
    NOW IF SHE'D ONLY DO MAME...........more info
  • Musical entitled HELLO DOLLY
    Excellent entertainment for children and adults. Performances were exceptional and the video was in perfect condition....more info
  • filmcritic
    I watched "Hello Dolly" on television when I was a teenager. My father, a musician, thought it was a fantastic production. That may have been the first time I watched Barbra Streisand perform. To me, then, it was just a good musical, one of many. In high school, we performed a different muscial every year.

    However, I recently watched "Hello Dolly" again after Barbra's comment on the Actor's Studio that she was too young for the role, etc. She also remarked that she had a good memory for negative reviews but not such a good one for positive reviews. I have watched several of Barbra's films over the years.

    I have to say that her performance in "Hello Dolly" demonstrated her versatility as an actress, even early in her career (age 27). I loved her machinations and her lines with Walter Matthau.

    She had red hair and was a little heavier than she was in "Funny Girl." Her hairstyle reminded me of Rose Morgan at her wedding in "The Mirror Has Two Faces." Barbra has a certain facial expression on camera when she is quietly happy; that expression really hasn't changed over the years.

    During the scene in which Dolly (Barbra) was preparing for dinner with Horace and singing about how a second love would be different from her first, Barbra's appearance reminded me of the night that Rose Morgan tried to seduce her husband in the Mirror Has Two Faces.

    At the end of Hello Dolly, Horace has become convinced by Dolly and the various events she orchestrated, that a life without love is no life at all. It was great to watch Dolly walk the long pathway to the church where the wedding would occur. In The Mirror Has Two Faces, Rose Morgan similarly convinced her platonic philosophical husband that love between a man and a woman had great value.

    Perhaps Hello Dolly started out with controversial reviews but it has gained popularity. And even if Barbra Streisand considers it one of her stepchildren, it still belongs to her....more info
  • disappointment
    I was disappointed only because the songs are not SUBTITLED!!!
    May I ask...why??
    Thank you...more info
  • It is all Barbara Streisand
    For the followers of Barbara Streisand, this is a great movie. There was just a bit too much of her for me. I will give this video away to a friend who really loves Barbara's movies. One go through was enough for me....more info
  • one of the last big musicals produced
    Barbra is a miscast Dolly Levi to the woefully miscast Walter Mattheau, a very young Michael Crawford and Tommy Tune round the miscasting, that being said.. it works!!! fun for a rainy day...more info
    Barbra Streisand stars as the memorable "woman who arranges everything," Dolly Levi, in Gene Kelly's Oscar-winning 1969 film version of the Jerry Herman musical classic HELLO, DOLLY! Originally produced on Broadway in 1964, Hello, Dolly! is based on Thornton Wilder's 1954 play The Matchmaker. In her musical incarnation, Dolly! thrilled and delighted audiences in New York for over 6 years, featuring such legendary "Dollys" as Carol Channing, Ethel Merman and Pearl Bailey.

    The setting is New York, just before the turn of the century. Matchmaker Dolly Levi, that seemingly ageless widow, sets out for Yonkers to deliver her hand-picked match for Mr. Horace Vandergelder (Walter Matthau), the "well-known half a millionaire." Vandergelder has his eyes on Miss Irene Malloy (Marianne McAndrew) but, before he leaves for New York City to propose marriage, Dolly has some ideas of her own. With her eye on the unsuspecting Horace, Dolly sets in motion a dizzying plan of "love happily ever after" involving everyone in Vandergelder's circle.

    It's easier to view Dolly! years later and enjoy it now for what it really is. After you've been removed from the media hype, after the publicity and reviews blend into one another, the film stands not only asa a humorous and nostalgic peak at a bygone era in New York City, but a tribute to the bygone era of movie musicals. Reuniting director Kelly with many of the creative people from his days as an actor/director at MGM, the film, with it's grand artifice, eager cast and exuberant dancing, could easily have been a product of that old golden studio system.

    Hello, Dolly! was released in 1969 at the tail end of a trend of big-budget musicals precipitated by the tremendous success of The Sound of Music in 1965. None of these films came close to duplicating its success and, subsequently, were blamed for the ruination of many studio balance sheets. Suddenly, the merits of these films were beside the point. While some deserve their fate of late-night cable obscurity, others, like Hello, Dolly!, do not.

    Like most of the other road show musicals of the late sixties, Hello, Dolly! was considered overproduced and out-of-sync with the times. By the time Dolly! reached the movie screen, she had already been played by many larger-than-life ladies of the theatre. Her score, including the title song immortalized on pop charts by Louis Armstrong, was filled with brassy Broadway cheer, An intimate version of Dolly! would have worked against both the material and its leading lady.

    Though criticized at the time for being too young, Streisand brought rapid-fire humor, sex appeal and, of course, an inimitable voice to the role of Dolly Levi. Her performance gives Dolly, and the film, an unexpected urgency previously hidden in all the familiar material. As film critic Pauline Kael wrote when the film opened, "she [Streisand] opens up such an abundance of emotion that it dissolves the coarseness of the role. Almost unbelievably she turns this star role back into a woman..." Director Kelly recognizes this as he balances her "big" scenes with those of quiet introspection. Streisand's delicate reading of "Love is Only Love" (dropped from Jerry Herman's Mame and re-written especially for this film) reveals a vulnerability and warmth in Dolly Levi that grounds the character and prevents her brash antics from turning to caricature. While she does at times seem to be possessed by the spirit of Mae West, Streisand uses this as a humorous facade for something much deeper and no doubt sensitive.

    Until the success of recent films like Chicago, Hairspray and Mamma Mia, the traditional movie musical as a commercially viable genre seemed all but lost. The sporadic attempts at reviving the form (A Chorus Line, The Wiz) were close to disastrous. The lack of a unified team of musical talent (such as at the old MGM or 20th Century-Fox studios) made an actress such as Barbra Streisand all the more rare. Thankfully, Streisand emerged in films at a time when there was still opportunity to feature her musical talents. While still in her twenties, she blazed her way onto the screen like a seasoned pro, but, like her films, she seemed to belong to a different era.

    Among Hello, Dolly!'s competitors for the Best Picture Oscar in 1969 were Midnight Cowboy and Z, signaling the beginning of a new wave of more socially relevant films that would bury the likes of such "dated" properties as Dolly!. Now looking back on these films, whatever their merits, they ironically all seem to be part of another world as equally "dated" as Dolly! But now, preserved on DVD in its original aspect ratio, Hello Dolly! sheds its "dated" reputation and becomes as timeless as its star and the era of moviemaking it recalls. It's so nice to have her back where she belongs!...more info
  • Hello Dolly (in DVD)
    The product came promptly, in very good condition and I've enjoyed it. I think the price was fair. thank you...more info
  • Barbra in Toon Town
    It's a world where horses clip clop in rhythm and children hop-scotch to a chorus of unseen voices that introduce a title character who skips down a busy street that looks less like turn-of-the-century, immigrant-laden New York than it does Main Street at Disneyland. Welcome to the cartoon-like New York of "Hello Dolly" where Walter Matthau plays a gruff Foghorn Leghorn to Barbra Streisand's wisecracking, street-smart Bugs Bunny. Plot logic? Character consistency? Fuhgeddabodit. Still, all in all, "Dolly" is entertaining.

    No, I don't know how a widow living hand-to-mouth can afford to drive to a swanky restaurant in a horse-drawn carriage and make an entrance in a gold and topaz beaded gown that would be over-the-top even if her name was Vanderbilt. Yes, I agree that Irene, Minnie, Barnaby, Cornelius, Ambrose and Ermingard have about as much character depth as the dancing cutlery in "Beauty and the Beast". And if you're going to sit there and ask why this young, sexy, vibrant, self-sufficient Manhattan woman has decided to marry a grumpy old hay and feed proprietor and set up housekeeping in sleepy suburban Yonkers - well, you're just missing the point. Sit back and loose yourself in the cinematic equivalent of cotton candy.

    Streisand's Dolly is so much smarter than the other "fools" (to use Horace Vandergelder's term) in the picture, that she is a joy to watch. There's almost a "Groundhog Day" aura to the character, as if she's been through this all before, knows what's going to happen, and is just effortlessly playing along, humoring the other characters fumbling through this reality for the first time. In the hat shop she spins the yarn about Cornelius being one of "THE Hackel's" with great animation and conviction until the end as Horace demand's "How does he do it?" "Well, I'll tell you.." she starts as she sits at the table, bored, checking her makeup knowing full well that she is not going to have to come up with any more to the story. She can tie the plot in knots and not break a sweat because she knows she'll get what she came for.

    Along the way she tosses off asides letting us know she realizes how hokey this all is. As Barnaby, who we know full well is a professional dancer, leaps across the room after ten seconds of dance lessons, she quips "I think he was holding out on us!" Guiding Horace to his seat at the restaurant, "Don't stand there, you'll get run over by a waiter."

    As a piece of entertainment, the film's main flaw is that Streisand disappears for large sections of the movie. Which brings up the question, why isn't "Hello Dolly" better than it is? Earnest Lehmen (West Side Story, Sound of Music) wrote it. Gene Kelly, who once pushed the musical film into new directions with "American in Paris" and "Singing in the Rain" isn't breaking any new ground here. He's at the end of his directing career and he's being extraordinarily conservative. He seems to be punching the time clock, almost going back to the way musicals were done before he started directing; turning in another "Harvey Girls" or "Me and My Gal".

    In addition, this is a cartoon that takes itself too seriously. All the marching bands, parade extras, and gut-busting dances look like so much WORK, that I wonder if Kelly was the right man for the job. A little craziness or irreverence would have helped. Someone like Richard Lester ("Hard Days Night", "Oh What a Lovely War") or Bob Fosse.

    Back stage note #1: In late 1963 both "Funny Girl" and "Hello Dolly" were in rehearsals on Broadway. After a run through, "Funny Girl" director Bob Fosse (later replaced by Jerome Robbins) loudly and passionately lectured Barbra and the cast that what the actors had to bring to the show was "elegance". It became their slogan, and something of a joke both among the cast and the other dancers working on Broadway. Bob Merrill even wrote an "Elegance" number. "Funny Girl" didn't use it. But when he played it for his friend Jerry Herman who was trying to put the finishing touches on Dolly, Jerry realized it was just what he needed to open his second act! So, "Funny Girl" and "Hello Dolly" share both a star and a Bob Merrill lyric.

    Back stage note #2: Contrary to what you might think from watching the movie, the shoot was a pretty unpleasant experience for all concerned. Matthau and Streisand hated each other. He thought she was an untalented newcomer who was always making suggestions and prematurely acting like a star. She hated his crass jokes, often made at her expense. The day after Robert Kennedy was shot, tensions were high on the set. During the filming of the scene with Dolly and Horace talking in the buggy outside the hay and feed store, Barbra and Walter finally exploded at each other. A huge verbal fight ensued with Barbra walking off the set in tears. It took hours for Kelly to get them both back together and to try to hide the damage to her makeup. (Look carefully and you'll see bags under her eyes in several shots.) Matthau complained to the producers, who replied "Look, the movie's not called `Hello, Walter!'"...more info
  • Holy cabooses!
    Hello Dolly is truly one of the last great musicals from the golden age of Hollywood. It seems like no expense was spared--it took one month just to film the "Hello, Dolly!" sequence in which Dolly returns to the Harmonia Gardens. This scene lasts about ten minutes in the film--but still, one month to get ten minutes footage is a lot of time to get so little footage! Barbra Streisand works well, actually, as Dolly Levi--her husband could have died early in life and that's all it would take to explain a younger woman in the role of Dolly Levi. Moreover, the other cast members turn in fine performances, too.

    When the action begins, Dolly Levi from Manhattan takes a trip to Yonkers ostensibly to arrange a marriage for Horace Vandergelder's (Walter Matthau) niece Ermengarde Vandergelder (Joyce Ames). However, Ermengarde doesn't want any part of it--she's in love with a young artist named Ambrose Kemper (Tommy Tune); and Ambrose feels the same way about Ermengarde. What's more, Dolly eventually has plans for helping Horace's two clerks, Cornelius Hackl (Michael Crawford) and Barnaby Tucker (Danny Lockin).

    A few days later, they all wind up in Manhattan and fate--with Dolly's help--begins to weave its magic spell. Cornelius and Barnaby become smitten with Irene Molloy (Marianne McAndrew) and her hat shop assistant Minnie Fay (E. J. Peaker). They all spend time together having fun; but Dolly has her hands full trying to manipulate Horace into marrying her instead of Irene Molloy--or the not terribly appealing Ernestina Simple (Judy Knaiz).

    Of course, from here the plot can go in so many different directions. You may know the plot but there are no plot spoilers in my reviews! Will Dolly manage to get these two young couple together--along with Ambrose and Ermengarde--so that they can find a happy life romantically? What about Dolly's feelings for her late husband--to what extent will they get in the way of Dolly pursuing Horace? Will Horace, who is a very cranky and somewhat negative man, ever come around to marrying Dolly? Watch the movie and find out!

    The song and dance numbers are fantastic. The "Hello Dolly" number alone was fantastic. Look for a wonderful cameo by the great Louis Armstrong who just happens to work in the Harmonia Gardens restaurant! It's great to see Armstrong on film with Streisand. The cinematography and choreography impressed me greatly during the scenes from the parade down 14th Street in Manhattan as well as in the Harmonia Gardens restaurant.

    The DVD has an optional commentary and there's a 1969 featurette that shows how they organized and coordinated the parade down 14th Street in Manhattan. It's excellent! You can also choose languages but there's not much more. Oh, well. The film is very good and it still can stand mostly on its own.

    Overall, Hello Dolly is a fine classic musical from the very tail end of the golden era of Hollywood musicals. The actors give extremely good performances; their acting is very convincing. I recommend this film for fans of Hollywood musicals as well as fans of Barbra Streisand.
    ...more info
  • A Must Have Classic Movie
    A wonderful musical that the songs keep playing in your head. Gene Kelly did an awesome job directing and casting. If you've seen Wall E, you'll want the entire musical. Barbra Streisand, Michael Crawford and Walter Mathow are incredable. ...more info
  • Don't let the parade pass you by!
    A huge hit on Broadway, Hello Dolly was a very controversial film in its time, and still gets Barbra Streisand and movie musical fans riled up from time to time. Most of the controversy came from the fact that Barbra Streisand, a then-questionable box office draw, was hired over Carol Channing, who originated the role on Broadway to great praise. In the end, Barbra shows that she can do a role she probably never should have been considered for.

    The best things about the movie are the musical numbers, which Streisand only shines brightly in. She sounds great in "Just Leave Everything to Me," brings great energy to "Put on Your Sunday Clothes," and looks beautiful in "Hello Dolly," a duet with Louis Armstrong that has great chemistry. In fact, despite Streisand's admittant insecurity about her part, and the fact that, at 27, she was too young to be playing a middle-aged spinster, she is the only reason to watch this movie. It is funny to think that the biggest mistake of the movie turned out to be the film's only saving grace.

    Unfortunately, there are some glaring flaws in the movie. For one thing, Streisand and her leading man, Walter Matthau, have no chemistry on screen (the two famously hated each other in real life), making their love story uninvolving at best. Also, between musical numbers, the movie drags, sometimes painfully so, and even some of the musical numbers with Barbra absent are, at their best, mediocre.

    Despite these problems, I'd have to say the movie is, all and all, a good time had by anyone who watches. Not a classic, but entertaining nonetheless. ...more info
  • Excellent adaptation
    Barbra Streisand is miscast for the role of a middle-aged Irish widow, being both too young and too not-Irish, but turns in an wonderful performance anyway....more info
  • Great Movie
    What great costumes and story line. Barbara is great in this movie.
    Walter Matteau as her love interest is great. The whole movie is great
    including the songs....more info
  • Hello, Dolly DVD
    I received the DVD in perfect condition in a very timely manner- I have not watched it all the way through yet, but it is perfect!...more info
  • You go your way and I'll go mine!!
    As other reviews state, bad press for this film continues. My question is "Why"?? I was never a fan of musicals until I saw "Hello Dolly". Barbara Streisand is incredible as Dolly Levi and very believable as a widow thanks to the make-up and costume departments. Her costumes and hair where definitely more mature (or should I say matronly)than those of other youthful characters...even the gown she wore in the Harmonia Gardens sequence has a certain maturity to it. Barbara brings the character to life with her touching interpretation of the character. I recently purchased "The Matchmaker", starring Shirley Booth, Paul Ford, Shirley MacLaine, and Anthony Perkins. It is the nonmusical version of the Thornton Wilder play of the same name and is the play upon which "Hello Dolly" is based. While enjoyable, it simply did not have the vitality of this musical interpretation. Walter Matthau is a wonderful Horace Vandergelder. While vocally inferior to some of the other performers, he transform his character into an easy-to-love, although gruff fellow. This is in contrast to Paul Ford's Horace Vandergelder who is quite unlikeable. While Tommy Tune and Michael Crawford went on to have successful careers, I always wondered what happened to Danny Lockin (Barnaby). I recently found out he was murdered back in 1977. That is unfortunate because, in my opinion, he was an incredible talent. To make a long review short, "Hello Dolly" is a musical masterpiece that belongs in any movie fan's collection....more info
  • Hello Dolly
    I have enjoyed this movie many times on VHS and now on DVD it will never wear out. One of my favorites. Thank you....more info