30 user 6 critic

The Matchmaker (1958)

Approved | | Romance, Comedy | 21 June 1959 (UK)
Thornton Wilder's tale of a matchmaker who desires the man she's supposed to be pairing with another woman.



(play), (screenplay)

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1 nomination. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Perry Wilson ...
Joe Scanlon
Rex Evans ...
Alex, Headwaiter, Harmonica Club
Himself - a Cat (as Rhubarb)


It's 1884 in Yonkers, New York. Dolly Gallagher-Levi is a Jane-of-all-Trades, but her latest and most lucrative venture is as a matchmaker, setting men up with women with the intention of matrimony. This job is ironic as she was previously married herself, not enjoying the experience. Her latest client is older penny-pinching retail store owner, Horace Vandergelder, who works his two young meek clerks, Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker, to the bone. As Horace won't give them a day off, Cornelius and Barnaby plot to close the store and sneak into New York for the day, their mission to meet and kiss a girl. In New York, Cornelius spots Irene Molloy, a young female milliner upon who he sets his sights. On their meeting, Cornelius is unaware that she is also one of Horace's possible brides. Beyond what happens between Horace, Cornelius and Irene, Dolly herself may be ready for matrimony again despite her words to the contrary. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You'll Laugh...You'll Love...


Romance | Comedy


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 June 1959 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Die Heiratsvermittlerin  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The stage version of "The Matchmaker" opened in New York on December 5, 1955 at the Royale Theatre and closed on February 2, 1957 at the Booth Theatre. Ruth Gordon starred as Dolly Levi and Loring Smith as Horace Vandergelder. Robert Morse as Barnaby Tucker was the only actor to reprise his role in the movie version. See more »


As he's preparing to leave Vandergelder's store, Joe Scanlon refers to Mr. Vandergelder as Mr. Handergelder. See more »


Dolly "Gallagher" Levi: The very young are almost as smart as the very old, Cornelius. It's in the middle that you get in all the trouble.
See more »


Version of Einen Jux will er sich machen (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

Screaming for the songs, but fun to watch

I have always loved the "straight play" version of the Dolly story. Actually Thornton Wilder's play had a previous incarnation set in Austria, in the German language. He had written it for Broadway in the fifties, it was filmed in 58 in this version, and Jerry Herman must have seen it and fallen in love with it for the musical "Hello, Dolly!". Parts of this are superior to the original stage version of the musical. The film version of the musical is dreadfully over danced and Streisand was way too young for the lead role. Shirley Booth, here in this "Matchmaker", is much closer, in a way to Channing's Dolly of Broadway. I have often wished that SOMEONE would re-do the musical for either video or film. I saw the 1964 Channing production and it was magical. Hollywood so often trashes these brilliant stage works. Anyway, rent this film when you can and compare it to the Streisand "Dolly".

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