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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.

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(play), (screenplay)
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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Romance | Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 June 1959 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Die Heiratsvermittlerin  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At one point, Anthony Perkins' character dresses up in a woman's housecoat and hat, an interesting precursor to his most famous role - Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) - which at this point was two years away. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Dolly "Gallagher" Levi: [after the two clerks emerge from under a table] Good heavens, who else is under there?
See more »

Connections

Version of On the Razzle (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Matchmaker, Match Thyself
21 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

After a lifetime of arranging couplings for others Dolly Levi has decided it's time that she settle down with somebody. Her target in her sights is merchant Horace Vandergelder in turn of the last century Yonkers, New York. Of course Horace the old goat is looking at young Irene Molloy. What to do, especially since his young clerk Cornelius Hackl has eyes for her also.

Shirley Booth who originated many parts on the Broadway stage, but had few screen credits up to that time takes over the role that Ruth Gordon played on stage in the 1955-1957 season for 481 performances. Another Shirley named MacLaine with few screen credits at that point to her name plays young Irene.

And the object of all this fuss is potbellied old Paul Ford giving one of his patented bellowing performances. It was interesting to read how Ford had come to the acting profession rather late in life. He certainly is ham enough that you wonder why didn't do this all of his life. Ford had just completed a four year run as the harried and harassed Colonel Hall, object of many of Sergeant Bilko's con games in the Phil Silvers Show. For most of his career Ford was a blusterer whether here or in The Music Man or Never Too Late. He looked a lot like Edgar Kennedy, but his boiling point was always quickly reached.

Anthony Perkins who really did other things besides Norman Bates in Psycho is just fine as the wistful young clerk at Ford's mercantile and he's partnered in his adventures by young Robert Morse who repeated his stage role as Barnaby Tucker.

Of course most know The Matchmaker as the basis for Hello Dolly and seeing it now is like seeing Shaw's Pygmalion which for better or worse is now known as My Fair Lady without the songs. Still The Matchmaker is fun to watch for the nostalgically inclined.


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