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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
Do you like situation comedy? How about clever dialogue? Do the elements of classic farce make you laugh? Many a film has sustained itself on one of the foregoing. In "The Matchmaker," you get all three. The picture is perfectly cast, with the peerless (though by now, nearly forgotten) Shirley Booth as a sly but gentle, voracious but sweet, determined yet vulnerable Dolly. Paul Ford huffs and puffs in his characteristic manner, without overplaying. Anthony Perkins reminds us of his versatility with this twinkle-in-the-eye triumph in romantic comedy. A young Shirley MacLaine is simply adorable. Too bad the talented Robert Morse has so little to do, but with such a strong cast in more prominent roles, he had to save his elfin hijinks for another day.
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