The Matchmaker (1958)

Approved  |   |  Romance, Comedy  |  14 August 1959 (West Germany)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 780 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 8 critic

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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Complete credited cast:
Perry Wilson ...
Russell Collins ...
Rex Evans ...
Gavin Gordon ...
Torben Meyer ...
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:

14 August 1959 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Die Heiratsvermittlerin  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


At the end of the movie the actors address the audience and discuss the lessons their characters learned. See more »


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


[Stack finds a purse full of money - the one lost by Mr. Vandergelder, but Stack thinks it was lost by Cornelius]
Malachi Stack: You surprised that I want to get rid of this money so quickly? Well, I'll explain it to you: There was a time in my life that my chief interest was picking up money that didn't belong to me. Now, stealin's a weakness. There's some people who say you shouldn't have no weaknesses at all... no vices. But, if a man has no vices he's in great danger of making vices out of his virtues. ...
See more »


Referenced in Frasier: The Matchmaker (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

What "Hello Dolly" should be
26 December 1999 | by (Parkersburg, West Virginia) – See all my reviews

This is the film that "Hello Dolly" strives to be but can't. Everything about this film is so sweet and Shirley Booth gives a performance that is just hilarious. I also like the way the actors talk to the audience every now and then. At least Miss Booth is more convincing as a middle-aged widow than Miss Streisand was. I wonder what "Hello Dolly" would have been like if they gave the part to Shirley Booth?

17 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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