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Do you enjoy grown men in flaming red suits twirling plates for a half an hour, jumping up in the air with serving platters as if they have frogs in their undershorts? How about food tricks mixed in like this is the amazing Kreskin? You know, they throw the food up in the air and what a miracle? It lands on the dishes, isn't that freaking amazing? Show of hands, how many people thought the food would land on the floor? See, if Gene Kelly were a director, instead of a dancer, he would have known that the scene is boring to anyone who can get ten neurons firing. Want to see why 20th Century Fox cleared out the boardroom after this movie went down in flames? Watch this piece of legendary poop. Babs begins talking as soon as the movie starts doing the worst Mae West impersonation you will ever witness. Babs, buy a mirror honey, you are as close to Mae West as I am to Channing Tatum. OK, buy a clue. Walter Matthau's shop assistants: when they were casting these roles did the calling sheet say: wanted bad acting, talentless boobs as effeminate as possible, no traditional macho men wanted only girlie men need apply. Yes, they are after those two women with the bad hats dressed like draperies. About the same probability that I got off the Hindenburg this afternoon. Please, give us a break; they would date each other.
There is a reason why Babs croons Hello Dolly for ten minutes until you will be looking lovingly at your cutlery: the rest of the score is dreadful. Yes, I loved that fifty pound dress she can barely walk in, oh, what a thrill. She takes three minutes to sing the first verse and does an encore. They were probably rewriting those other eternal classics: It Takes A Director, When The Parade Runs You Over, If You Ain't Got Intelligence, It Only Takes A Vomit Bag, these are the putative masterpieces you adore. Look, you can tell that Walter loathes Babs and vice versa. He is a comedian what is he doing in this movie? Do they look like a couple to you? Was the casting director on an IV when he put this ensemble together? I know Ice Ages that move faster than this boring piece of crap. Hey, do not take my word for it, it almost destroyed 20th Century Fox. People were cleaning out their desks after this hit the theaters. Keep a high voltage source near your chair, you will need it to wake yourself up with.
Babs engages her mouth at Warp factor eight, it never stops prattling, chattering until you will heave every heavy object, in your living room, at your set. She has this oozing arrogance, emetic, smarmy self pleasuring, mugging at the camera that will just grate upon your nerves. What is with the park and the gymnastics? What is Ringling Brothers in town with the circus? Every time Gene has a dead spot, he throws in more gymnastics. They should have cast all the chefs at Benihanas. When I say a giant piece of poop, boring like waiting for the sun to go Red Giant, you have to see this to believe it. The movie puts the capital C in Crap. When my aunt, a big Babs fan, dragged me to watch this, as a little boy, people were leaving en masse halfway through the movie. By the end, there were twenty people out of five hundred. Do not show this to the suicidal. EXCRUCIATING MALODOROUS EXCREMENT
This film was certainly beautiful to look at and listen to. I was lucky
to see it in 70 mm during its initial roadshow release. It was one of
the few movies to have the negative actually filmed in 70 mm, rather
than having the standard 35 mm merely blown up to 70 mm for the
roadshow. "The Sound of Music" was another picture originally filmed in
70 mm, and we all know how beautiful the cinematography was in that.
Sadly, the high cost of 70 mm has essentially ended the use of that
type of film format.
"Hello, Dolly!" deserved the Oscars it won, such as musical direction, sound, and art direction-set design. About 15 years ago I stopped in the riverside village of Garrison, New York, to see where it was partially filmed. The real building that was adapted into Vandergelder's Hay & Feed was still there at the time, and "Vandergelder" was etched on the window pane from its use in the film. The bridge over the railway tracks is still there.
As much as I like the film as a whole, it does have some problems that could have been easily corrected. The early scene with Walter Matthau and Tommy Tune arguing over Ermengarde is overly dramatic and simply too theatrical. It might have been fine on Broadway, but the genre of cinema requires a bit of toning down. I blame this purely on Gene Kelly, the director, who should have known better. He is the one who is supposed to sense the pacing and delivery of lines. I get the impression he was trying to speed things up, knowing that there is a lot to fit into the picture. The screenplay was naturally required to closely follow the original material, but it could have been simplified a bit without sacrificing anything important. An example of this is the endless number of times that the audience is reminded that the main characters are going "to New York" by train. Once was enough.
Still, the music and choreography are superb, and carry the picture. Not everyone in it can sing as beautifully as Barbra Streisand, but it succeeds nonetheless. The number "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" is one of Hollywood's golden moments in terms of production quality. I have seen Carol Channing do the stage version and she was great, but I also feel that Barbra Streisand was perfectly adequate here. She can sing better than Ms. Channing and has real star quality.
If you visit the interesting Hudson River area of New York state, you will be warmly reminded of the scenic beauty in "Hello, Dolly!" Drop by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to take the public tour and you will see the magnificent setting where the final wedding scene was done, minus the church of course.
perfectly directed by the wonderful and legendary gene kelly, with a note perfect cast. i was 20 years old when i first saw this film, beforehand, i had no desire to see it as i really did not like streisand. but having seen all the new releases that week, a friend pushed and shoved my into the theatre to see this. after the film we came out floating and dancing and singing, i have since seen it countless times, many times in glorious 70mm. the songs the dances the amazing sets and productions, all have gained in stature and enjoyment. yet again the public and quite a few critics got it so wrong, the film alas sank at the box office, and killed off an uplifting genre. sad also to see junk like chicago get kudos and box office, a film that is so cynical, tuneless and full of noise and empty bombast. performed by people who cannot sing or dance.bring back the old style Hollywood musical i say
Well, right off the bat, I will admit that I love this movie. I know it
almost bankrupted 20th Century Fox and that the critics were lukewarm
about it on release in 1969, but they were flat-out wrong. And the
perspective afforded by the passage of time has seen this become one of
the most-loved of the Hollywood blockbuster musicals.
The principals in the cast are all wonderful. Streisand is simply gorgeous and sings beautifully, as does Marianne McAndrew. Matthau is, well, typical Matthau: all wonderful hang-dog expressions of exasperation and a grouchy exterior hiding a warm-hearted soul. Michael Crawford, in an early role, doesn't quite have the voice he developed later in life, but it suits the part of the shy and nervous Hackl.
The music is fabulous. It is one of Jerry Herman's very best pieces of work, in my opinion. It's full of great songs and the finale set-piece, when Dolly returns to the Harmonia Gardens, is magnificent, along with Louis Armstrong's great singing.
Gene Kelly had Michael Kidd onboard as choreographer and he produced some superb set-pieces. The parade scene is incredible and required hundreds of extras. The story might be a bit thin, but the production values more than make up for it. The sets are remarkable, as are the costumes. The fact it was shot in 65mm Todd/AO means that it is a great visual experience, with tremendous detail visible.
This is a truly great musical movie. If you haven't seen it, you really, really, should. You'll been for a treat.
The miscasting of Barbra Streisand is an interesting topic of discussion
regarding this movie. She's way too young, as everyone else has said;
despite slight changes to the script and giving everyone the benefit of the
doubt, it's silly to think that a woman in her mid twenties would have built
up both the social contacts and worldly sangfroid that the character
possesses. That said, however, she does about as well as anyone could ask
playing a role she was 3 decades too young for. The animosity between
Barbra and Walter Matthau is another problem--they have no chemistry
together whatsoever. While his annoyance with her at the beginning is
believable, the turnabout at the end comes across completely false.
Fortunately, the movie has many other charms to make up for that central
My favorite part of the movie, and the heart of the film, is the "courtship" of Cornelius & Irene and Barnaby & Minnie Fay. Michael Crawford and the late Danny Lockin are absolutely adorable as Cornelius and Barnaby. The "Dancing" and "Elegance" numbers and the dinner scene at the Harmonia Gardens are worth the price of admission alone. Barbra plays better with the rest of the cast too; she's more believable as a "woman of the world" when she's with the younger cast members. The production design is wonderful as well. While the movie was outrageously expensive for its time, just about every dollar is visible on screen. The claustrophobic musicals they've made since the Seventies really look deficient when compared to the wide-open dance scenes and crowd shots in classic musicals like this one.
All in all, Hello, Dolly has much to offer. It's not the best musical ever made by a long shot, but it's undeniably fun to watch. It would be fun to see Barbra play the role now that she's a more appropriate age for it. Unfortunately, she doesn't do musicals anymore. Maybe Tyne Daly would take the part.
I'm still not sure why I like this movie as much as I do. I'm not overly fond of Barbara Streisand, but this movie showcases her in just the right light. The music is wonderful, the dancing, especially durning the Harmonia Gardens dinner scenes, is fantastic. Louis Armstrong, who originally recorded the song without ever seeing the Broadway show, adds just the right touch to the showmanship of the picture.
This generation (I'm ashamed to say MY generation) just doesn't seem to
appreciate a good musical, much less one that came out when our parents
were young-ens, heaven forbid! It will be a sad day when these classic
films are forgotten, but fortunately, they are all being remastered and
re-released on DVD for this generation to enjoy if only they would give
them a chance.
I bought the special edition of 'Hello, Dolly' because I adore musicals, especially those from the 50s and 60s when Hollywood really knew how to do it right! The top 3 billings were all people I had heard off... Streisand may not be the easiest person to love, but her voice is astounding... Who could forget Walter Matthau in 'Dennis the Menace', a film slightly more known to my age group... and last but certainly not least, Michael Crawford, a voice I had been listening to since age 3. I grew up listening to his solo albums as well as the original cast recording of 'Phantom.' I will say, he was my main incentive for seeing this film.
'Dolly' is musically and visually stunning. All the principle cast members sing on their own, always a bonus, and the songs are accompanied by some of the most entertaining and memorable dance numbers next to 'A Chorus Line.' One could expect no less since this film is directed by the infamous Gene Kelly. Need I say more? 'Hello Dolly' is by far my favorite of the classics, and believe me, I've seen them all. Sure, you can complain that Barbra was too young to play Miss Dolly Levi, but the woman has talent, you can't deny it no-matter how you feel towards her as a human being. She can sing and she can act, why settle for for someone who fails to meet the former and resort to dubbing? That's the one flaw in 'My Fair Lady.' Matthau is astounding as always, and I have already stated how much I love Crawford. He is just so positively adorable in the role of Cornelius Hackl! Understanably, his gorgeous tenor isn't nearly as developed at age 27 as it was at age 44 when 'Phantom' opened in London, but it's pleasant none-the-less, and his acting is superb as always, flawlessly hiding his lovely accent behind the mousy but sweet demeanor of a Yonkers store clerk.
I love 'Hello, Dolly!' and I would recommend it to anyone who loves the classics. It's funny, uplifting, and heartwarming... what more could a person want in a movie? Don't miss this movie, you're never too young to enjoy the classics.
Hired to secure a wife for a wealthy merchant, an 1890s marriage broker schemes to have the merchant fall in love with her instead in this lavishly produced musical starring Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau. The songs are memorable and Michael Kidd's choreography is as imaginative as usual with a particularly remarkable sequence involving the wait staff at a fancy restaurant. The detailed period sets and costumes are great too. Pleasant as the film is to look at and listen to, it is nevertheless rather empty. The characters vary between dull and unappealing with Michael Crawford and Danny Lockin especially irksome as Matthau's young shop assistants who allow their grouchy employer to walk all over them. The film positions us to cheer for them trying to assert themselves and find love, however, they are so weak and timid (hiding under tables no less) that it is hard to care about their dilemmas. The most disappointing aspect of the film though is how woefully unfunny it is. The dialogue is certainly laden with wit but the banter between Streisand and Matthau is never really humorous; apparently the pair never got along on set and this comes across with the limited chemistry between them. That said, the film works best whenever Streisand or Matthau has the floor, as opposed to the mousy Crawford and Lockin. Say what one may about Streisand and Matthau's characters, both actors possess undeniable charisma and have their moments along the way. There are just less bright patches than one might expect in such a grandiose motion picture.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Let me just tell you something. I'm a gigantic musical theater nerd. I
go on Broadway.com every day, listen to songs from soundtracks, look at
clips from shows countless times, have all sorts of Broadway
merchandise in my room, and have been to Broadway eight times (I'd go
more, but I can't spends thousands of dollars on tickets every month.)
So this opinion is coming from a guy who knows what musicals are
capable of. The fact that this musical is still remembered today is an
insult to the quality shows that aren't paid attention to these days.
I saw Funny Girl, and Barbra Streisand was really good. She added more dimensions to Fanny Brice than I thought I'd experience, and truly showed off acting abilities. But it's almost as though she tossed aside every acting ability she had all her life and was transformed into a parrot squalling in my ears all the time. Dolly Levi, with the right charm, could've actually appealed to me. But Barbra Streisand was so vexatious and exasperating that I wanted to slap that squawker in her fat face. It was impossible to like a hint of Dolly. And by the way, WHAT HAPPENED GENE KELLY?????? What happened to the guy who directed, oh I don't know, "SINGIN' IN THE RAIN" AND "AN American IN Paris"????????? I still love you, but I was quite displeased with what I saw.
But the worst part is the script. There were tons of jokes that were so bad I didn't even get a hint of smile on my face. They were so outdated that even if Gene Kelly walked into the theater I wouldn't pretend to like them. The plot is nothing original, and if weren't being straight, it's just boring. There was no original concept or message that was being delivered, and I couldn't gain anything from it. Not to mention it took FORTY MINUTES for the plot to get set up.
It wasn't until I saw the number "Dancing" where I turned it off. In the number, they take (sigh) ANOTHER BREAK IN THE PLOT to teach Michael Crawford and Danny Lockin how to dance. But all of the sudden, they walk outside, and the WHOLE TOWN IS M***********G DANCING!!!!!!!!!!!! And they've been dancing for two monotonous minutes AND THERE'S NO ADVANCEMENT IN THE PLOT!!!! Maybe the movie wouldn't be two hours and twenty six minutes if they actually focused less on horrendously written songs and excessive dances and more on character development. So I saved myself the agony and turned it off.
See "Singin' in the Rain," and you'll be reminded of the golden days of Hollywood Musicals. See "Hello Dolly!" and you won't only lose your faith in Hollywood Musical, but Musical Theater itself.
One of the last of the lavish Old Hollywood musicals. The performances are all fine, with Streisand the obvious standout, vocally and otherwise. Michael Crawford is a little goofy but I guess he's supposed to be. He's a little Dick Van Dyke-ish at times. Your mileage may vary on whether that's a good thing or not. I was less interested in his plot than the one involving Streisand and Walter Matthau. Pretty much anytime Babs is on screen things are much more lively. I say this as someone who isn't her biggest fan, but she really does own this film. The direction from legend Gene Kelly is solid and appropriately old-school for its time. It really feels like a throwback to the MGM musicals of the 1940s and 50s, with great sets and costumes and big production numbers. The cinematography is also very beautiful. So it's a great-looking movie with an upbeat tempo throughout and some very nice songs. The length is the biggest negative, and I did find myself checking my watch during a couple of the lengthy Crawford segments. But it's still a good movie with a lot to recommend, especially for fans of older musicals.
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