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 Posted:   Jul 23, 2012 - 7:28 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

So, I thought that was a terrific print, crystal clear. As the Film Society official who presented the film beforehand put it, "Blu-ray, eat your heart out!"?

ABSOLUTELY. I arrived at the precise moment of Mr. Newman's fanfare (Lincoln Tunnel delay, maroon turistas purchasing subway passes delay) and was so happy as I so wanted to see the stunning opening sequence on that impossibly huge 14th St. set. Phew, just made it! I was blown away by the breathtaking pristine beauty of it all the entire afternoon.

The real joy of seeing the movie with a packed house is the opportunity to observe one of these glorious entertainment machines performing its function for an audience only too happy to let it. Practically everything Streisand did got a laugh, starting with her first conspiratorial glance at the camera. Matthau too. Only a couple of those strange nerdy noises Michael Crawford makes in this film fell flat with the audience. The supposed flaws, structural or casting or otherwise, which one has time to ponder when watching by oneself on DVD, just simply vanish in an ideal screening like this, and I can't encourage folks enough to GO if you ever get the chance.

Goosebumps, you have crawled into and read my mind. Ditto, ditto. The sound was superb, too, although it accentuated a couple of serious Matthau & Crawford 'singing' clams eek that had me gasping. Streisand, however, was a comic revelation. H. Hawkes would have been proud of her lightning-quick delivery and timing. And it was a GREAT audience indeed. Did you catch the hysteria every time she handed out one of her cards?! Pretty much packed house all right.

There is nothing else to add, you have nailed it. The exuberance, energy, and pure joy emanating from that screen was 70-mm infectious. It just doesn't get any better. I wanna see it again right now!

 Posted:   Jul 23, 2012 - 5:42 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Oh and while I'm at it, Mr. Holmes, were you perchance sitting in the back row center of the area closest to the stage, wearing a navy blue or black polo shirt?

 Posted:   Jul 23, 2012 - 9:36 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

Yeah, you remember my favorite seat, huh?

It's the one row near the middle of the room that is practically unkickable from the row behind.

(I'll try to nab the same seat Wednesday, when they screen the rarely-seen "Gigot."
That should complete my Gene Kelly "fix" for the foreseeable future.)

 Posted:   Jul 24, 2012 - 9:20 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

"Unkickable." Ha! And did you say Gigot? I wrote about that one almost 15 years ago:

It would take a minor miracle for me to make it in on time for the 6:15pm screening, but I just may give it a try. Oh this is something else, twice within a few days. And if I do make it, I promise not to be the social leper and will finally introduce m'self. It's funny how I picked you out correctly Sunday; was standing 7 rows behind to your right during intermission, saw a lone single or 2 amongst the sea of couples [oy, sounds like Summertimeroll eyes] and figured that's the guy. Just like at, what was it, Paint Your Wagon, or was it Porgy?

Eh, whatever! smile

 Posted:   Nov 30, 2019 - 3:01 PM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)

I could have sworn that the actress who played Gussie Granger was Alice Pearce.

 Posted:   Dec 1, 2019 - 10:24 AM   
 By:   beckford   (Member)

Great reading the responses to this welcome topic. And - yes - "Hello Dolly!" is a film whose highs definitely outweigh its deficiencies. Streisand was, of course, too young. And - in a role that calls for a balance of brazen self-confidence and vulnerability - she under-delivered on the latter (as compared to "Funny Girl" where she achieved that balance to perfection). Yet her Dolly Levi is still a can't look away star turn. And no one has brought or probably ever will bring such a great singing voice to the part.
More than one carper in the past has dismissed "Hello Dolly!" as a one-song show. I couldn't disagree more. Jerry Herman's score is simply stuffed with great songs. And Fox's whole music team presents them beautifully.
I have no problem with Michael Crawford's Cornelius. I think he's dandy. But even better, in my opinion, is his wonderful sidekick Danny Lockin. I can't imagine a Barnaby more bouncily lithe and likeable. Sometimes when I watch the musical numbers I focus on him and he never fails to deliver.
My main objection, casting-wise, is to Walter Matthau. I've never been a fan and here he's an especially sour pickle. I suppose they felt the need for a box-office name (though with Streisand and the already beloved property I don't think that was necessary). But, if so, why not Jack Lemmon, who's always terrific and could also carry a tune? And if they were willing to look beyond box-office names, I would have suggested Richard Kiley, a versatile singer and actor who could've surely brought his own spiky shine to the part.
Visually, the film is a dazzler - with an exhilarating emphasis on outdoor locations. Director Gene Kelly and choreographer Michael Kidd, men intimately acquainted with MGM musicals, build the picture as not just a loving tribute to those movies but as some kind of hyper-realization of what we loved about them. There are lots of beautifully realized numbers - the mammoth "Before the Parade Passes By", the more intimate "Elegance" but above all "Put On Your Sunday Clothes", a dizzying amplification of prime MGM production number grandeur (think "Atchison, Topeka" from "The Harvey Girls"). The result's genuinely euphoric. And it's nice that "Wall-E", using just a snippet from it, was able to introduce a whole new generation to its glories.
I saw "Hello Dolly!" when it was new and many times since. And - for me - it remains bright, shiny and endearing.

 Posted:   Dec 2, 2019 - 7:39 AM   
 By:   roadshowfan   (Member)

I couldn't agree with you more, Beckford! You have referenced everything I love about this film. I've been lucky enough to see a couple of 70mm screenings and it never fails to uplift and delight. Streisand may have been too young for Dolly but she lights up the screen, and personally I much prefer Dolly over Funny Girl (which I think is a bit of a drag after the first half).

Plus, Dolly's musical arrangements are astounding and the Fox orchestra has never sounded so bloomin' glorious! I was heartbroken to learn in another thread that the music elements are in such bad shape and we will never get the expanded release it so richly deserves.

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