Hello, Dolly! is an expensive, expansive, sometimes exaggerated, sentimental, nostalgic, wholesome, pictorially opulent $20 million filmusical [from the 1964 Broadway production, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman] with the charisma of Barbra Streisand in the title role.
Streisand is a unique performer, with that inborn vitality which marks great personalities. She brings her own special kind of authority. There is a certain inconsistency, or even confusion, in the speech pattern.
Walter Matthau is hard to accept at first, his dancing being the step-counting sort and his singing somewhat awkward. Nonetheless his experience cannot be discounted.
The film ‘opens cute’ with a long-held still of the 14th St replica. Immensely and imaginatively detailed it intrigues the eye and mind directly. When the still ‘wipes’ into live action, the film is off in a flurry of promise and introducing the times (1890) and the heroine (Dolly) en route to Yonkers.
1969: Best Art Direction, Sound, Adapted Score for a Musical Picture
Nominations: Best Picture, Cinematography, Costume Design, Editing