The Matchmaker


Comedy / Romance

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Shirley MacLaine Photo
Shirley MacLaine as Irene Molloy
Anthony Perkins Photo
Anthony Perkins as Cornelius Hackl
Shirley Booth Photo
Shirley Booth as Dolly 'Gallagher' Levi
Jon Lormer Photo
Jon Lormer as Mr. Duckworth, Jeweler
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
926.52 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 40 min
P/S 4 / 33
1.68 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 40 min
P/S 8 / 71

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by theowinthrop10 / 10

Before Jerry Herman's Music was the Wilder play

THE MATCHMAKER (1958) is significant for several reasons. It is the first film version of the play by Thornton Wilder that was made into the musical smash HELLO, DOllY!. It is also one of the too few movies made by Shirley Booth in the 1950s after she won the Oscar for Best Actress, and gives her versatility a chance to shine with COME BACK LITTLE SHEBA and ABOUT MRS. LESLIE. Booth usually was in movie dramas, and this is a rare chance to see her handle a comedy.

This version sticks closer to Wilder's original version of THE MATCHMAKER, for there were more "Strange Interlude" style asides by the various characters talking to the audience. Also more of the characters (in particular Wallace Ford's "Malachi Stack") are used. The only major change is in what would be the concluding act of the play: Wilder had Vandergelder's niece Ernestine run off with Ambrose (and followed by Cornelius, Irene, Barnaby, and Minnie - and then Dolly and Horace) from the Harmonium Gardens to Vandergelder's sister's home in Manhattan. The sister is very sensible and kindly, but she is also dull. Her loss from the movie is no loss.

Little bits of biography about Dolly and Horace are in this version and not in the musical. Dolly, for example, has a long standing law suit that she is pursuing (Horace is not deeply impressed about it) concerning her claims to land ownership of a large chunk of Long Island (presumably Nassau and Suffolk counties). Horace, in his first "strange interlude" soliloquy to the audience ("Ninety percent of the human race are fools, and the rest of us are in danger of contagion!") he explains his willingness to wed. It seems he was married once, when he was poor. Ford is fairly pompous in the speech, until he reaches a moment when Horace's humanity comes out - he mentions his first wife's death ("Which was foolish of her", he says with a sad look in his eyes). He is not just a money-making machine. But he does believe in hard work to be able to afford to live comfortably. Even at the end of the film he is telling the audience to save their money.

Anthony Perkins normally did not appear in comedies, but he is Cornelius here - opposite Shirley MacLaine as Irene. Her early gamin style is at work here, mixed with a bit of urban common sense (unlike Marianne McAndrews in HELLO, DOLLY! she does remember to bring the money from work with her to the Harmonium Gardens - ironically in time to bail out Vandergelder who has lost his wallet). Perkins is a pleasing juvenile in this film - one wishes he had tried more comedies. Within two years he'd be typecast forever as Norman Bates. Robert Morse, at the start of his career, played Barnaby with his typical bashful, winsomeness. In only four years he'd achieve Broadway fame in HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING, using the same winsomeness as Finch. The most interesting addition in this film was Wallace Ford. Malachi Stack (a new employee hired by Vandergelder) was dropped in the musical - but he too plays an important role in the play as a philosophical type - a reformed thief who is trying to make good at the new job for a difficult, demanding boss. He finds the wallet Vandergelder loses, and turns it over to the wrong person (an important plot twist). Ford makes us like this kindly wreck of a man, who ends up beating his new boss as well as the others do.

Lines of dialog in the film make us realize we are hearing song cues (MacLaine mentioning how ribbons on a hat are the in-thing this year is an example). But this film has such a good rhythm on it's own we do not need the great Jerry Herman score here. THE MATCHMAKER stands up pretty well on it's own feet.

Reviewed by marcslope8 / 10

Delectable souffle, just a bit too long in the oven

Some of Thornton Wilder's ironies about love and money get mangled in the dumbing-down of his stage material, and the theatrical conceits (characters constantly breaking down the fourth wall) probably worked better in the legit theater. And then there's that damned toy train, too cutesy by half. Nevertheless, this is a handsome and diverting little comedy with a great cast. Shirley Booth conveys some of the magnetism that made her a stage favorite; it's not necessarily great acting, but a warm and whimsical performance. Anthony Perkins and Shirley MacLaine are young love personified; I'm not sure either of them was ever this appealing again. Compliments, too, to Adolph Deutsch, who wrapped the whole thing up in a terrifically evocative waltz theme.

It's a trifle, but a tasteful and well-paced trifle. I notice that whenever AMC shows it, I watch it, so that says something.

Reviewed by bkoganbing7 / 10

Matchmaker, Match Thyself

After a lifetime of arranging couplings for others Dolly Levi has decided it's time that she settle down with somebody. Her target in her sights is merchant Horace Vandergelder in turn of the last century Yonkers, New York. Of course Horace the old goat is looking at young Irene Molloy. What to do, especially since his young clerk Cornelius Hackl has eyes for her also.

Shirley Booth who originated many parts on the Broadway stage, but had few screen credits up to that time takes over the role that Ruth Gordon played on stage in the 1955-1957 season for 481 performances. Another Shirley named MacLaine with few screen credits at that point to her name plays young Irene.

And the object of all this fuss is potbellied old Paul Ford giving one of his patented bellowing performances. It was interesting to read how Ford had come to the acting profession rather late in life. He certainly is ham enough that you wonder why didn't do this all of his life. Ford had just completed a four year run as the harried and harassed Colonel Hall, object of many of Sergeant Bilko's con games in the Phil Silvers Show. For most of his career Ford was a blusterer whether here or in The Music Man or Never Too Late. He looked a lot like Edgar Kennedy, but his boiling point was always quickly reached.

Anthony Perkins who really did other things besides Norman Bates in Psycho is just fine as the wistful young clerk at Ford's mercantile and he's partnered in his adventures by young Robert Morse who repeated his stage role as Barnaby Tucker.

Of course most know The Matchmaker as the basis for Hello Dolly and seeing it now is like seeing Shaw's Pygmalion which for better or worse is now known as My Fair Lady without the songs. Still The Matchmaker is fun to watch for the nostalgically inclined.

Read more IMDb reviews