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Hello, Dolly! Blu-ray Review

hello-dolly-blu-ray-coverU.S. Release

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48 kHz/24-bit); French Dolby Digital, Spanish Dolby Digital, German DTS 2.0
  • Subtitles:English SDH, Spanish  
  • Region: A (B? C?)
  • Rating: G
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Blu-ray Release Date: April 2, 2013
  • List Price: $24.98

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray Discs and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.

 

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

title

Broadway legend Jerry Herman adapted the very successful play, The Matchmaker, to the musical stage, which originally starred the inimitable Carol Channing. Hello, Dolly!, is the 1969 film version, featuring another musical legend, Barbra Streisand (Funny Girl) in the title role. Directed by song-and-dance superstar, Gene Kelly (Singin’ in the Rain), this has become one of the most beloved shows of the last half-century.

dolly1

Widow Dolly Levi (Streisand) is a much in-demand matchmaker in late 19th century New York. Dolly has designs on wealthy bachelor and owner of the Hay and Feed Store, Horace Vandergelder (Walter Matthau in his only appearance in a musical) who is seeking her assistance in finding a wife. However, Horace is considering hat-maker Irene Molloy (Marianne McAndrew). Horace’s clerks, Cornelius (Michael Crawford) and Barnaby (Danny Lockin) decide that they will take off for the Big Apple to pursue excitement and possibly love. Another backstory involves shrinking violet Ermengarde, Horace’s niece (Joyce Ames) who is being wooed by struggling artist Ambrose Kemper (Tommy Tune). Horace believes Ambrose to be unworthy since he cannot make an adequate living in his trade. Eventually, all ends well for the principals, as the grumpy Horace realizes that he needs the effervescent Dolly in his life.

tune

Screen adaptations of staged musicals do not always make for smooth transitions. Here, I am happy to report, there is a perfect synergy between musical numbers, dance routines, the use of period sets and costumes, and, most importantly, spot-on direction.  La Streisand is a very credible alternative to Carol Channing and delivers a true in-character performance. Vocally, it is no contest: Streisand is a consummate acting singer while Channing, a consummate singing actor.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

band

The archival crew that worked on this Blu-ray was obviously inspired to deliver an eye-catching remake.  Colors (and there are plenty of them) are gorgeous. Details are mostly crisp and clean. There is a slight patina of graininess and occasional motion artifacts, but these are largely overcome by the other terrific production values. Catch the parade sequence (Chapter 13) to get an idea of how good the cinematography is.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

dance2

The Herman score is easily one of the most tuneful and singable in recent memory. The dts HD Master Audio soundtrack is big and bold with just a touch of distortion in the climaxes. Best of all, the big numbers come across loud and clear.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

dance

The special features include:

  • Directing Dolly: Gene Kelly Remembered. This 10-minute reminiscence by Kelly’s widow gives us a personal insight on how he took on this project and turned it into the big picture that it became.
  • 1969 Featurette: A seven-minute look at behind the scenes vignettes from the making of this fim
  • Trailers in English and Spanish.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

dolly2

Critics were divided about this film at the time of its premiere, being either Dolly-philes or Dolly-phobes.  If the purpose of musical shows is to entertain, then Hello, Dolly! most certainly fills that bill and more.  Thankfully, we not only get nearly all of the original numbers but two extras just for Streisand. And, in the end, it is Streisand’s performance, in only her second film, that carries the day and more than justifies the purchase of this reissue, given deluxe Blu-ray treatment by 20th Century Fox.  We also get the young Michael Crawford who later gained fame in The Phantom of the Opera. This film will be a treat for the whole family and a great way to introduce young people to the magic of Broadway in the comfort of their own homes.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Hello, Dolly! on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

last dance

walter

streis2

trio

waltz

lesson

 

 

[amazon-product]B00BG4R8SG[/amazon-product]

Purchase Hello, Dolly! on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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