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Barbra Streisand's miscasting in "Hello, Dolly!"

Few would argue that she was far too young to play the role of Dolly Levi when the film was made in 1969. The producers also wisely did not cast Carol Channing, who was a disaster on film.

So which age appropriate musical-type actresses should have been considered, given when the film was made?

Ann Miller

Rita Hayworth

Betty Grable

Betty Hutton

Ginger Rogers

Cyd Charisse


Nancy Walker

Nanette Fabray


by Butterfly's Fartreply 19504/08/2014

Judy Garland if she had been physically capable would have been great. Betty Grable would have been a good close second. It is too bad they filmed it a few years prior to the nostalgia craze of the early 70s. In hindsight, casting a retired screen goddess in one last cinematic fling would have been perfectly in keeping with the tone and intention of the material.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 104/07/2012

This is an age-inappropriate thread.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 204/07/2012

Ethel Merman

by Butterfly's Fartreply 304/07/2012

Garland was already too frail and scattered when she appeared in "I Could Go On Singing." She might have been right for Dolly, but only if the character had been rewritten as helplessly neurotic laudanum addict.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 404/07/2012

Such a disaster on film that I got an Oscar nomination for MILLIE, so fuck you, OP.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 504/07/2012

I didn't include Garland on the list since she died the year the film was made.

Ethel Merman, like Carol Channing, was a disaster on film.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 604/07/2012

Pauline Kael pointed out that the problem with a lot of the major Broadway stars who never were able to translate their success onto film was that they projected too big for the camera: Carol Channing, Ethel Merman, Zero Mostel... they couldn't figure out how to tone themselves down for film.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 704/07/2012

Gwen Verdon

Debbie Reynolds

by Butterfly's Fartreply 804/07/2012

It should have been all-black, with Pearl Bailey, Ben Vereen, Diahann Carroll and James Earl Jones!

by Butterfly's Fartreply 904/07/2012

Doris Day, seriously. She could have pulled it off with flying colors at the age she was in 1969.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 1004/07/2012

I would have hated to hear Doris Day sing "Until the Parade Passes By" or "Put on Your Sunday Clothes." She always came off as too loud in strident numbers like that.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 1104/07/2012

Lucille Ball actually would have been a good choice for Dolly

by Butterfly's Fartreply 1204/07/2012

Ah yes, the annual Welcome to Spring Barbra Streisand's Miscasting in Hello Dolly Thread.

Can the Lucille Ball's Miscasting in Mame Thread be far behind?

by Butterfly's Fartreply 1304/07/2012

well I guess Ms. Streisand was miscasted b/c Patty Duke beat out Babs for the Golden Globe award that year.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 1404/07/2012

Mitzi Gaynor

by Butterfly's Fartreply 1504/07/2012

Angela Lansbury

by Butterfly's Fartreply 1604/07/2012

"Garland was already too frail and scattered when she appeared in 'I Could Go On Singing.'"

Nonsense. She marched straight through that film like a trouper.

-"You like my furs?"

-"Where'd you get them?"


-"I shot 'em!"

by Butterfly's Fartreply 1704/07/2012

Pia Zadora owns this thread.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 1804/07/2012

Audrey Hepburn dubbed by Elaine Stritch.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 1904/07/2012

I'm glad this superimportant movie is AT LAST being discussed on Datalounge, because it's been so long since we've had a thread on it!

Now if someone can also do us the favor and at last create a thread about the casting of Lucille Ball in MAME.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 2004/07/2012

[quote]I didn't include Garland on the list since she died the year the film was made.

Garland died in 1969. The film was made in 1968. It didn't get released until late 1969 because David Merrick had a clause put into the movie contract that said they couldn't open the film until the show had closed on Broadway. 20th Century Fox had to pay him extra to nullify that clause because the show ended up running in NY through the spring of 1970.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 2204/07/2012

I think R20 means to say we need a thread about ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER, the film not the ill-fated revival.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 2404/08/2012

Danny Kaye.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 2504/08/2012


Go fuck yourself.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 2604/08/2012

Shirley Maclaine , obviously.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 2704/08/2012

Sorry thought we were re-casting On A Clear Day You Can Seer forever.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 2804/08/2012

Shirley Maclaine films are awful. The only one I've been able to stand is "The Turning Point".

by Butterfly's Fartreply 2904/08/2012

"Judy Garland if she had been physically capable would have been great."

LOL. As has been pointed out, Judy was not physically capable. The last time she would have been capable was in the 1940s, and then she would have been too young.

Lena Horne turned down the part on Broadway (in the succession of Dollys) because she considered herself too hip for the show. Another LOL.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 3004/08/2012

How does Ethel balance all those flowers on her head at R26?

by Butterfly's Fartreply 3104/08/2012

R31 she had the stems tucked into her jockstrap.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 3204/08/2012

Weird fact about the original Broadway production of HELLO, DOLLY!: JoAnn Worleyw as Carol Channing's understudy.

Maybe they could have had her do the film. It's hard to say--they clearly desperately wanted someone who would appeal to a youth audience, and Carol Channing and the women who had replaced her on Broadway (Ethel Merman, Ginger Rogers, Betty Grable, Pearl Bailey) would have all instantly turned off a youth market.

But the youth market was already turned off by the film. The problem with it isn't at all Steisand or even Matthau--they're both pretty likable and fun. The problem is the nightmarishly overbusy performances of the secondary roles: Michael Crawford as whiny Cornelius, Joyce Ames as an annoying Ermengarde, and particularly the wretched Marianne McAndrew and E. J. Peaker as Irene Molloy and Minnie Fay, doing all this distracting stage business before the camera. And all the extras primp and mince all over the set like they're on stage at a summer stock production. Gene Kelly did a dreadful job with this show--he was clearly aiming at some sort of effect that failed. And the whole thing is so fucking long.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 3304/08/2012

Gene Kelley packed every scene with too many people and too many over-ornamented sets.

The number "Before the Parade Passes By" came across more like "Before the Cortege Passes By."

by Butterfly's Fartreply 3404/08/2012

Alas, Stanley Donen turned down DOLLY. He would have been infinitely better than Kelly.

r 33 is correct. The dull and colorless supporting cast practically kills the film.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 3504/08/2012

I agree with the poster who said Doris day would have been perfect.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 3604/08/2012

[quote]The problem with it isn't at all Steisand or even Matthau--they're both pretty likable and fun. The problem is the nightmarishly overbusy performances of the secondary roles.

Yes! I couldn't agree more. The only watchable scenes in the film are those with Streisand.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 3704/08/2012

Marianne McAndrew and EJ Peaker were both awful. Danny Lockin was adorable however. What a tragic loss.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 3804/08/2012

Celeste Holm would have been marvelous in that role.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 3904/08/2012

Shirley Booth was perfection in the film version of "The Matchmaker" and she would have been just as good again had she been cast in "Hello, Dolly!"

by Butterfly's Fartreply 4004/08/2012

Amen R33!

by Butterfly's Fartreply 4104/08/2012

[quote]Marianne McAndrew and EJ Peaker were both awful.

I made sure of that.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 4204/08/2012

[quote]Streisand herself thought Elizabeth Taylor should have made her musical debut with this film.

I guess Streisand didn't see 'A Date With Judy' featuring Elizabeth Taylor as a 17 year old hussy.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 4304/08/2012

Oh, you all are spot on about the dreadful supporting cast. The first time I saw the film as a wee tot, I knew even THEN that they were overacting all to hell and mincing all over the place. MUCH too fey, too precious, too preening. Kelly should have reeled everyone in the cast in about 40%. That is, except Streisand. Everyone is a damned cartoon!

by Butterfly's Fartreply 4404/08/2012

Yvonne De Carlo. Maybe some of her fans from THE MUNSTERS would've seen the movie out of curiosity.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 4504/08/2012

Kaye Ballard would have been perfect.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 4604/08/2012

Mae West. Same year she did Myra B.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 4704/08/2012

Even the costumes of the supporting women are horrendous whereas Barbra wears the most sumptuous gowns ever. Her lavender dress for Before the Parade Passes By is my favorite costume in film history.

Though the brilliant Irene Sharaff is credited as the Costume Designer of the entire film, I believe she only designed Dolly's costumes.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 4804/08/2012

She wasn't miscast. It took place in 1890. People did not live to be 80 and she was a young widow, very common.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 4904/08/2012

r 40 - Yeah , cause she was such a great singer - what the F are you talking about ?

by Butterfly's Fartreply 5004/08/2012

[quote]what the F are you talking about ?

And why the F, r50, can't you learn that you DO NOT put a space between the "r" and the "40"?

Are you stupid or just plain ignorant?

by Butterfly's Fartreply 5104/08/2012

Janis Joplin as Dolly would have mesmerized the youth audience!

by Butterfly's Fartreply 5204/08/2012

You tell him, Respondent 51!

by Butterfly's Fartreply 5304/08/2012

Beverly Sills should have been Dolly. You all know that but you act like she never even existed, and she always had ten times the voice of La Streisand, and was a better actress too. Face it bitches, you're all just low class bubble gum wrappers and Hershey's milk chocolate kisses.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 5404/08/2012

R14 why were there so many nominees that year for Best Actress Comedy/Musical? The nominees were -- 1) Patty Duke ("Me, Natalie"), 2) Ingrid Bergman ("Cactus Flower"), 3) Dyan Cannon ("Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice"), 4) Kim Darby ("Generation"), 5) Mia Farrow ("John and Mary"), 6) Shirley MacLaine ("Sweet Charity"), 7) Anna Magnani ("The Secret of Santa Vittoria"), 8) Barbra Streisand ("Hello, Dolly!"). They only had 5 nominees the previous years and after, so why did they feel the need to nominate 8 that year?

by Butterfly's Fartreply 5504/08/2012

r 51- I'm stupid & ignorant. I'm a dolt. A twit. An ignoramus. I'm slow-witted, inane, dense. And one more thing .....GO FUCK YOURSELF !

by Butterfly's Fartreply 5604/08/2012

R40. Yes, there were young widows--but the widow Levi and the Widow Molloy should not seem like generational peers. And when Dolly and the gang at the Harmonia Gardens may a big deal about how long she has been away, Streisand's youth makes it seem absurd.

As long as we are invoking Dollys past as possibilties (Shirley Booth in the film, who could sing as well as Carol Channing, as her work on Broadway in "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and "By the Beautiful Sea" demonstrate--never heard anything from "Look to the Lilies"), why not Ruth Gordon--she was the original Dolly in "The Matchmaker" on Broadway (Ina Claire did an earlier version of the play called "The Merchant of Yonkers") and after "Rosemary's Baby" she might have appealed to the youth market. Of course, she would have made the romance with Horace even creepier than it was in the film (but for different reasons), but never mind.

Of all the performers in the film, I find Michael Crawford the most nauseating--did when I was 12 and say it in the theatres and still do. It made me never want to see him in "Phantom"--I still find his nasally voice like fingernails on a blackboard.

BTW, when I was a 12 year old gayling-in-training, I thought it the height of great movie making. I still have a heard time turning it of when it occasionally shows up on cable. The difference between thinking something is actually good and loving something for reasons that are beyond criticism.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 5704/09/2012

Janis Paige would have been so much better than Barbra.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 5804/09/2012

Some of these comments are insane. Barbra was a huge name for this movie and no one at that time (or any other in my opinion) could sing those songs any better. I love Doris day, but she was much to white bread for the role of Dolly Levi.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 5904/09/2012

Helen Lawson

by Butterfly's Fartreply 6004/09/2012

[quote]Now if someone can also do us the favor and at last create a thread about the casting of Lucille Ball in MAME.

We'll get around to it, but FIRST we have more pressing issues to discuss like Madonna, The Golden Girls and Saturday Night Live.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 6104/09/2012

If you eliminate everyone who had played the role on Broadway, and are looking for a woman with musical comedy credentials, the right age, and a substantial film resume, there is really only one choice.

Angela Lansbury.

Others one might think of such as Debbie Reynolds, Rita Moreno, Polly Bergen and Barbara Harris (so good with Mathau in Plaza Suite) were still in their 30s.

Lansbury would have been 43 and would have knocked it out of the park as Dolly, playing the role as Wilder originally envisioned it and no doubt Jerry Herman would have approved of one of his greatest stars taking over one of his greatest roles.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 6204/09/2012

Lansbury having been Herman's Mame and Countess Aurelia and winning tonys as both should have been his Dolly in the film.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 6304/09/2012

r61, a thread about the casting of Mame should be 185 one word posts, all of them "Lansbury."

by Butterfly's Fartreply 6404/09/2012

"I love Doris day, but she was much to white bread for the role of Dolly Levi."

Isn't Dolly GALLAGHER Levi a gentile who just happened to marry a Jew?

by Butterfly's Fartreply 6504/09/2012

Doris Day probably wasn't/isn't white bread at all, but her screen persona was too white bread for just about everything other than a quintessential Doris Day vehicle. No Dolly Levi wasn't Jewish (at least not until she married Efraim Levi) but Hello Dolly was not a quintessential Doris Day vehicle.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 6604/09/2012

[quote] No Dolly Levi wasn't Jewish (at least not until she married Efraim Levi)

Oh, dear.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 6704/09/2012

Fuck Angela Lansbury.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 6804/09/2012

R7, as usual, Pauline Kael was dead wrong. Both Ethel Merman and Zero Mostel come across just fine on film in roles in which they are well cast -- for example, in CALL ME MADAM and THE PRODUCERS.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 6904/09/2012

Merman was fine when singing in Call Me Madam (if you like/can tolerate her voice), but she had no charisma or oomph in the book scenes.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 7004/09/2012

Barbra Streisand would have been perfect casting in 1999 or 2009, it was just wrong in 1969.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 7104/09/2012

Sorry r67, I should have said "You are correct in that Dolly Levi was not Jewish (at least prior to her possibly converting to marry Efraim Levi)."

But I hope you enjoyed your "Oh Dear"ing me. I know many really get off on that.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 7204/09/2012

[quote]...converting to marry Efraim Levi

Oh, dear, dear.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 7304/09/2012

Vera-Ellen? VERA-ELLEN?

That poor thing could have had a tea party inside Dolly's bustle with the audience unaware she was even present. God love her.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 7404/09/2012

The worst casting in that movie was the apparently 60 year old Michael Crawford.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 7504/09/2012

[quote]Of all the performers in the film, I find Michael Crawford the most nauseating.

ME TOO. It's one of the most bizarre performances I have seen. What he was thinking? No person has ever behaved like he did in that movie. I have never had any use for his weird singing voice, either.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 7604/09/2012

Oh, dear, not knowing how his name is spelled in the script, I thought it might have been spelled, as the name is often spelled, with an "f" instead of a "ph."

And, oh dear, next to "petty' in Webster's Dictionary, one is likely to find a picture of r73.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 7704/09/2012

r55 I do not know why there were so many nominations that year but I guess with that much talent they committee could not decide. But it is a shame that Patty Duke's win didn't make the movie more successful. It is truly a great movie.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 7804/09/2012

After your previous upset over someone "Oh Dear"ing you, r77, it was too much fun to resist the "Oh, dear, dear."

Smile, you're on Candid Camera!

by Butterfly's Fartreply 7904/09/2012

So not a single one of you chose to respond to my "Beverly Sills" suggestion. That it means it was perfect. I stumped Datalounge.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 8004/09/2012

"Merman was fine when singing in Call Me Madam (if you like/can tolerate her voice), but she had no charisma or oomph in the book scenes."

I disagree. I think she's very funny in the dialogue scenes. She's also great in IT'S A MAD....WORLD, and she has some very nice moments in THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS as well.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 8104/09/2012

Striesand had a three pic deal at they had to put her in something or pay her.

De Darlo and Worley both did Dolly FOREVER in stock

p.s. Worley was the best dolly I've EVER seen....Hilarious and sympathetic all at once

by Butterfly's Fartreply 8204/09/2012

[quote] So which age appropriate musical-type actresses should have been considered, given when the film was made?


by Butterfly's Fartreply 8304/09/2012

Barbra didn't want the role and knew the material was garbage. But Fox and Merrick were desperate for a major musical star to drive the box office potential because it was a huge gamble in 1968 to do a big-budget period musical.

Barbra demanded $1 million for the role, which was huge for the time, and half the set furniture for free. Either way the film was a huge flop.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 8404/09/2012

Streisand had a multi-picture deal at Warner's in the '80s. I respectfully doubt that Streisand had a 3-picture deal at Fox.

HELLO, DOLLY! is her only Fox film.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 8504/09/2012

Elizabeth Taylor was paid 1 million dollars to star as Cleopatra in 1961 so Barbra making that much 8 years later was nothing special.

Much of Dolly's humor comes from her desperation which Ruth Gordon and Shirley Booth both brought to the non-singing role so charmingly. Doris Day (and I would even say Angela Lansbury) could never be funny appearing desperate.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 8604/09/2012

Hello Dolly was a one-off deal with Fox. Barbra was contractually obligated to Ray Stark to do three films in addition to Funny Girl.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 8704/09/2012

Mae West was furious when she saw Barbra's impersonation of her in the movie. I think they even had a confrontation at a private party, where Mae told Barbra not to steal from her again.

Mae couldn't stand other women, and she fiercely protected her famous persona.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 8804/09/2012

BTW BS hates Patty Duke b/c Patty won that GG award!

by Butterfly's Fartreply 8904/09/2012

Considering Barbra's standing in 1968 (in films....she was already the biggest-selling female vocalist in music), $1 million was a huge fee for someone with one hit role that she originated on Broadway and successfully parlayed to film.

Taylor had been the biggest female box-office movie star for a decade when she got that fee for Cleopatra in 1961.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 9004/09/2012

[quote]$1 million was a huge fee for someone with one hit role that she originated on Broadway and successfully parlayed to film.

Except that when Streisand filmed Dolly - spring/early summer of 1968 - she hadn't successfully parlayed anything to film yet, as Funny Girl was not released till after Dolly finished shooting.

Streisand was blazing hot in '68, though, but her casting as Dolly was the single biggest element that went toward ruining the film. Even with the uninspired direction/screenplay, had it been someone who was right for the part - Ginger Rogers, maybe Lansbury (who was also blazing hot in 1968) - it would have been a much better movie.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 9104/09/2012

[quote]Streisand was blazing hot in '68, though, but her casting as Dolly was the single biggest element that went toward ruining the film

Bleah. The movie comes to life ONLY when Streisand appears. (Oh, and Louis Armstrong...) The story and the staging are tired and seem to belong to the dreariest efforts of MGM, circa 1949.

HD wasn't going to be a good movie with any actress, no matter who was cast. At least with Barbra, it has a few redeeming scenes.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 9204/09/2012

Ruth Buzzi would have walked away with the movie.

Didn't Walter Matthau refer to Babs as "Madame Pétomane"/

by Butterfly's Fartreply 9404/09/2012

Carol Burnett should have played it. Thread closed, cunts.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 9504/09/2012

R82, you fucking FOOL, the 3 pictures included Dolly, it wasn't because of Dolly. Jesus, some of you young queens are such dumb assholes.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 9604/09/2012

You're all forgetting the soundtrack factor - in 1968, Barbra was the biggest selling female recording artist in the world. Besides the money the box -office would take in, the producers also were counting on the sondtrack, with Barbra singing several songs, to sell millions. No other singer could have sold as much.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 9704/10/2012

Wow, angry queens over this film 40+ years later.

I saw Dolly in 70mm a few weekends ago at the AFI and was surprised how entertaining it was. Big cotton candy film just as the stage show was. . The small crowd of (mostly) queens burst into applause after Sunday Clothes and Parade.

You all do know that Charles Nelson Reilly and Eileen Brennan were Cornelius and Irene on Broadway? Hello, Dolly! ain't Inge and Barbra is fun and sings the shit out of the score.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 9804/10/2012

[quote] I would even say Angela Lansbury) could never be funny appearing desperate.

You mustn't have seen Lansbury in Gypsy.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 9904/10/2012

This thread makes me wonder whatever happened to E.J. Peaker. She was great in THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE, another big budget period musical of the time.....

by Butterfly's Fartreply 10004/10/2012

woops. she wasn't in that...but she did play Natalie Schaeffer in SURVIVING GILLIGAN'S ISLAND.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 10104/10/2012

Stark didn't produce Dolly and wasn't involved at all. Barbra did Funny Girl, What's Up Doc, The Way We Were, and Funny Lady under her contract with Rastar Productions.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 10204/10/2012

Babs was sensationally good as Dolly. The true problem with the movie was the oversized production. If it had been scaled back to one-tenth its size, it might have been a truly great show.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 10304/10/2012

Did you confuse E.J. Peaker with Joyce Bulifant? Hard to imagine!

E.J. was so Love American Style while Joyce was more the bottom row Match Game type!

by Butterfly's Fartreply 10404/10/2012

Edie Bouvier Beale.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 10504/10/2012

Yes, the real question is why Barbra would have accepted the role when she was just in her twenties, undoubtedly white hot with better film offers and smart enough to know how miscast she was as middle-aged Dolly. As gloriously as she inevitably sings the songs, the Jerry Herman music was really not her style in the 1960s at all.

I sonetimes think it was simply revenge for losing the Tony for Funny Girl to Carol Channing for Hello Dolly.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 10604/10/2012

Barbra never became Dolly in that film. Every minute she is on the screen, it's Barbra, not Dolly.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 10704/12/2012

It's a mystery why Fox thought Kelly would be a good director.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 10804/12/2012

R 107 - because Channing would immerse herself in her characters, and disappear ! WTF . I love Carol, but her problem has always been she's a personalty -not an actress. She always is 'CAROL CHANNING', no matter who she plays. Get a grip .

by Butterfly's Fartreply 10904/12/2012

No one else could have held the note at the end of "Before The Parade Passes By" the way she did. Check out her Vegas version on YouTube. Slightly different arrangement, but it's amazing.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 11004/30/2012

The problem, R110, is that "Before the Parade Passes By" was over-produced and over-long (like the film itself.) The note at the end that went on forever was a pointless cherry atop an over-sized sundae.

The number is practically a throwaway in the stage version, a quick picker-upper to send the audience out to the lobby feeling peppy at the end of Act One. After the long "Dancing" number that preceded it, they would have done well to keep the movie parade short and sweet.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 11104/30/2012

To Each His Own

by Butterfly's Fartreply 11204/30/2012

[quote]This thread makes me wonder whatever happened to E.J. Peaker. She was great in THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE, another big budget period musical of the time.....

She was also in a short-lived tv show called "That's Life!" with Robert Morse. Here she is on a Disney-

by Butterfly's Fartreply 11304/30/2012

Ethel on film is something else! "Yeah, but what!?!?" SHUT UP!

by Butterfly's Fartreply 11404/30/2012

Before the Parade Passes By in the Dolly film was a desperate attempt to recreate the tugboat climax of Don't Rain on My Parade before the intermission of the Funny Girl film.

The original number of Before the Parade in the Broadway show was charming. An open trolley car of pastel costumed passengers and a horse made of spat-legged dancers in tights doing a soft shoe.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 11504/30/2012

And another thing, "Before the Parade Passes By" really emphasizes the fact that Barbra is too young for the part.

There is something inherently vulgar in having a young widow aggressively court a man for his money. That's why Irene doesn't get Horace in the first place: because it's an unromantic reason for a young woman to wed even if she is a widow.

Barbra/Dolly getting Matthau to the altar was like Jackie Kennedy marrying Onassis.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 11605/01/2012

RE 116 You put way too much thought into a 44 year old movie, that has come, and gone, before most of the people on here were born.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 11705/01/2012

Just watched the doc on Channing, on Showtime. Carol is amazing, and a delight. But when she sang, it was awful. All CC - but you have to love her, to put up with it. Barbra took those songs to a new level, with her singing. You can argue forever about the part of Dolly, but on fim, Channing would have been too much. You can still listen to the songs of Dolly , and be amazed at Barbra's vocals. Lets just say, the soundtrack would never have sold well, if Channing had done the movie - especially since she had already croaked out the songs, for the Broadway cast album. Barbra was THE voice, and shows it off well on these songs.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 11807/21/2012

Love "Just Leave Everything To Me" , and "So Long Dearie". They both were totally energized by Barbra's versions. Carol was cute, but Bab's knocks you out with her versions.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 11907/22/2012

[quote]Lets just say, the soundtrack would never have sold well, if Channing had done the movie - especially since she had already croaked out the songs, for the Broadway cast album.

I agree with you -- but let's not forget that Carol's "croaking" made the "Hello Dolly" OCR the best-selling album of 1964. Streisand's "The Barbara Streisand Album" ranked #4 for the year.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 12107/22/2012

I'm going to start a thread on film adaptations of classic musicals that people actually thought WORKED.

I don't agree that she was miscast because of her age or anything else. I just saw her as a woman who had married a much older man who was a father figure to her, and after he died and left her penniless (which, combined with the fact that she was in her late twenties and no longer a virgin made her a very hard sell in the marriage market) she was thrown on her own resources, including calling on what she'd learned from Ephraim about the art of living to keep her spirits up.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 12207/22/2012

The fact is Hello, Dolly! is one of the most beloved movie musicals of all time. You would be hard-pressed to find a week that Dolly isn't showing somewhere on TV. It's probably in the Top 10 of most shown movies on TV. Of course, it's all due to Streisand's bravura performance.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 12307/22/2012

Nanette Fabray could have nailed this.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 12407/23/2012

True, Streisand was too young and therefore miscast. But she was a fire engine- she was funny, she was camp, she was winking at the audience even- most of all she performed the shit out of the music and no one, now or in the past, will or could ever do better with the music. She was and is a spectacular talent and voice- even miscast. She dominates every scene she is in- her voice is simple spectacular from the opening number on- as is her timing.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 12507/23/2012

What the film was lacking was an Ephraim voiceover, played by Charlton Heston, answering Dolly's questions.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 12607/23/2012

RE 115 - first of all, "Funny Girl" had not even been released , when "Dolly" was being shot. They couldn't try and 'recreate' something, that had not even been hailed as a great number yet. And a little trolly, with 10-12 people on it, sounds quaint, but movies open up eveything, and that last shot in "Parade Passes By", is great , old time Hollywood moviemaking. As someone else mentioned, it's before CGI , or any of those effects - where you know the 'thousands' aren't real. When they shot that scene, they put out a casting call, for 3,000 extras -who were all dressed, and placed there, along with the painted false fronts, of all the NYC bldgs., hiding what was essentially, the driveway, to the 20th Century Fox lot, in West L.A.

One more note - Gene Kelly (director) and Barbra argued about that final shot - Kelly thought the camera should start, showing the entire scene, then zoom in slowly, finishing on a close-up on Barbra, as she hits the final note. Barbra thought it should start on a close-up, then pull back to show the entire panorama, of the scene. Barbra won - and I think she was absolutely right !

by Butterfly's Fartreply 12707/23/2012

Barbra was interviewed in London around the time the "Here's to Life" CD came out. She said she didn't want to do "Dolly" but was told she could be sued if she didn't follow through. She said that in retrospect, she should have just let them sue her. But at that point in her life, she wasn't quite able to think that way.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 12807/23/2012

I don't believe that. " Dolly" was seperate from her Ray Stark deal. At the time , she said something like ' I didn't have the nerve to turn it down'. It looked like a surefire hit - since it had done so well on stage. AND, she was excited because I believe she was going to be paid just over a million dollars for the role, and that would beat Liz Taylor's " Cleopatra" salary, held since 1962. Never once has anyone said she would have been sued. She's reinventing history....again.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 12907/23/2012

Audrey Hepburn was born to play Dolly!

by Butterfly's Fartreply 13007/23/2012

Judy Garland

by Butterfly's Fartreply 13107/23/2012

Connie Francis

by Butterfly's Fartreply 13207/23/2012

Reading all the comments relating to Babs being given the role of Dolly Levi not one comments on whether her co-star Walter Matthau was cast correctly. I have issues with both. One would work either way, but not both. I never feel chemistry. However, I do enjoy the music and movie from time to time, but I would rather watch Damn Yankees with Gwen Verdon or Gypsy with Roz Russell. Babs was way too young, hence the original question. My reply would be either Shirley Jones, Angela Landsbury, Gwen Verdon, or Ginger Rodgers.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 13307/23/2012

Sorry if this has been repeated a million times, but I really don't feel like reading this whole thread. The reason none of those women you listed were chosen to star in the movie is that they were either considered old news or never weres.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 13407/24/2012

Dozens of names in this thread would have been better than Barbra in this film.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 13507/27/2012

As awful as she was as Mame, Lucy would have made a good Dolly.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 13607/27/2012

Okay, I'll admit that I've read only 80 of the previous posts, but where is Mary Martin's name?

by Butterfly's Fartreply 13707/27/2012

[quote]where is Mary Martin's name?

Her name is in the South Pacific thread.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 13807/27/2012

Jessica Tandy OP, would have been perfect

by Butterfly's Fartreply 13907/27/2012

[quote]As awful as she was as Mame, Lucy would have made a good Dolly.

I agree. She really could have pulled this off.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 14012/24/2012

I would have loved to see Lucille Ball in the part. Imagine Lucy stopping the big "Before the Parade Passes By" number to borrow a Marlboro Red from one of the extras.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 14112/24/2012

Pearl Bailey

by Butterfly's Fartreply 14212/25/2012

Moms Mabley

by Butterfly's Fartreply 14312/25/2012

Lucy could have done it

by Butterfly's Fartreply 14412/28/2012

Barbra was a great singer but she has been "miscast" in every role she has ever played. Her acting almost makes Madge's look oscar worthy.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 14512/28/2012

Bah, I think time has dispensed with idea that Barbra was too young to play Dolly. She wasn't exactly baby faced in this film. And Barbra at 40 looked pretty much like Barbra at 28.

She really threw herself into this role and her voice was spectacular. Love these recordings.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 14612/28/2012

Her being arguably too young was the least of it.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 14712/28/2012

Mae West was furious that Barbra imitated her in Dolly. Mae confronted Barbra at a private party and told her to never copy her again. Barbra laughed it off, but she was quite shaken up by Mae's scolding.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 14812/28/2012

Betty Garrett

by Butterfly's Fartreply 14912/28/2012

R148 Sorry Mae, but it's a little lump, but it rings.... Lol. Was she really upset????? How dumb. Mae West was having a huge revival back then. Everyone was doing her voice. I was doing her voice back then. I did a character on my campus radio show called Mae, another guy did Richard Nixon. Mae: Why don't you come up some time and show me why they call you tricky Dick. Inbetcha you're really really good. Dick: Goodness has nothing to do with it.

Babs was great in HD. She was not miscast, she would have been miscast for the bway version. Different sort ofeoduction, different sort of Dolly. Carol Channipng would have been all wrong for the movie. She could never have carried off something so "big." I do agree however with the DLer who wrote that they should have hauled out some diva from the.mgm glory days. so am y were sill around, in their 50,s, ready for one last fling.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 15012/28/2012

R150, R148 made that shit up. there's no documented evidence that Mae West did or said any such thing.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 15112/28/2012

Nobody would have seen the film if Bettys Grable, Garrett or Hutton or even Doris Day had been DOLLY.

Streisand was the hottest female star in the country when she was signed. Fox wanted a star that would guarantee an audience. Streisand asked for Elizabeth Taylor's fee - one million dollars - and got it.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 15212/28/2012

Um, not quite, r152. Streisand most definitely did NOT get $1 million for Hello Dolly.

Streisand hadn't had a movie released when she did Dolly, that's partially why Matthau and the other actors didn't respect her. The other part was because she was such a pain in the ass.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 15312/28/2012

Michael Crawford got $500,000 for Hello Dolly so why do you think that Barbra didn't get a million?

Michael Crawford then invested his 500K with a financial adviser recommended to him by John Barry. A year later they were both broke. And Crawford didn't work for nearly two years. He ended up working as an electrical company clerk until he finally got hired to do "No Sex Please, We're British" in the West End.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 15412/28/2012

[quote]Nobody would have seen the film if Bettys Grable, Garrett or Hutton or even Doris Day had been DOLLY.

Who do you think was going to see the movie? Gays and women who enjoyed the Broadway show. In 1969, young people and straight men weren't going to see Hello Dolly just like they didn't show up for Chicago, Dreamgirls or Evita.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 15512/28/2012

Mae West most certainly did confront Barbra at a party. Mae told Barbra that she had just seen HD and that Barbra needed to find her own persona and stop stealing from her.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 15612/28/2012

Two words.

Helen Lawson

by Butterfly's Fartreply 15712/28/2012

Was it ever offered to Lucy? What did Gary say?

by Butterfly's Fartreply 15812/28/2012

Some people consider Mary Martin's London 'Hello, Dolly' the best. As with so many Broadway stars, Martin never did well in films.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 15912/28/2012

Oh R98, what an inspiration you've given us! I want Datalounge to go into the VIDEO GAMING business and I want their first release to be "Angry Queens"!

I'll sell a zillion copies! Birds? Schmirds!

by Butterfly's Fartreply 16012/28/2012

I must be fucking bored to comment on this.

Streisand was inevitable. YUK, and that is that. Blockbuster musicals are never cast well for film. More often cynically. She was not 28 but younger and what "youth market" could there have possibly have been for this film in the late sixties?

Pearl Bailey would have slayed it, but would never be allowed.

The best choice, not mentioned here would have been Anne Bancroft. She was a current film star, the right age and a sexy funny and musical broad. Interesting match for Matthau too.

Lucy also would have been better than Streisand. Lucy could sustain a performance and was always great with little bits of business to do. Her voice had some pathos and she had that grand artificial manner lady/clown thing down.

Barbra could then still do what she has always done. Record the best songs, with her "special" modulations and sustained notes murdering all meaning.

I was 3 years old when this movie came out, and it was square to my parents and still terrible today. Streisand was embarrassing, I was not sure that she was a woman.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 16112/29/2012

The movie was an overproduced pile of sweet cement. Streisand's age was the least of its problems.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 16212/29/2012

I agree, "Hello, Dolly," or Streisand did not particularly connect to the youth market...unless you mean the gay youth market.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 16312/29/2012

R161=Julie Budd

by Butterfly's Fartreply 16412/29/2012

Barbra's miscasting in Dolly hasn't been discussed here this year but Dolly was not her only problem. People are staying away from her latest film in droves.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 16501/02/2013

I'd like to see a remake of Dolly with half the cast of the original.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 16601/08/2013


by Butterfly's Fartreply 16702/10/2013

There can never be enough Hello Dolly threads on datalounge.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 16802/10/2013

If they did it on Broadway today I think Faith Prince would be perfect in the title role.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 16902/10/2013

I'd love to see Donna Murphy do it, though I can't imagine her sticking through any revival again.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 17002/10/2013

The movie comes to life when BS sings. It doesn't matter that she's not 50. The idea that casting some washed-up middle aged actress in the lead would have improved everything is delusional.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 17102/10/2013

"It doesn't matter that she's not 50."

It must matter at some level, because the film was not a success. had she been well cast, it would have been successful.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 17202/10/2013

[quote]It must matter at some level, because the film was not a success. had she been well cast, it would have been successful.

It was among the top box office hits of the year.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 17302/10/2013

r173, "Airport" was even more successful. That doesn't mean it was a good movie either.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 17402/10/2013

[quote]The movie comes to life when BS sings.

A dead frog will twitch if you poke it with a probe, too.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 17502/10/2013

[quote]It was among the top box office hits of the year.

That's because all the ten thousand and one Extras in the film went to see it.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 17602/10/2013

[quote][R173], "Airport" was even more successful. That doesn't mean it was a good movie either.

It's an awful movie, except when Babs (or Louis Armstrong) sings.

But it did make a lot of money.

I never assumed that people would be so idiotic as to debate whether or not it was an artistic success.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 17702/10/2013

Age is irrelevant in the face of greatness. The part only demands the right actress. Of course, Streisand was all wrong. Too big in the hips.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 17802/10/2013

Debbie Reynolds would have been a good choice

by Butterfly's Fartreply 17902/11/2013

Aren't there something like three "Hello, Dolly!" threads running simultaneously right now? Clearly this wretched movie barely deserves just one.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 18002/11/2013

I've got all three on my watch list.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 18102/11/2013

R161, Streisand, no matter what her age, was not part of the youth movement.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 18202/11/2013

Babs. Vegas. 1969. Dolly medley.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 18302/11/2013

Thanks for that clip, R183. Interesting that she discusses in that clip how (and why) she was mimicking Mae West.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 18402/16/2013

The monologue mentioning the (expanded) list of Dollys could only have been written by a gay man. (Eve Arden, Gloria Jean & Peggy Ryan never did the role)

by Butterfly's Fartreply 18502/16/2013

Another unfortunate thing with Dolly: it should have been photographed in three-strip IB Technicolor rather than Fox's unstable DeLuxe color.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 18602/16/2013

Eve Arden as Dolly, R185.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 18702/16/2013

WW for R175!!!

Her miscasting in this film can only be equaled by her mistake in saying "yes" to singing at the Oscars this year. A total disaster.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 18803/01/2013

It's probably a good thing that Eve Arden took that stage name. Eunice Quedens sounds a bit off for leading lady.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 18903/01/2013

I would have enjoyed seeing Eve Arden in Dolly.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 19004/08/2014

Had they given the role to Ann Miller, they could have added a big tapdance routine to So Long, Dearie.

by Butterfly's Fartreply 19104/08/2014

Belated happy birthday to the thread. Two years old! Where does the time go?

by Butterfly's Fartreply 19204/08/2014

Any love for Rhonda Fleming as Dolly? Too sultry?

by Butterfly's Fartreply 19304/08/2014

How about Lainie Kazan?

Elia Kazan?

by Butterfly's Fartreply 19404/08/2014
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