Shirley Booth is Dolly Levi, impoverished matchmaker, who has set her designs on matchingrich curmudgeon Paul Ford with herself. Ford, meanwhile, has his eye on young ShirleyMacLaine, who is so desperate to get married that she feels any man will do. Fortunately, there issomeone more her age lurking about: Anthony Perkins, pre-Psycho, when it was possibleto imagine him as a romantic lead.
That this is an adaptation of a play is painfully obvious, what with th… rather stodgy mise-en-scène and the endless asides to the camera. One keeps expecting the cast to burst into song, onlythey don’t. Time has not been kind to this piece.
The mono sound does well by the music, giving the score a warm, clean delivery. Thedialogue isn’t quite as strong. It’s clear enough, but there is some background hiss. Distortion,though, is minimal, and this is a film that’s closing in on its 50th anniversary.
Barring some edge enhancement halos, the picture is excellent. The image is very sharp,there is no print damage, and the grain is very slight, especially given the film’s vintage. Theblack-and-white photography looks great, and the blacks are very strong. A handsome-lookingtransfer, in other words.
The comedy feels rather forced today, though the casting is rather interesting inretrospect.