Hello, Dolly! (1969)

hello dolly musical movieNot to be confused with Barbra Streisand’s 2003 performance on Oprah in which she sang “Smile” while a slideshow of her deceased dog played in the background.


Muy bien, Barbra.

This movie came about because Twentieth Century Fox needed another blockbuster musical like they’d had with The Sound of Music a few years earlier. The studio’s previous attempts at duplicating that success (namely Star! and Doctor Dolittle) lost them a huge amount of money, so, like Obi Wan Kanobi, Hello, Dolly! was their only hope.

Unfortunately, even though this movie did very well at the box office that year, in the end it lost the studio millions of dollars as well, and several top executives lost their jobs. On the bright side, though, I don’t have any more Star Wars jokes.

Hello, Dolly! stars Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau, and a young whippersnapper named Michael Crawford, who would later retire to the sewers as the original Phantom of the Opera, but only after adopting the alter-ego of Condorman.

The film was directed by good ol’ Gene Kelly. In fact, when Crawford was cast, some of the decision makers didn’t think his voice was all that great and wanted him dubbed, but Kelly insisted on letting Crawford sing his own songs, having had to fight similar battles for himself earlier in his career.

By the way, Louis Armstrong drops in for the title song and absolutely kills it. Love that guy. I also love the girl who plays Minnie, but that’s primarily because in real life her name is actually “E.J. Peaker” and I just think that’s hilarious. (E.J. Peaker, E.J. Peaker, E.J. Peaker…)

hello dolly musicalThis was supposedly the very first film released on Home Video, but I wouldn’t know since my earliest recollection of video tapes was a few Disney cartoons plus an obscene number of I Love Lucy reruns my mom recorded off of TV. (An early edition of Ladyhawke may have been on that shelf as well, but that could just be heresay.)

OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: The pig lady in this movie leaves me feeling nervous, disturbed, and unsettled about everything that brings peace and surety in this life.

Aside from the overall musical awesomeness, I really like this movie because it shows several different people who have put off “moving on” for too long and eventually take that step into the unknown.

Most of us have a pretty good idea of where we’d like to end up, or who we’d like to become, but often our daily choices don’t actually reflect those goals. In fact, the way we live our lives can gradually take us in the opposite direction.

As Quentin L. Cook recently pointed out: “Our daily conduct and choices should be consistent with our goals. We need to rise above rationalizations and distractions.”

Or, in the words of Randall L. Ridd: “You can get caught up in endless loops of triviality that waste your time and degrade your potential.”

Yes, there’s time for rest, time for laughter, time for unstructured goofing off with family and friends, but if we don’t dedicate serious time toward what we know we really want, we’ll always be dreamers instead of achievers.

So stand up, get off of BuzzFeed, and do something about your life before the parade passes by.

Wo unto him…that wasteth the days of his probation, for awful is his state!” — 2 Nephi 9:27


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