Hello, Dolly!



A magical, old-fashioned musical.
  • Review Date: January 10, 2005
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Musical
  • Release Year: 1969
  • Running Time: 146 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a great classic musical for the whole family.

What's the story?

Dolly Levi (Barbra Streisand) is a matchmaker in turn of the century Yonkers, outside of New York. She is hired by Horace Vandergelder (Walter Matthau) to find him a wife. He also hires her to take his niece Ermengarde (Joyce Ames) to New York City, to encourage her to forget about marrying her artist beau, Ambrose (Tommy Tune). Instead, Dolly makes matches for his two clerks (Michael Crawford and Danny Lockin), advises them on how to get promotions from Horace, and helps Ermengarde get permission to marry Ambrose. Finally, after a series of intricate maneuvers, Dolly makes a match for herself, with Horace.

Is it any good?


This is one of the last of the big-time, old-fashioned musicals, with lavish production values and a dozen hummable tunes. The very slight story is bolstered by terrific singing and dancing -- staged by two masters of the genre: Gene Kelly, who directed, and Michael Kidd, who choreographed. The elaborate sets, costumes, and musical numbers make this movie a treat for the eyes and ears.

Dolly is almost a magical figure, yet with all the confidence it takes to transform the lives of everyone around her, she still hesitates when it comes to herself. She still mourns her late husband Ephraim, but she wants more out of life "Before the Parade Passes By." Yet when Horace finally proposes, she waits for a sign of Ephraim's approval. What she gets is a sign that Horace has the qualities she is looking for, that, as she suspected all along, his gruff exterior conceals a warm heart and a wish to help others.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Dolly doesn't just tell Horace the truth about what she thinks is right for him and for Ermengarde. How does she help the people in the movie to think differently about themselves, and how does that help them change? What does Dolly mean when she sings "Before the Parade Passes By"? When the young couples sing "We've Got Elegance," do they really think they are fancy? What would you do if you were Barnaby and Cornelius at the Harmonia Gardens? What is the difference between Dolly's view of money and Horace's view?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 16, 1969
DVD release date:August 19, 2003
Cast:Barbra Streisand, Michael Crawford, Walter Matthau
Director:Gene Kelly
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Topics:Music and sing-along
Run time:146 minutes
MPAA rating:G

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written bywiganopoly February 16, 2011
I love this movie! I could watch all the time. The music is great and catchy. Anyone who likes musicals will like this.
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 12 years old August 31, 2010

great movie but will bore the younger ones

i think this a marvolous movie one of my favorites too but t would probably bore kids under the age of 10 its long too its 149 mins.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 16 years old Written byMissa52 July 15, 2011


I absolutely loved this movie. The humour is spot on. If you like musicals, you will love this movie. It is too long for very young children. There is also is one song that gives a sexist portrayal of women, but is fitting for the setting.
What other families should know
Too much sex


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