Gene Kelly directs this snappy version of the Broadway musical based on Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker, starring Barbra Streisand as Dolly Levi, a matchmaking widow who has designs on New York moneybags Horace Vandergelder (Walter Matthau). To make her match, she spins a web of romantic intrigue while belting out show tunes (to accompaniment that earned an Oscar for Best Score). West End favourite Michael 'The Phantom' Crawford pops up as a song-and-dance man.
Hollywood's last multi-million dollar musical in the grand tradition boasts lavish production design, splendid choreography by Michael Kidd and, of course, the clarion-voiced Barbra Streisand as matchmaker Dolly Levi.
She was really too young for the role, played variously on stage by Carol Channing, Mary Martin, Ginger Rogers, Pearl Bailey, Dora Bryan and, improbably, by Danny La Rue.
But she was certainly in fine voice, making more of the songs by Jerry Herman than did Herman himself.
Michael Crawford acquits himself commendably as a song-and-dance man under Gene Kelly's direction.