The Matchmaker (1958)

JOSEPH ANTHONY

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5. 

USA, 1958.  Don Hartman Productions.  Screenplay by , based on the play by .    Cinematography by .   Produced by .   Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

If you can stand , you’ll love her in this film version of Thornton Wilder’s popular play, which was also the inspiration for the musical Hello, Dolly. Booth plays a chattery matchmaker in 19th century upstate New York whose latest pairing schemes are actually just a cover for her own designs on a wealthy merchant (). Ford’s overly anxious employee () runs away to the Big Apple and finds love with shopgirl (in a lovely performance). The costumes will catch your eye, and the script follows Wilder’s original play faithfully, but the pace lags and those of us who find Booth annoying will hardly make it halfway through (though you have to admit she’s more appropriately cast in the role than the hardly-thirty Barbra Streisand was).

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