Trivia / Hello, Dolly!

  • Box Office Bomb: The film. Budget, $25 million. Box office, $26 million (rentals), $33.2 million (box office total). Ultimately lost $10 million.
  • Creator Killer: After the theatrical adaptation bombed and The Cheyenne Social Club failed with critics, dancing great Gene Kelly never sat in the director's chair for another theatrical film for the rest of his life.
  • Cut Song: "Penny in My Pocket," the original Act One closing number, sung by Horace; when Jerry Herman realized audiences cared more for Dolly than Horace at that point in the story, he replaced it with "Before the Parade Passes By." "Penny" was, however, restored in the revival, but this time as the Act Two opener.
  • Genre-Killer: While the film eventually recouped its losses on home video, it's failure was ultimately the final nail in the coffin for lavish, big-budget live-action Hollywood musicals, as film language was then being redefined as more gritty and literal, making campy musicals a harder sell. Movie musicals have since been few and far between.
  • Hostility on the Set:
    • Barbara Streisand and Walter Matthau didn't get on at all. He disliked her so intensely that he refused to be around her except when required to do so by the script. He is famously quoted as telling Barbra that she "had no more talent than a butterfly's fart". He even refused to kiss her for the final scene, so a variation of clever angles and long distance camera shots were able to create a convincing kiss where their faces come close together without actually touching their lips.
    • On a break from filming, Matthau and Michael Crawford visited horse races nearby and saw a horse named Hello Dolly. Matthau refused to place a bet on it because it reminded him of Streisand, whom he detested. Crawford placed a bet on the horse. It won the race and Matthau would not speak to Crawford for the rest of the shoot unless absolutely necessary.
  • Throw It In: An alternate take of Dolly running off to the parade, in which Barbra Streisand holds onto her hat to keep it from falling off, made it into the 35mm prints, and the home video releases sourced from them. The 70mm prints, and the home video releases sourced from the 70mm negative, instead show Dolly holding onto her dress.
  • What Could Have Been: An A&E Biography revealed a screen test where Ann-Margret could've played Irene. Elizabeth Taylor, Doris Day, Shirley MacLaine, and Julie Andrews were considered for the role of Dolly.

  • Hello, Dolly! is the very first Hollywood film to be issued on VHS.
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