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Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Matchmaker (1958)

In 1884 New York, a widow (Shirley Booth) supports herself by various means including matchmaking. She is currently looking for a wife for a wealthy Yonkers merchant (Paul Ford), who has his eye set on a young milliner (Shirley MacLaine) but the matchmaker has her own marital plans for the merchant. The Thornton Wilder play is perhaps most famous for its musical incarnation HELLO DOLLY! but this film version of the 1955 Broadway hit is a real delight. With its theatrical roots all in tact (the actors often break the fourth wall and speak directly to the audience), its an often sparkling comedic adventure with the players appearing to have a great time. This was the last of Shirley Booth's four film roles and her comedic timing is impeccable. Directed by Joseph Anthony (THE RAINMAKER). With Anthony Perkins as Cornelius, Robert Morse (the only actor from the original Broadway cast) as Barnaby, Perry Wilson as Minnie Fay, Wallace Ford and Gavin Gordon.

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