- Feb 8, 1999
- Real Name
- Robert Harris
Gene Kelly's 1969 Hello, Dolly! is one of those magnificent musical entertainments that seems to age like the finest wine. It gets better with every viewing. Mine initial viewing was in early 1970, in 70mm.
A bit of background from the technical side. The film was photographed by Harry Stradling, cut by William Reynolds, with production design by John De Cuir. Take a look at the audio credits, and you'll see Murray Spivack.
Do a bit of quick research on these names, and you'll find that Hello, Dolly! is cinematic royalty.
There are so many times, when so much quality and talent goes into a production, and then it hits home video, and the work of so many professionals is lost.
I'm thrilled to find that this is not the case here. Fox's archival and mastering team, with necessary requisite surviving elements at hand, has been doing masterful work. Hello, Dolly! tops everything that has come before.
As a 65mm production, I feared that it might be problematic, or possibly just imperfect, but all of the right hands have touched this one. Beginning with Schawn Belston and his staff at Fox, to the creation of a new large format film element, and the necessary scanning and color by the team at FotoKem, this particular Hello, Dolly! deserves the exclamation point.
Everything has been performed to perfection. The scanning is so precise, that one can see the final long shot over the Hudson match dissolve into the final credit roll.
An absolutely clean image, but with all of the proper grain structure in place, we have a final result that is totally cinematic.
Color, resolution, black levels (red levels!), shadow detail. Everything is as it should be.
Watching and listening to it just made me smile.
There has been quite a bit of discussion recently regarding the future of home entertainment, and specifically 4k. If it ever occurs, and by that I don't refer to faux 4k, but rather a disc running full 4096, Hello, Dolly! should be on the first short list of product to be released. This master is that good.
While viewing, one of those strange thoughts went through my mind. Something that happens all too often, when people go to see a musical. As I was watching the huge Hello, Dolly! production number, I could almost hear someone a few seats away, whispering to their companion...
"Oh, is that from this?"
An iconic piece of entertainment.
A perfectly produced Blu-ray.
We'll be seeing this film discussed early next year, when votes come in for Best Catalog title of 2013.
Image - 5* (the * denotes something extraordinary and superb)
Audio - 5
Very Highly Recommended.