Hello, Dolly!: Sights & Sounds

Hello, Dolly! Single

20th Century Fox released Streisand and Louis Armstrong's duet on the title number as a single. It was an edited version of the track from the Soundtrack Album.

Below is an audio excerpt from Barbra's 1969 single “Before the Parade Passes By.” Arranged by Peter Matz, this single is completely different than the track that appears on the Dolly soundtrack. Barbra performed this arrangement in Las Vegas at the International Hotel.

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“Dolly” in Todd-AO

Todd AO Camera

Hello, Dolly! received top treatment from the Fox studios. It was filmed in Todd-AO, which used a 65 millimeter film negative and which was shot at 30 (not 24) frames per second. Cinematographer Harry Stradling was one of the first cameramen to use the format when he shot tests for Mike Todd, who developed the process. If a local movie theater had the right equipment, Dolly was projected at 70mm and produced a stunningly gorgeous picture. Many local theaters without the more expensive projectors received a 35mm reduction print.

For years, the home video versions of Dolly were struck from the 35mm prints, including the laser disk versions.

On screen credit for Todd AO process

(Above: this title card does not appear on older home video versions of Hello, Dolly!)

In 2002, Fox restored Hello, Dolly! and premiered a brand new 70mm print at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles. Cinemafiles who attended said that Dolly never looked better and Harry Stradlings cinematography was gorgeous and crisp on the big screen.

The Hello, Dolly! DVD that Fox released in 2003 was transferred from the restored 65mm interpositive. Unfortunately, it seems that the non-U.S. versions of the DVD were not created from the restored print.

Photo by Gordon Parks

Video of "Before the Parade Passes By"

Curiously, there is an alternate take in Hello, Dolly!. In the 35mm prints which were sent to movie theaters (and from which the home video versions of DOLLY were struck), Barbra almost loses her hat while running.

The 70mm prints (the restored version was used to strike the Region 1 DVD released by Fox in 2003) featured a different take, in which Barbra did not have any hat problems.

See for yourself in the comparison below:

* Many thanks to Mark Boyce for creating the above video from his collection.

“Dolly” on Blu-ray Disc

Dolly Blu ray cover

In 2013, 20th Century Fox released a Blu-ray of Hello, Dolly! featuring a digital restoration by FotoKem.

The Blu-ray is in the original Todd-AO aspect ratio—2:20:1 (not 2:35:1, as listed on the back cover). The Todd-AO screen credit appears in the opening credits, and Streisand does not almost lose her hat during “Before the Parade Passes By,” so this Blu-ray is obviously the remastered Todd-AO print.

According to FotoKem:

Under the supervision of 20th Century Fox's Barbara Crandall, the movie was remastered in 4K for the April 2 Blu-ray release. FotoKem also created a new 70mm print and a new 65mm intermediate positive (IP) for the studio for archival purposes. FotoKem began the restoration process with the creation of a new 70mm answer print and 65mm IP, followed by an 8K scan of the new IP using FotoKem's large format Imagica scanners. Those files were imported into FotoKem's digital restoration pipeline at 4K, where cleanup of artifacts, such as dirt, gate hairs, scratches and flicker, was performed.

When restoration was complete, the entire film went through a final grading pass at FotoKem, performed at 4K by colorist Walter Volpatto working in tandem with film colorist Kristen Zimmermann. Performing print and digital color timing of Hello Dolly! in sequence allowed FotoKem to deliver a pristine 4K master that closely matched the projected 70mm version of the classic film.

Video Resolution/Codec: 1080p/AVC MPEG-4


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