Funny Girl (1968)

Funny Girl
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General

Director: William Wyler
Actors: Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Kay Medford, Anne Francis, Walter Pidgeon, Lee Allen, Mae Questel, Gerald Mohr, Frank Faylen, Mittie Lawrence, Gertrude Flynn, Penny Santon, John Harmon, Thordis Brandt, Bettina Brenna

Available only as part of the Barbra Streisand Collection. One of the most popular movie musicals ever made, Funny Girl follows the early career of stage comedienne Fanny Brice - a role that earned Barbra Streisand the 1968 Oscar for Best Actress. As the film opens, only her mother believes Fanny can make it in show business. When she gets her first break at Keeney's Music Hall, her hilarious debut as a roller-skating chorus girl gets her hired as a comedienne. A year later Fanny is working for Florenz Ziegfeld in his famous Follies and brings the house down with an outrageous and unplanned number. Fanny becomes a star, falls in love and marries Nick Arnstein (Omar Sharif), a handsome gambler whose luck doesn't hold up. The film's many memorable songs include "Don't Rain On My Parade" and the Streisand classic "People." Contains the ever popular four and a half minute overture at the beginning of the film, during which there is only a blank screen.

DVD
Status: Normal
Run time: 151mins
Origin: UNITED STATES
Aspect Ratio:
Play It Again
by Jess Lomas,

William Wyler’s 1968 musical comedy Funny Girl tells the age-old story of a woman’s career succeeding at the cost of her relationship. It seems ladies really can’t have it all. The film, written by Isobel Lennart, is inspired by the life of Broadway star Fanny Brice and her relationship with Nicky Arnstein, a self confessed gambler. Lennart adapted the screenplay from her novel and the Broadway play of the same name, the latter of which starred Barbra Streisand. She reprised the role of Fanny in her feature debut and took home an Oscar for her efforts. From the streets of New York’s Lower East Side to the lush apartments of Park Avenue, Fanny’s fast talking and wit sees her skyrocket from failed showgirl to leading lady in the Ziegfeld Follies. Along the way she catches the eye of the han...

William Wyler’s 1968 musical comedy Funny Girl tells the age-old story of a woman’s career succeeding at the cost of her relationship. It seems ladies really can’t have it all. The film, written by Isobel Lennart, is inspired by the life of Broadway star Fanny Brice and her relationship with Nicky Arnstein, a self confessed gambler. Lennart adapted the screenplay from her novel and the Broadway play of the same name, the latter of which starred Barbra Streisand. She reprised the role of Fanny in her feature debut and took home an Oscar for her efforts.

From the streets of New York’s Lower East Side to the lush apartments of Park Avenue, Fanny’s fast talking and wit sees her skyrocket from failed showgirl to leading lady in the Ziegfeld Follies. Along the way she catches the eye of the handsome playboy Nick Arnstein (Omar Sharif), whom she eventually marries despite warnings from those around her, including her mother Rose (Kay Medford). As Nick’s gambling sees him lose the country estate and toe the line of financial ruin, Fanny’s career under the legendary Florenz Ziegfeld (Walter Pidgeon) continues to flourish, something which might prove to end her relationship with Nick once and for all.

There’s no denying this is Babs’ movie, and try as they might, the supporting cast can’t hold a candle to the light that she radiates through show-stopping numbers such as Rain on My Parade. There’s a certain chemistry between Streisand and Sharif; the sort of on-screen passion that makes the fate of their relationship all the more depressing. However, his performance in general is quite stilted, despite Wyler and Lennart making his character entirely more likeable than his real-life inspiration.

If one was to pick a problem with Funny Girl, it would be its length. At a bloated 151 minutes, the picture has its fair share of lingering scenes and even demands its own self-imposed intermission. Thankfully, the comedy Streisand brings to the role and the lure of an ill-fated love affair are enough to keep any musical lover invested.

4/5

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Member Reviews (6)

Livy
says
I didn't get why Barbara Streisand was such an icon and then I saw this movie. She is amazing, the songs are brilliant and the storyline is not bad (for a musical). A must for any broadway musical lover.
Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 See my other reviews
Clouseau
says
A charming little movie! Only thing I didn't like about it was the 'loser husband' she could have done better. Worth a look thought for the songs and her performance.
Posted Thursday, 22 December 2011 See my other reviews
karen
says
Great movie, music is memorable and Streisand is fantastic
Posted Thursday, 18 August 2011 See my other reviews
John A.
says
Posted Monday, 4 February 2008 See my other reviews
Janet H.
says
There was a little bit where the reception was not good, otherwise enjoyable
Posted Monday, 10 December 2007 See my other reviews
Andrew
says
Barbra - hello gorgeous !! An oscar winning performance ! A wonderful way to spend 2 and a half hours. A legend is born !
Posted Wednesday, 25 August 2004 See my other reviews