7.6/10
16,856
90 user 55 critic

Funny Girl (1968)

The life of Fanny Brice, famed comedienne and entertainer of the early 1900s. We see her rise to fame as a Ziegfeld girl, subsequent career, and her personal life, particularly her relationship with Nick Arnstein.

Director:

William Wyler

Writers:

Isobel Lennart (based on the musical play by), Isobel Lennart (screenplay by)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbra Streisand ... Fanny Brice
Omar Sharif ... Nick Arnstein
Kay Medford ... Rose Brice
Anne Francis ... Georgia James
Walter Pidgeon ... Florenz Ziegfeld
Lee Allen Lee Allen ... Eddie Ryan
Mae Questel ... Mrs. Strakosh
Gerald Mohr ... Branca
Frank Faylen ... Keeney
Mittie Lawrence Mittie Lawrence ... Emma
Gertrude Flynn ... Mrs. O'Malley
Penny Santon Penny Santon ... Mrs. Meeker
John Harmon ... Company Manager
Thordis Brandt ... Ziegfeld Girl
Bettina Brenna Bettina Brenna ... Ziegfeld Girl
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Storyline

Early twentieth century New York. Fanny Brice knows that she is a talented comedienne and singer. She also knows that she is not the beauty typical of the stage performers of the day, she with skinny legs and a crooked nose among other physical issues. So she knows she has to use whatever other means to get her break in show business, that break so that she can at least display her talents. With the help of Eddie Ryan who would become her friend, Fanny is able to get a part in a novelty act in a vaudeville show, the renown from which eventually comes to the attention of famed impresario Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.. Fanny does become one of the Ziegfeld Follies most popular acts, despite she almost getting fired after her first performance by defying Flo's artistic vision for her closing number. Beyond stage success, Fanny also wants a happy personal life, most specifically with the suave Nicky Arnstein, a gambler in every respect of the word. Fanny loves him and loves that he loves her ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

People who see FUNNY GIRL are the luckiest people in the world! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 September 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Funny Girl See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,100,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$65,560, 2 September 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$223,306, 7 October 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (roadshow)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)| Dolby SR (35mm restored version)| Dolby Digital (35mm restored version)| SDDS (35mm restored version)| DTS (35mm restored version)| DTS | SDDS | Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Wyler's first musical. See more »

Goofs

The film implies that Brice was the first comedic performer hired by Florenz Ziegfeld, and the film further implies that Brice added humor to the Follies against Ziegfeld's wishes. In fact, Ziegfield had always included comedic talent in his shows and insisted upon injecting humor whenever possible. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Fanny Brice: [looking in the mirror] Hello, gorgeous.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original theatrical version included an additional overture before the opening credits, an intermission after "Don't Rain On My Parade," and exit music after the end credits. These additional music pieces have been restored for the DVD release. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Barbra Streisand (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

People (Reprise)
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Bob Merrill
Performed by Barbra Streisand
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great early Streisand...a reminder of how Babs was before egomania set in...
21 May 2005 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

Mention the name BARBRA STREISAND to me today and I can only think of the insane utterances she's made about President Bush and all Republicans and the war in Iraq and her stance as a Democratic activist. But back in '68, I was justly impressed with her work under William Wyler's firm direction in FUNNY GIRL.

Watching it again, I haven't changed my opinion. Her Fanny Brice is indeed as perfectly in character as any musical star performer in memory and she carries the film to heights it never would have reached with a less gifted actress/singer. Sad to say, this can't be said of her later characterizations.

I don't understand criticism leveled at OMAR SHARIF as Nicky Arnstein. He looks magnificent, even if his singing voice leaves something to be desired, and plays his role extremely well. The chemistry between him and Streisand is evident, giving credence to the rumor of an affair while filming. Their duet in "You Are Woman, I Am Man" is deliciously staged in a fancy restaurant setting. In fact, all of the settings glow under the technicolor lights.

The score is riddled with fascinating show tunes, all of them sung and staged in the best manner possible. I particularly enjoyed the early Roller Skate Rag where Streisand's comic abilities are shown off to such advantage. The supporting players do outstanding jobs, including Kay Medford as her Jewish mother and Walter Pigeon as Flo Ziegfeld whose first encounter with Streisand is played for laughs while establishing the boundaries between them. Poor Anne Francis is given only limited screen time, but even she is worth watching in a role that must have suffered from too much editing. And Streisand's first big scene in a Ziegfeld musical is hilarious, hiding a pillow beneath her wedding gown to the extreme shock of Mr. Ziegfeld while the chorus girls can hardly stifle their laughter.

Highly recommended as a film musical that put Streisand on the map. She even looks beautiful in certain close-ups and camera angles, glowing under the artistry of cameramen skilled in photographing her imperfect face in the most flattering manner. As noted by others, the hairdos and styling do not always suggest the 1920s period, but in a musical where so much talent is on display, it hardly matters.

What is really striking is that Streisand is so confident and assured in every phase of her performance that it is hard to believe this was her first chore before the cameras. How much of this is due to the craftsmanship of William Wyler, I don't know. Her work here has to be ranked as one of the greatest acting "firsts" ever for a musical star performer. Streisand fully deserved the Oscar and should not have been in a tie with the much over awarded Katharine Hepburn's LION IN WINTER--as annoyingly false as any of Hepburn's later performances were bound to be.


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