In the nightclub where entertainer Fannie Field sings, two rivals for her favors, Jerry Moore and Mac McCloskey, come to blows before either realizes the other is a boxer. Jerry loses the fight but wins Fannie, who becomes his trainer with the aid of her schlemiel brother. Aside from a slight tendency to lie down in the ring, Jerry is successful. But success brings the inevitable blonde; does this mean heartbreak for Fannie? Features the star's inimitable ethnic humor. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
"Be Yourself!" is only one of a handful of films made by Fanny Brice. Despite being a bit of a sensation for the Ziegfeld Follies, she never hit it off in movies. And, as an astute reviewer already pointed out, the Fanny Brice we all are familiar with is really Barbra Streisand PLAYING Fanny. Here, you get a rare chance to actually see her as she really was in films. Sadly, what I saw was NOT good at all. Fanny's Jewish ethnic humor is off-putting today, though it might have played better back in 1930. The same can be said DOUBLE for that of Harry Green as her brother. His routine is completely one-dimensional and dumb. And, THE joke was that he was a shyster Jewish lawyer--a nasty stereotype that, again, played well back then but which is painful to watch today.
When it comes to plot, it's pretty limp. Robert Armstrong is a nasty guy who loves to punch people, so Brice and her on-screen brother decide to become his boxing managers! Despite knowing nothing, the guy inexplicably wins---and none of this makes any sense. On top of the plot, there are some songs (not good ones) and some very ethnic humor which falls flat. Frankly, there's just not much to like about this film--it's terribly written, dull and the humor is so incredibly awful. Not worth your time--even if you want to catch a glimpse of Fanny.
After seeing this film, I think I understood why Brice did few films. She just wasn't enjoyable in the least and you wonder what Ziegfeld and the audiences of the 1920s saw in her. Painful and awful.
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