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The life of Fanny Brice, famed comedienne and entertainer of the early-1900s. We see her rise to fame as a Ziegfield girl, subsequent career and her personal life, particularly her relationship with Nick Arnstein.
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Robert Z. Leonard
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film is one of over 200 titles in the list of independent feature films made available for television presentation by Advance Television Pictures announced in Motion Picture Herald 4 April 1942. At this time, television broadcasting was in its infancy, almost totally curtailed by the advent of World War II, and would not continue to develop until 1945-1946. Because of poor documentation (feature films were often not identified by title in conventional sources) no record has yet been found of its initial television broadcast. See more »
Fanny Brice was a great Broadway star and starred in 3 films between 1928 and 1930. Be Youself is the last of her starring films, although she would make "guest appearances" in several more through 1945.
In this one she is a nightclub star in love with a has-been fighter (Robert Armstrong). She decides to become his coach (along with her brother) and he becomes a success, but he falls for a gold-digging babe (Gertrude Astor). That's all the plot there is.
The film is badly directed and edited, with abrupt cuts and lousy continuity. But Brice is energetic and fun and sings a few numbers, the best of which is "For the One I Love." She also does a bizarre Dante number and a operatic spoof in close-up which is very funny. Brice may not have been a beauty but she was a great talent and had charm and talent to spare.
Armstrong (best known for King Kong) is pleasant as a palooka, and Astor is okay as the floozie. Harry Green is not funny as a lawyer brother. Marjorie Kane is good as a boop-a-doop girl, and G. Pat Collins is the other fighter. The red cap is radio star Jimmy Tolson.
Certainly worth a look to see the legendary Fanny Brice in action.
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