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Funny Girl (1968)

G  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  19 September 1968 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 11,914 users   Metascore: 89/100
Reviews: 72 user | 51 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

Plain faced Fanny Brice rises to stardom on the New York Vaudeville Stage and maintains a turbulent marriage with suave gambler Nick Arnstein.

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(book), (from the original story by: based on the play with) (as Miss Lennart) , 1 more credit »
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Title: Funny Girl (1968)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kay Medford ...
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Lee Allen ...
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Mittie Lawrence ...
Gertrude Flynn ...
Mrs. O'Malley
Penny Santon ...
Mrs. Meeker
John Harmon ...
Company Manager
...
Bettina Brenna ...
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Storyline

The life of comedienne Fanny Brice, from her early days in the Jewish slums of the Lower East Side, to the height of her career with the Ziegfeld Follies, including her marriage to and eventual divorce from Nick Arnstein. Written by Randy Goldberg <goldberg@nymc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 September 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ena asteio koritsi  »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,100,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$65,560 (USA) (31 August 2001)

Gross:

$223,306 (USA) (5 October 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (roadshow)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm magnetic prints)| (35mm restored version)| (35mm restored version)| (35mm restored version)| (35mm restored version)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Barbra Streisand biographer Anne Edwards co-wrote the first draft of the screenplay (uncredited). See more »

Goofs

When walking out after Frances is born, chairs in the background are close, then spread out, then close again. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in Lights, Camera, Annie! (1982) 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

 
A Funny Girl Happened on the Way to the Follies.
21 February 2001 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

There are not enough superlatives in the world to bestow on Barbra Streisand for her rags-to-riches portrayal of 20s Ziegfeld Follies star Fanny Brice. To say she gives the single most triumphant musical performance ever showcased on the silver screen could be close. I am constantly bowled over with each viewing at how the 26-year-old Brooklyn novice ever pulled off this incredible stunt. Cinderella playing Cinderella. Even the finicky Hollywood powers-that-be, who NEVER use untried screen talent for such a weighty role (Julie Andrews and "My Fair Lady" come to mind), knew that nobody but Barbra could inhabit this part. She won the Oscar, naturally, and it was befitting that the newcomer should share this honor with perhaps the greatest screen legend ever, Katharine Hepburn.

Barbra's Fanny Brice first conquered Broadway where she lost the Tony award to another irrepressible talent, Carol Channing, for "Hello Dolly!" She got her revenge of sorts years later when she won the coveted screen role of Dolly due strictly to her auspicious debut in "Funny Girl." Transferred to celluloid, the movie loosens its bustles quite a bit and grants more breathing room for Barbra to expand her natural comic and dramatic talents both keenly and intimately amid the elaborate sets and costumes.

The timing of this film couldn't have been better for Streisand. The late 60s ushered in a new legion of stars. The rash of talent coming to the forefront purposely lacked the super-model good looks and incredibly-sculpted physiques of their predecessors. Audiences now clamored for realism...human imperfection. What less attractive guys like Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino did for the men, Barbra did for the distaff side. She dragged out her own Cinderella version, making a virtue of her odd looks and gawky gait while laying out her two big trump cards -- she was a supreme song stylist and a gifted, self-deprecating cut-up.

Hardly ever off screen, Streisand totally immerses herself in the role of chorus clown-turned-Ziegfeld headliner, weaving a spell around each and every song she touches. From the stubbornly optimistic "I'm the Greatest Star" to the profoundly touching "My Man", the actress matures Brice into the glowing swan of her own dreams, while exposing a deep, personal vulnerability she never recaptured (or allowed) again on screen -- to her detriment.

Despite heavy critical lambasting, I still say exotically handsome Omar Sharif was indeed the consummate choice to play wanderlust husband and card shark Nicky Arnstein. Polished, prideful and totally in his element as the global-gambling playboy, one can believe the ungainly Fanny (or Streisand, for that matter) placing this glossy god on a pedestal. It may not appear to be much of a stretch (in real life, Sharif was a world-class bridge player), but he owns the part as much as delightful Kay Medford does as Brice's droll Jewish mama. Everyone else, however, is pretty expendable. It's been said that Anne Francis blamed Streisand for her supposedly top featured role being butchered. If it's true, she has an open-and-shut case. Francis was left with a nothing part.

Highly fictionalized and weak as biography, Streisand champions above the sometimes grandiose material from the moment she utters her first classic words: "Hello, gorgeous!" And so she is.


38 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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who could play fannie brice in a modern broadway version? b_bernsteen14
Anne Francis' screen time to_pat
my man finale minnie1414
So, if this isn't the 1960s....? julilks26
funny? it's soo sad disco_diamond
Maybe I am crazy... kkristians9
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