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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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
Funny Girl, first released in 1968, remains, a very enjoyable and most entertaining musical biography. Beautifully performed by Streisand, its possibly her best film, (some will argue that The Way We Were is her best performance,as an actress)/ Its is magnificently staged and photographed. Streisand's talents are emphasized, and displayed to perfection. This role (Fanny Brice) will forever be associated with her!! IT is to her credit that @38 years have passed and they have not revived this great musical on Broadway ... A recent revival at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn , N.J. was very successful, and there's talk of taking that production to NY, and Leslie Kritzer (new,unknown) was excellent, but more like Merman,than Streisand!! William Wyler, an underrated film director, handles the production like the true master he was. This ranks with one of his great films (Ben Hur, Mrs. Miniver, The Little Foxes etc). The score ,by the immortal, Jule Styne is and remains beautiful & memorable. People, Dont Rain on My Parade, The Greatest Star are standards. My Man,(not by Styne) a true tour de force conclusion, is a beautiful addition to the film, though ,in the original production, The Music That Makes Me Dance, worked very well also.. Ths supporting cast is excellent, especially, Omar Shariff, looking absolutetly "gorgeous" as Nicky Arnstein, and plays this role well. Kay Medford, as Mama, is terrific, and provides, many memorable moments. A Film to see again and again, makes you laugh and cry, beautiful to look at, and Barbra, is and will always be a treasure!!I rate this film a 10!! and feel it should rank higher on memorable film lists. The Musical film is a lost genre today (Moulin Rouge,is not a true musical in the classic sense) Its too bad!!Young audiences should be exposed to musicals, and Funny Girl should be seen by all !
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