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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 <email@example.com>
Barbra Streisand made one the biggest debuts in the history of films playing Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. She also won an Oscar as best actress of 1967 for her efforts. Although this musical bogs down a bit in the second half, Streisand keeps the viewer glued to the screen with her brilliant portrayal of this great star. Terrific musical numbers come one after another, and Streisand shifts gears effortlessly between comic gems like "I'm the Greatest Star" and "The Roller Skate Rag" and signature tunes like "People" and "Don't Rain on My Parade." Her closing rendition of "My Man" is very effective (and was copied by Diana Ross in Lady Sings the Blues). Big and bright and splashy, Funny Girl is one of the last great, old-style musicals produced in Hollywood. Omar Sharif, Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Kay Medford, Mae Questel, Frank Faylen, and Lee Allen co-star. Meford won a supporting Oscar nomination as the mother. Pidgeon should have been nominated for his role as Flo Ziegfeld. And I think Questel is a scream as the local yenta. But the center of this film is Streisand. Every number is a gem, and she looks great. There may be better musicals, but you'd be hard pressed to name a better performance in a musical than Barbra Streisand playing Fanny Brice in Funny Girl.
Others in the cast include Gertrude Flynn and Penny Santon as the card players, Tommy Rall as the prince in the ballet sequence, Mittie Lawrence as the maid, Gerald Mohr as the gangster, Inga Neilsen and Bettina Brenna as show girls, and Elaine Joyce in the roller skating number.
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