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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Barbra Streisand made one the biggest debuts in the history of films playing Fannie 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 Pigeon, Anne Francis, Kay Medford, Mae Questel, Frank Faylen, Lee Allen, and Inga Nielsen co-star. Meford won a supporting Oscar nomination as the mother. Pigeon 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 Fannie Brice in Funny Girl.
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