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.
Henrietta Robins works out of her home and her husband Pete drives a cab to try to support her. When Pete gets a tip from one of his fellow drivers that a deal will be made by the Americans... See full summary »
Hillary Kramer, successful Perfume magnate awakes one morning to find that her accountant has robbed her blind and left for South America. Going through all of her remaining assets she ... See full summary »
Matchmaker Dolly Levi travels to Yonkers to find a partner for "half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder, convincing his niece, his niece's intended, and his two clerks to travel to New York City along the way.
Daisy Gamble, an unusual woman who hears phones before they ring, and does wonders with her flowers, wants to quit smoking to please her fiancé, Warren. She goes to a doctor of hypnosis to ... See full summary »
Can a bickering odd couple in Manhattan become friends and maybe more? Owlish Felix is an unpublished writer who vents his frustration by reporting to the super that the woman in a ... See full summary »
A young wife and mother, bored with day-to-day life in New York City and neglected by her husband, slips into increasingly outrageous fantasies: her mother breaking into the apartment, an ... See full summary »
Rose and Gregory, both Columbia University professors meet when Rose's sister answers Gregory's "personals" ad. Several times burned, the handsome-but-boring Gregory believes that sex has ... See full summary »
The continuing story of Fanny Brice following that depicted in Funny Girl (1968) is presented. An established star on Broadway as a headliner for the Ziegfeld Follies, Fanny and the rest of the world are hitting difficult times entering into the 1930s. Her marriage to Nicky Arnstein, who she still loves is ending in divorce, and even Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. is having trouble coming up with money to continue to produce the Follies. Along comes brash nightclub owner, song lyricist and wannabe impresario Billy Rose, who says he can raise the money and has the material to produce his own revue, which he wants to star Fanny. Fanny is both attracted to and repelled by Billy because of his chutzpah, his stubbornness and knowing that underneath his outer veneer is the soul of a true hustler... much like she was when she was first starting out and much like she still is now. Through their professional trials and tribulations, they slowly start to fall for each other. But Fanny admits that Nicky ... Written by
Barbra Streisand did not want James Caan to douse her with the talcum powder. She feared the powder was toxic and, when breathed in, would coat her lungs. Caan agreed to hold back, but when cameras were rolling he hit her with it anyway. The scene was only filmed once, and both stars got a big laugh of it. See more »
Near the end of the movie, in a meeting between Brice and Rose, he mentions taking over the Ziegfeld Theatre. Rose took over the Ziegfeld Theatre after NBC dropped their lease long after Brice was dead. The discussion could not have taken place as portrayed in the film. See more »
[at her first meeting Billy Rose]
If we hate the same people and you get your suit cleaned, it's a match.
See more »
Ray Stark as son-in-law of Fanny Brice continued his wife's mother's saga in Funny Lady. This film picks up where Funny Girl left off with Fanny Brice now split with Nicky Arnstein and trying to carve a career out again. Barbra Streisand as Fanny is now facing the Depression and possible ruin. Performers like Eddie Cantor and Groucho Marx were ruined by the stock market crash. When we first meet her she's in the office of Bernard Baruch who is played by Larry Gates and a good friend to have in those times, she also by chance meets his former office boy and stenographer Billy Rose who's carving quite a career of his own now.
Rose possibly because of his working with Bernard Baruch may have learned to stay out of the stock market, but he was a gambler, a conman, a promoter, all these requirements to be a Broadway producer. Apparently Brice had a thing for these kind of people. But Rose as played by James Caan isn't quite as smooth an article as former husband Nicky Arnstein.
In real life these two knew each other and worked together before the show Crazy Quilt which was a flop on Broadway only running for 79 performances. That actually because 1931 was mid-Depression wasn't bad for the time. Still the way it was a flop is as funny as either a Mack Sennett short or an extended I Love Lucy episode, you take your choice.
Omar Sharif appears again as Nicky Arnstein who Rose no matter what he does can't seem to compete against. Brice has gone on to radio and film, but still can't find the elusive personal happiness in her relationships. Her closest friend is Roddy McDowall, a fictional gay character brought into the story and he functions the way Daniel Massey does as Noel Coward in the Julie Andrews biographical film about Gertrude Lawrence, Star. Ben Vereen's character Bert Robbins is a combination of Bert Williams and Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson. Bert Williams certainly did appear with Fanny Brice in the Ziegfeld Follies, but he died in 1922. Bill Robinson so far as I know never did work with Fanny Brice.
One thing I do remember about Billy Rose, his name is on all kinds of song lyrics, a lot of which are incorporated here. Now his contributions to the writing of these songs is debatable, but he certainly could promote them, especially if they were part of a show he was doing. I do recall Vincent Youmans's family complaining bitterly about Funny Lady, saying he wrote the music for Great Day and More Than You Know and wasn't given a mention on screen.
The original songs for Funny Lady were written by John Kander and Fred Ebb. One of the Oscar nominations that Funny Lady got was for Best Original Song, another Streisand classic How Lucky Can You Get. The song was done that year also in a duet album in a nice version by Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.
The enduring popularity of the decade's greatest star Barbra Streisand appearing once again in the role that made her career, pre-sold Funny Lady to a built in audience. It holds up very well and Barbra has made Fanny Brice come alive again for another generation, even if there's more Barbra than Fanny in this film as opposed to Funny Girl.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?