Barbra Streisand's second television special, consisting of her singing and doing comedy skits.

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Nominated for 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Barbra Streisand's second television special, consisting of her singing and doing comedy skits.

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Comedy | Music

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30 March 1966 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The musical arrangements of the song "C'est si bon" which was written in 1947 by Henri Betti (music) and André Hornez (lyrics) were made by Michel Legrand. In 1948, his father Raymond Legrand had led his orchestra to record the song with Les Soeurs Étienne. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kathy Griffin Is... Not Nicole Kidman (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

C'est si bon
Music by Henri Betti
French lyrics by André Hornez
English lyrics by Jerry Seelen
Orchestrated by Michel Legrand
Performed by Barbra Streisand
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User Reviews

Or My Name is Barbra Two
1 February 2003 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Following her successful 1965 television special My Name is Barbra, this second show copies the 3 act structure, with some changes. Seeing Streisand in color also allows the conceiver Joe Layton and director Dwight Hemion to legitimise her look in period settings, using her comic skill and vulnerability to present her as a circus clown, and feature a concert of songs performed live to help us further accept her strange face in close-up, as preparation for her movie stardom. It is one of the ironies associated with Streisand that her extraordinary voice eminates from a person with a conventionally ugly face. However, as Funny Girl would attest, talent is beauty.

The 1st act sequence filmed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art uses a pre-recorded vocal track Yesterdays, a la I'm Late from My Name is Barbra, as a frame for other songs inspired by art work. Streisand is a maid wearing a floor-length apron over black, a curious innocent and canvas for other personas, including a Victorian romantic, Marie Antoinette, a Modigliani-inspired Frenchwoman, and Nefertiti. The transitions are handled smoothly and cleverly, with Streisand's versatile singing voice also allowing for the characterisations. Mention is made of the scale of the cartoon building where Marie Antoinette appears at a balcony, abstract work is copied for Gotta Move, after Non Ca Rien the persona escapes from the painting, and the maid's naughty refusal to enter the nude painting.

In the 2nd act, Streisand has a monologue by Robert Emmett to the audience speaking in French, introducing us to her dog Sadie, and talking about pets, that reads as less disciplined than the monologue from My Name is Barbra, though she is still funny. She is also less outgoing here, perhaps natural because this is not our first view of her, and her reserved voice is a reminder that the loud Fanny Brice from Funny Girl is an act. The monologue is a prelude to her Face medley where she sings to circus animals, dressed in the ruffle and loose clothes of a clown. Streisand is wittily juxtaposed with an anteater, with well behaved animals as the first co-stars she has. She survives the showbiz adage to never work with children or animals, though the penguins who have trouble jumping out from a trough are a worry, and her trampoline flip may involve a stunt double.

The 3rd act is Streisand in concert, dressed in high-waisted white, her short hair as androgynous as the drag queen look she wears in Gotta Move. Peter Matz' orchestra fights her on Where Am I Going, but her best moments are when she looks into the camera in close-up in It Had To Be You and the beginning of Starting Here Starting Now, where we can look back at her constantly fascinating face. The fear she expressed in the concert sequence of My Name is Barbra is replaced by a confidence and perhaps a larger fan-based studio audience, where she reclines to sing C'est Si Bon without affecting the quality of her vocal, and the long shot of her lone figure for the split screen end credits is just as resonant.


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