My Name Is Barbra (1965)

TV Special  |   |  Family, Music
8.5
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Barbra Streisand's first television special, featuring a medley of her hit songs, such as "People," "Happy Days Are Here Again" and "My Man."

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Title: My Name Is Barbra (1965– )

My Name Is Barbra (1965– ) on IMDb 8.5/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Barbra Streisand's first television special, featuring a medley of her hit songs, such as "People," "Happy Days Are Here Again" and "My Man."

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Family | Music

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28 April 1965 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Bergdof Goodman scenes were "a nightmare" for the director and crew, as the first floor of the store was lined with mirrors. Barbra Streisand filmed this scene on a Sunday (her day off from "Funny Girl"). See more »

Goofs

At least 3 times during the "POVERTY MEDLEY" in ACT TWO, the front of the studio camera and individual crew people appear in the mirrors in the Bergdorf-Goodman store scenes. During "Second Hand Rose", the camera shows up in two of the oval shaped counter-top mirrors (screen right)near the beginning of the interior segment @30:24 on the DVD. Next @31:03, a single crew man in a dark suit and bow tie is clearly visible in another counter-top oval mirror (screen right) just as Barbra approaches immediately prior to putting on a very large, heavy necklace from the counter top. Finally, @32:09 a young crew guy with dark hair and an open shirt is clearly visible for several seconds in another oval mirror (lower screen left) as Barbra dances in a big mink coat singing "I Got Plenty of Nothin". See more »

Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: Episode dated 25 April 1965 (1965) See more »

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THE WAY SHE WAS Was Incredible!
25 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Streisand fans only familiar with her work from the FUNNY GIRL film onwards need to see this show to see what a brilliant performer Streisand WAS - BEFORE she achieved her goal of becoming a Movie Star. There had never been a female singer quite like her ever before, and there never would be again (sorry, Celine - only in your dreams!), but never again would Streisand sing with the vibrancy, energy, and, above all, the ENTHUSIASM and VULNERABILITY with which she performs here - by the time she gets to that Central Park concert only 2 or 3 years later, she'd been filming FUNNY GIRL in Hollywood and her performing style has become less spontaneous and more reserved, more rehearsed (and, let's face it: more angry) - there's a wall between her and the audience. Live performing was never what she really enjoyed - she did it because she knew it was her ticket to Hollywood, and once she no longer had to do it she's done it as little as possible (and oh, that legendary stage fright provides such a good excuse!).

Her vocals here and on her earlier Judy Garland Show appearance are incredible: Streisand could truly make an old song sound new again, and composers such as Richard Rodgers and Harold Arlen loved her for it. But by the 1970s Streisand was trying to be a "rock" singer, her albums pandering to the younger audiences, with over-wrought shrieking of songs that were unworthy of her effort or her voice.

In the '80s she came back with that brilliant "Broadway Album," but went on and on about what a struggle it was to get it done, how "they" told her not to do it, etc. Oh please - when has anyone told Streisand what to do? She could have been doing good stuff like that all along, bringing audiences UP to her level instead of stooping to what she thought the young public wanted. (The "Back to Broadway" sequel wasn't nearly as good, as Streisand seems to feel it necessary to improve on other composers' work: if he were alive at the time, would Richard Rodgers have even recognized his own "Some Enchanted Evening"? Rodgers, notorious for taking singers to task for playing around with his melodies, would undoubtedly have been after Streisand to sing what he'd written! She also blows Michael Crawford off the CD in their duet of "Music of the Night" - apparently reminding him just whose CD this is. Why does she insist on taking songs that are duets and singing them by herself, and songs that aren't duets and singing them as duets with someone else who she then goes on to diminish?)

Supposedly Judy Garland took Streisand aside and advised her, "Don't let them do to you what they did to me," advice Streisand wasted no time in heeding - despite her protestations to the contrary, surely it looks like it's always been her way or the highway. Just imagine - SHE told the CBS brass how her first TV special would be done - no guests, just HER.

But nobody can argue with the results that are so evident here. Treat yourself to this brilliant musical phenomenon BEFORE she was a legend - you'll be absolutely amazed at the difference!

PS - I watched this again last night (12/01) after not having seen it for many years - it was even BETTER than I remembered! The 1st Act begins with "I'm Late" and includes "Make Believe" and "How Does the Wine Taste," and Barbra's homage to childhood, "I'm Five" - it climaxes as Streisand appears with full (and I mean FULL) orchestra to sing "People" - she wasn't bored with the song yet and although it's a somewhat shorter rendition it really soars - compare it to some of her later "auto-pilot" versions. The 2nd act (after Streisand's "kooky" schtick-patter, which hasn't changed much over the years) is the famous series of Depression songs set amidst the extravagance of Bergdorf-Goodman's.

The 3rd Act is the stunner - call it "Streisand, the Orchestra, and the Audience" (although we never see the audience that supposedly witness this historic event). With her fear of audiences and dislike of such performing, this may have been the toughest part for her, but if so, to her credit it doesn't show. She tears through "Lover Come Back to Me" and the torchy "When the Sun Comes Out" (though I can't remember in which order!), the poignant "Why Did I Choose You? (one of my all-time favorite Streisand performances) and offers a medley of FUNNY GIRL songs, including (of course) "Don't Rain on My Parade" and my favorite song from the score, "The Music That Makes Me Dance". Explaining that "Fanny Brice sang a song like that in 1922, and it made her the toast of Broadway", Streisand then sings "My Man", and it's almost a dress-rehearsal template for her later screen rendition in the FUNNY GIRL film (the main difference being that the black gown here is sleeveless - her film gown had long sleeves and against the black background all we saw were her hands and face), but the vocal here is more urgent and charged than her later film vocal. (Her performance of the song has everything to do with Streisand and nothing to do with Fanny Brice who, of course, never sang the song in such an all-out manner as Streisand does here or in the film - see THE GREAT ZIEGFIELD for a glimpse of Brice's more understated version.) The show ends with Streisand singing "Happy Days Are Here Again" over the credits.

When it was over I said to the friend I was watching it with, "She has NEVER, EVER, done anything better!"

And she was TWENTY-ONE YEARS OLD!


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