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.
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 and the Soviets over pork bellies, he decides to invest in the market, but needs to $3000 to invest. Henrietta then goes to extreme lengths to get the money by dealing with first a loan shark, then a madame, then the mob and finally cattle rustlers. All this in the name of love.Written by
Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>
Strident and forced, but acceptable screwball comedy
In retrospect, it isn't hard to understand why Barbra chose to make this limp, embarrassingly unfunny farce. The arty UP THE SANDBOX had just flopped and the future prospects of the just completed THE WAY WE WERE were unknown. Deciding that her reputation as a movie superstar couldn't take another project that was a commercial risk, she agreed to star in FOR PETE'S SAKE, a woefully misguided attempt at modern screwball comedy. Basically, everything that WHAT'S UP, DOC? succeeded at brilliantly, FOR PETE'S SAKE fails at miserably. Not only are the characters annoying and the puns infantile, but FOR PETE'S SAKE commits the biggest crime known to comedy: it just ain't funny. Throughout all of the typical comedic mix-ups and chases, the viewer will find his or herself moaning rather than laughing.
Barbra tries her best to pump the film up with her undeniable comic gifts, but there's no inspiration in this sitcom-level script, so even her earnest portrayal gets lost amid the murk. Michael Sarrazin fares even worse due to his badly underwritten character, and he has no chemistry with Streisand. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast doesn't fare much better. True, veteran comedic actress Molly Picon has a few amusing bits as Ms. Cherry, but none of the other supporting players are able to break out of their one-note characters. However, when a screenplay is this labored and unfunny, you can't really blame any of the actors - they obviously did the best with what they were given. It's certain that Barbra wouldn't have made this film had she known that THE WAY WE WERE was going to be a blockbuster hit, however that is not a good enough reason to excuse the poor execution behind this picture.
There are fans who like to say that the contrived box office hit THE MAIN EVENT or the off-beat box office flop ALL NIGHT LONG are Barbra's weakest films, but I must strongly disagree. THE MAIN EVENT may have been tired and predictable, but at least it was funny overall, and Streisand did had chemistry with her leading man in that one. And though ALL NIGHT LONG may have not been a perfect film (the film's soggy mid-section is it's biggest flaw), it did have a charmingly odd-ball perspective that made the movie seem bizarrely endearing. FOR PETE'S SAKE has none of the things that make THE MAIN EVENT or ALL NIGHT LONG entertaining. It just stumbles on to the finale, getting progressively worse as it goes. While FOR PETE'S SAKE was actually a box office hit in it's day, in the end it no doubt had a more damaging effect on Barbra's career. It did nothing but provide fodder for the people who never liked her to begin with.
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