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Funny Lady (1975)

Story of singer Fanny Brice's stormy relationship with showman Billy Rose.

Director:

Herbert Ross

Writers:

Jay Presson Allen (screenplay), Arnold Schulman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 6 nominations. See more awards »

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More Like This 

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbra Streisand ... Fanny Brice
James Caan ... Billy Rose
Omar Sharif ... Nicky Arnstein / Nick Arnstein
Roddy McDowall ... Bobby
Ben Vereen ... Bert Robbins
Carole Wells ... Norma Butler
Larry Gates ... Bernard Baruch
Eugene Troobnick Eugene Troobnick ... Ned (as Gene Troobnick)
Heidi O'Rourke Heidi O'Rourke ... Eleanor Holm
Royce Wallace Royce Wallace ... Adele
Lilyan Chauvin ... Mademoiselle
Samantha C. Kirkeby ... Fran (as Samantha Huffaker)
Matt Emery Matt Emery ... Buck Bolton
Joshua Shelley Joshua Shelley ... Painter
Cliff Norton Cliff Norton ... Stage Manager
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Streisand & Caan - How Lucky Can You Get!


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 March 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Naljakas daam See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$39,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$39,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The book "Barbra: The Second Decade" features stills from several scenes cut from the final film; these include: more or longer scenes with Ben Vereen, and scenes of her as Fanny Brice's popular "Baby Snooks" radio character and a dramatic scene with Brice and her very young daughter. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, in a meeting between Brice and Rose, she quips they were married for four years. In reality, they were married for nine years. See more »

Quotes

Fanny Brice: [at her first meeting Billy Rose] If we hate the same people and you get your suit cleaned, it's a match.
See more »


Soundtracks

I Found a Million Dollar Baby (in a Five and Ten Cent Store)
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Mort Dixon and Billy Rose
Performed by Barbra Streisand
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not Much under the Hood of this Star Vehicle
22 July 2012 | by aschelandSee all my reviews

I first saw "Funny Lady" in 1979, when it was in heavy rotation on Showtime. At the time I loved it. Not a surprise: I was 12, in the early stages of my Barbra Streisand obsession and it was the first one of her movies I had ever seen. When it appeared on TCM recently I decided to take another look now that more than 30 years have passed, my Streisand obsession has cooled and I've since seen "Funny Girl," as well as everything else in the Streisand filmography save "Little Fockers" (you have to draw the line somewhere). I still enjoyed it, but I saw it for what it was: a contractual obligation.

Streisand didn't want to make the movie — reportedly only agreeing to it when threatened with a lawsuit — and it shows in her performance, the star often appearing annoyed and impatient with the proceedings. But then, who could blame her? The story, loosely based on Fanny Brice's marriage to Billy Rose, isn't fully developed here, lazily told and clumsily directed by Herbert Ross, with montages filling in the cracks between a few dramatic moments and musical numbers. In fact, "Funny Lady" at times plays like one of those vapid vehicles Hollywood sticks singers in just to cash in on his/her popularity, like "Burlesque," to cite a recent (and much worse) example. James Caan, as Rose, is good but he and Streisand never quite click, as if the stars were filmed in separate sound stages and spliced together in the editing room. Roddy McDowell flits at the periphery in the thankless role of Fanny's gay friend/assistant; Omar Sharif reprises his role as Nicky Arnstein in what's little more than an extended cameo, his character now a money grubbing cad; and Ben Vereen is in one musical number and quickly dismissed (the rest of his role landed on the cutting room floor).

I was also struck by how thrown-together the movie looked, with sets and costumes looking like castoffs from "The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour" (the "Great Day" musical number in particular could just as easily have been part of Cher's Vegas performances in the '70s). And how about that final scene, set more than a decade later, with Streisand in a horrible helmet of gray hair and Caan's hair and mustache sprayed white, yet neither star looking a day older than 35.

And yet Streisand can still enthrall. I loved her musical numbers, particularly her bitter rendition of "How Lucky Can You Get," the ballad "If I Love Again," and the "Don't Rain on My Parade"-wannabe, "Let's Hear it for Me." Barbra even has some good dramatic moments, particularly a somber scene where Fanny and Rose discuss their relationship after she's catches him in bed with the star of his aquatic revue, Eleanor Holm. "Funny Lady" is less a sequel to "Funny Girl" than a star vehicle. Luckily, Streisand has enough power to drive it, even though this star vehicle doesn't have much under the hood.


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