Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Film | Funny Girl (1968)

I first want to thank everyone who has visited the Blame Mame Blog page on Facebook. I hope to see a lot more people over there. And here we have the second post of 'Funny Girl Day'... a review of the classic film.


"People who see FUNNY GIRL are the luckiest people in the world!"

Barbra Streisand - Fanny Brice
Omar Sharif - Nick Arnstein
Kay Medford - Rose Brice
Anne Francis - Georgia James
Walter Pidgeon - Florenz Ziegfeld

Director William Wyler's classic musical tells the story of legendary Ziegfeld Follies comedienne Fanny Brice (Barbra Streisand, in an Oscar-winning role), an unconventional beauty who grew up in the Jewish slums of New York dreaming of stardom. When Brice finally becomes the toast of Broadway, the resentful reaction of her husband (Omar Sharif) threatens to destroy their marriage. [Netflix]

The Prytania Theater (the only single screen theater left in Louisiana) has a Classic Movies series that they show every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. I went to see Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on the big screen a few months ago, but have been unable to see other films they were showing due to timing. I have missed out on seeing Singing In The Rain, All About Eve, Mary Poppins, among others. I did however make it to see the 1968 film Funny Girl a few weekends ago. I even dragged my in-laws and wife along for the ride.

The film starring Barbra Streisand is about the life of comedienne Fannie Brice. The story brings you from her beginnings in the Jewish community of the Lower East Side to her rise as the star of the Ziegfeld Follies. Along the way we have a love story and enough music to make your ears fall in love.

This was my first time seeing Barbra Streisand in a film that was not Meet The Fockers or Little Fockers. I have been intrigued by her ever since I seen a few of her numbers reprised on my favorite show... Glee. I now ask myself why has it taken me so long to see what all of the fuss is about. I found Barbra funny, charismatic, and one damn good singer. I must say my introduction to Barbra was a memorable one. We arrived late to the theater and the film had started a few minutes before we arrived. We walked into a dark theater and there was Barbra with her head leaned back on the seat talking about Ziegfeld was waiting for her. After seeing this, I knew I was in for a great film.
The music was top notch in this film. Every musical number was rich in tone and Barbra's voice soars in almost every scene. The dancing was fun, the costumes were gorgeous, the only thing about this film I didn't like was Omar Sharif's character Nick Arnstein. While he was definitely charming, I knew from the first time I saw his face he was no good for her.

There were so many quotes I found charming in this movie. In almost every scene Fannie Brice was saying something that I found entertaining, such as...

"You think beautiful girls are going to stay in style forever? I should say not! Any minute now they're going to be out! Finished! Then it'll be my turn!"

"I'm a bagel on a plate full of onion rolls!"

Seeing Funny Girl has me wanting to see more of Barbra's films. Not only that, I want to listen to more of her music... what a voice!

As a side note on that voice... I read that the final scene was filmed with live vocals from Barbra because of how much she disliked lip syching. Even if she was difficult to work  (being a perfectionist) for someone to deliver a scene live like that deserves to be difficult... what a talent!.

1 comment:

  1. Movies of today, no longer shows films. The highest compliment to pay for "Funny Girl" is that it is a big, big movie in the truest sense. Wylie brilliance is never more evident than in his treatment of the glorious sequence "Do not Rain on My Parade" extraordinary work the camera and the "Swan" and an incredibly effective establishment of the final "My Man".
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