- Funny Girl (film)
name = Funny Girl
image_size = 215px
caption = Original film poster
Barbara Streisand Omar Sharif
Jule Styne"(music)" Bob Merrill"(lyrics)"
cinematography = Harry Stradling, Jr.
editing = William Sands
released = 19 September fy|1968
runtime = Theatrical cut:
country = FilmUS
language = English
budget = $14.1 million
gross = $58.5 million
imdb_id = 0062994
"Funny Girl" is a fy|1968
musical filmbased on the stage musical of the same name. The semi- biographicalplot is based on the life and career of Broadway and film star and comedienne Fanny Briceand her stormy relationship with entrepreneurand gambler Nicky Arnstein. Its original title was "My Man". The screen adaptation, directed by William Wyler, paired Barbra Streisandwith Omar Sharifin the role of Nick Arnstein, while Kay Medfordrepeated her stage role, and Walter Pidgeonwas cast as Flo Ziegfeld.
The film was a commercial and critical success, gaining Streisand an
Academy Award for Best Actress. It became the top grossing film of 1968, and received seven Academy Awardnominations.
The plot follows that of the stage musical. It is set in and around
New York Cityjust prior to and following World War I. The story opens with " Ziegfeld Follies" star Fanny Brice, awaiting the return of husband Nick Arnstein from prison, and then moves into an extended flashbackof their story which is the bulk of the film.
The film is divided into two acts. In the first act Fanny is shown as a stage-struck teen who gets her first job in
vaudeville. She meets the sophisticated Nick Arnstein after her debut performance. They continue to meet occasionally over the years gradually becoming more romantically involved as Fanny's career flourishes and she becomes a major star. Eventually Arnstein seduces Fanny in Baltimore as they dueton the song, "You Are Woman, I Am Man". The first act finishes with Fanny deciding to give up her place in the Follies and follow her man. She brushes aside objections from her friends, and in a dramatic rendition of " Don't Rain on My Parade", she is seen racing to catch the ship he has taken to earn his fortune.
The second act opens with the couple on the ship. Fanny reveals to Arnstein that she'd like to become a Sadie - her name for a married lady. Arnstein, however, needs to make his fortune from a poker game before he'll agree to marry her. Fanny cannot take the tension of the game and goes back to their cabin to await Arnstein who returns in the morning, calling her Sadie before revealing all the money he has won. They marry, move into an expensive house and have a baby girl. Fanny goes back on stage with Ziegfield, and life appears very rosy. However Nick's business ventures fail and they have to move into a smaller apartment. He refuses financial help from Fanny, instead getting involved in a bonds
scamwhich goes bad and he is imprisoned for embezzlement.
The film now returns to Fanny in the theatre awaiting Arnstein. When he arrives the couple agree to separate, and Fanny sings the closing song "My Man" with tears running down her face.
Development began when
Isobel Lennartwas asked by Ray Starkin the early 1960s to write the screenplay, and then Jule Styneand Stephen Sondheimwere hired to write the songs. A treatment of Lennart's script was used by David Merrickas the basis for the stage musical which went out on Broadway while the film was still in development. Jerome Robbinswas brought on board to direct, and Mary Martinwas approached for the part of Fanny. Sondheim dropped out to be replaced as lyricist by Bob Merrill, while Carol Heaney joined as choreographer. Anne Bancroftwas Robbins' preferred choice for Fanny, but Bancroft wasn't happy with the songs, so Eydie Gorméand Carol Burnettwere considered. Robbins was unhappy with the script development and wanted Lennart fired. When Stark refused to fire Lennart, Robbins resigned, to be replaced by Bob Fossewho got the relatively little known Barbra Streisand to play the leading part in her very first movie. Streisand said she would play the part "as herself" because she felt that she and Brice were "very much alike". [Louis Calta, New York Times, July 26, 1963] Fosse then left the project to be briefly replaced by Garson Kaninafter Sidney Lumetturned it down, before William Wylercame on board and saw the project through to completion. [ [http://barbra-archives.com/Performances/streisand_funnygirl_broadway.html >> Barbra Streisand Archives | Funny Girl | Broadway ] ]
Filming started in August 1967 and finished in December. [ [http://www.barbra-archives.com/Films/streisand_funnygirl_2.html >> Barbra Streisand Archives | Funny Girl Pre-Production, Costume Tests, Behind the Scenes ] ] It went on general release on 19 September 1968. [ [http://barbra-archives.com/Films/streisand_funnygirl_film.html >> Barbra Streisand Archives | Funny Girl (movie) 1968 | Cut Scenes, Photos, Articles, more ] ]
The film paired
Barbra Streisandas Fanny Bricewith Omar Sharifin the role of Nick Arnstein. Kay Medfordrepeated her stage role as Rose Brice, and Walter Pidgeonwas cast as Flo Ziegfeld, with Anne Francisin the added role of showgirl Georgia James, although most of her performance was left on the cutting room floor. The role of Mrs. Strakosh played by Jean Stapletonon stage went to Mae Questel. Gerald Mohrplayed Tom Branca, while Frank Faylenwas Keeney.
Not all the songs from the original Broadway score were used. The most notable addition was "My Man," a Fanny Brice tune used as the film's finale.
#"I'm the Greatest Star" - Fanny
#"If a Girl Isn't Pretty" - Fanny, Mrs. Strakosh, and Rose
#"Rollerskate Rag" - Fanny and the Rollerskate Girls
#"I'd Rather Be Blue Over You (Than Happy With Somebody Else)" - Fanny
#"Secondhand Rose" - Fanny
#"His Love Makes Me Beautiful" - Fanny and Company
#"People" - Fanny
#"People (Reprise)" - Fanny
#"You Are Woman, I Am Man" - Nick and Fanny
Don't Rain on My Parade" - Fanny
#"Sadie, Sadie" - Fanny and Nick
#"The Swan" - Fanny
#"Funny Girl" - Fanny
#"My Man" - Fanny
Streisand won the
Academy Award for Best Actress, an honor she shared with Katharine Hepburnfor "The Lion in Winter". The film was nominated in the categories of Best Picture, Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Kay Medford), Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Score of a Musical Picture (Original or Adaptation), Best Original Song ("Funny Girl"), and Best Sound. [ [http://awardsdatabase.oscars.org/ampas_awards/DisplayMain.jsp?curTime=1199646603906 Session Timeout - Academy Awards® Database - AMPAS ] ]
The film was a huge hit in theaters, and became the top grossing film of 1968. Streisand received a
Golden Globeas Best Actress; nominations also went to the film, the title song, and Wyler. Lennart's screenplay won her recognition from the Writers Guild of America.
A 1975 sequel, entitled "
Funny Lady", with James Caanin the role of Brice's second husband, impresario Billy Rose, was considered inferior by most critics, but was still a commercial success.
American Film Institute recognition
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Songs:
Don't Rain on My Parade" #46
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes:
** "Hello, gorgeous" #81
AFI's 100 Years of Musicals:
Funny Girl," #16
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