Review: ‘Funny Girl’

Barbra Streisand in her Hollywood debut makes a marked impact. The saga of the tragi-comedienne Fanny Brice of the ungainly mien and manner, charmed by the suave card-sharp Nick Arnstein, is perhaps of familiar pattern, but it is to the credit of all concerned that it plays so convincingly.

Barbra Streisand in her Hollywood debut makes a marked impact. The saga of the tragi-comedienne Fanny Brice of the ungainly mien and manner, charmed by the suave card-sharp Nick Arnstein, is perhaps of familiar pattern, but it is to the credit of all concerned that it plays so convincingly.

Streisand’s basic Grecian-profiled personality has not been photographically camouflaged.

The projection of Fanny Brice’s rise from the pushcart-laden lower East Side to Ziegfeld stardom and a baronial Long Island estate is achieved in convincing broad strokes.

The durable Jule Styne-Bob Merrill songs, from the [1964] stage score, are given fuller enhancement under the flexibility of the cinematic sweep.

‘People,’ ‘You Are Woman, I Am Man,’ ‘Don’t Rain on my Parade,’ ‘I’m the Greatest Star’ have been enhanced by the original Broadway songsmiths with ‘Roller Skate Rag’ a parody on ‘The Swan’ ballet and a title song, not part of the original score.

1968: Best Actress (Barbra Streisand).

Nominations: Best Picture, Supp. Actress (Kay Medford), Cinematography, Editing, Scoring of a Musical Picture, Song (‘Funny Girl’), Sound

Funny Girl

Production

Columbia/Rastar. Director William Wyler; Producer William Wyler, Ray Stark; Screenplay Isobel Lennart; Camera Harry Stradling; Editor Robert Swink; Music Walter Scharf (sup.); Art Director Gene Callahan

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1968. Running time: 145 MIN.

With

Barbra Streisand Omar Sharif Kay Medford Anne Francis Walter Pidgeon Lee Allen

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