Barbra Streisand ... Fanny Brice
Omar Sharif ... Nick Arnstein
Kay Medford ... Rose Brice
Anne Francis ... Georgia James
Walter Pidgeon ... Florenz Ziegfeld
Lee Allen ... Eddie Ryan
Mae Questel ... Mrs. Strakosh
Gerald Mohr ... Tom Branca
Frank Faylen ... Keeney
Mittie Lawrence ... Emma
Gertrude Flynn ... Mrs. O'Malley
Penny Santon ... Mrs. Meeker
John Harmon ... Company Manager
Thordis Brandt ... Ziegfeld Girl
Bettina Brenna ... Ziegfeld Girl
The film Funny Girl is based on the 1964 Broadway musical that tells the story of Broadway star Fanny Brice. It was based on Isobel Lennart's book, music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Bob Merrill. The original production starred Barbra Streisand, Sydney Chaplin, Kay Medford, Danny Meehan and Jean Stapleton, and was presented by Brice's son-in-law, Ray Stark. The original production was nominated for eight Tony Awards, but won none.
Barbra onstage and backstage on Broadway
The film version of Funny Girl,was released in 1968, re-starred Streisand and Medford, Omar Sharif, Anne Francis (whose role was severely cut), Walter Pidgeon, and, in a bit part, Mae Questel. This was Streisand's first film.
A film sequel to Funny Girl followed in 1975, entitled Funny Lady. Together, both films make a sweet homage (if historically inaccurate) to the life of the talented comedienne and performer Fanny Brice. A previous Hollywood biopic allegedly based on Brice's life was released in 1939 and was entitled Rose of Washington Square; it starred Alice Faye, Tyrone Power, and Al Jolson.
Funny Girl follows the life of Fanny Brice, an aspiring Broadway actress. She starts off the show as the 'ugly duckling' struggling to find work on Broadway. Then, with the help of her dance instructor, Eddie, she lands a leading role and eventually becomes a major star. Meanwhile, she falls in love with a handsome gambler, Nick Arnstein. After a long courting process, in which Nick would leave for months at a time, Fanny and Nick finally get married. Fanny gives up her Broadway career to follow Nick, but she is forced to return to the stage when the couple runs out of money. In the end, Fanny has to use all her money to support Nick's crazy business ventures. Eventually, Nick gets arrested and goes to jail. In the end, they reunite to decide if they should stay together or split up for good. You will have to watch it and see what happens.
Omar Sharif as Nick and Barbra as Fannie
Release date September 18, 1968
Running time 151 min
Streisand won the Academy Award for Best Actress (she tied with Katharine Hepburn for The Lion in Winter); the film was also nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Kay Medford), Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Score of a Musical Picture (Original or Adaptation), Best Music, Song (Jule Styne and Bob Merrill for "Funny Girl"), Best Picture and Best Sound.
Barbra did not win any awards for her see through pajama pant suit!
I really enjoyed this film. Last year, I happend to catch a Fannie Brice movie on TCM. Barbra Streisand acted,sung and danced like just like Brice. Streisand really belts out those songs. Great Performances all around.
*Producer Ray Stark was Fanny Brice's son-in-law and the baby that Fanny (Barbra Streisand) gave birth to was Ray Stark's wife.
*Columbia wanted to cast Shirley MacLaine as Fanny Brice. However, producer Ray Stark, who also produced the Broadway show and was Brice's son-in-law, insisted on Barbra Streisand repeating her Broadway role
*Frank Sinatra was seriously considered for the role of Nicky Arnstein but Barbra Streisand vetoed this as she didn't like him.
*The final musical number, "My Man", was filmed "live" both to maximize Barbra Streisand's dramatic rendition and because she hated the lip-syncing process.