- Actors: Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Kay Medford, Anne Francis, Walter Pidgeon
- Directors: William Wyler
- Writers: Isobel Lennart
- Producers: Ray Stark
- Format: Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
- Language: English
- Region: All Regions
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Sony Pictures
- Release Date: Sept. 17 2013
- Run Time: 151 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 80 customer reviews
- ASIN: B0033AI4PM
Funny Girl [Blu-ray] [Import]
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Ah, Barbra. Of all her onscreen personas, she sparkles in none as she does in her role as 1930s comedian Fanny Brice in the musical Funny Girl. Portraying the life of this star of stage and radio, Brice preens and prances and sings, captivating her audience both onscreen and off. Fanny Brice started life on the Lower East Side of New York, the daughter of a Jewish saloon owner. Not the prettiest girl around, Brice still managed to quickly rise to stardom as a performer in the Ziegfield Follies. A shrewd, obstinate woman, Brice dictated her own success story on stage; things were a different matter in romance. Falling hard for the stunning Nick Arnstein (suavely played by Omar Sharif), Brice must navigate a difficult marriage. While kids may love the tunes (which include the now-infamous "People," as in "People who need people are the luckiest people in the world"), the plot is definitely adult-oriented. Enjoy this one, but don't go too far out of your way for the sequel, Funny Lady. --Jenny Brown --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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However, virtually everything that FUNNY GIRL has working for it would be worthless without Barbra Streisand's absolutely phenomenal performance. I honestly cannot think of enough good descriptive adjectives to do justice to her amazing performance in this film. She handles drama, comedy, music numbers, and tearjerking sentiment with equal aplomb, and she does it all better than any actress before or since. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had no choice but to honor her with the Oscar for Best Actress (in an extremely rare tie with academy favorite Katherine Hepburn; only the second tie in Oscar history to date), it is a performance that is nothing less than perfect.
About the DVD: Columbia-Tristar has done an excellent job in bringing FUNNY GIRL to DVD. The restoration of the original source elements may have taken nearly three years to complete, but it was time well spent - the picture quality is gorgeous! Sure, there are a few nicks on the print, but the color, sharpness, and virtually everything else is nearly flawless. Quite possibly one of the best vintage transfers yet. The sound is also excellent, and while there are no new features included (only vintage featurettes - I expect we'll see a special edition re-issue in the future) the menu design is fantastic.
The songs are all such familiar classics by now you'll want to sing along, but don't sing too loud; Striesand's voice is a thing of beauty and truly a joy forever.
The young Fanny Brice (Barbra Streisand) desperately wants to be a success in show business and after a shaky start thinks she has made it when she lands a part in a big Ziegfeld show. Ziegfeld (Walter Pidgeon) and Fanny clash over various matters connected with the show due to her strong personality but her talent shines through and she eventually becomes a major star. She meets gambler Nicky Arnstein (Omar Sharif) and falls madly in love with him. Unfortunately, his gambling habits get him in trouble with the police causing Fanny much sadness and anguish. However, she manages to overcome these problems to concentrate on her career and becomes a big Broadway star.
The film was directed by the legendary William Wyler and produced by Ray Stark (who was in fact Fanny Brice's son-in-law!). The film had a superior supporting cast including Kay Medford (repeating her Broadway role as Rose Brice), Anne Francis (Georgia James), Lee Allen (Eddie Ryan), Gerald Mohr (Branca), and Frank Faylen as Keeney.
Some favourite lines from the film:
Barbra Streisand (to her reflection in theatre mirror): "Hello, gorgeous".
Lee Allen (to Streisand): "Are you sure you can rollerskate?". Streisand: "Can I rollerskate?".
Streisand (to Walter Pidgeon): "O.K. you win. You don't win fair but you win!".
Due to the success of "Funny Girl" a sequel was made (in 1975) called "Funny Lady" with Streisand again and James Caan as Billy Rose. Omar Sharif also returned in a cameo role but the sequel was not as popular as the original. "Funny Girl" was one of those rare occasions when the perfect part came along with the perfect actress to play it. One of the last of the great Hollywood musicals. Clive Roberts.
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