Be Yourself

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While Barbra Streisand played musical-comedy star Fanny Brice in Funny Girl and Funny Lady, the closest Brice ever came to playing a Streisand-like role on film was in the 1930 comedy-drama Be Yourself. The Rose of Washington Square is cast as Fanny Field, the long-suffering girlfriend of no-account, gin-swilling prizefighter Jerry Moore (Robert Armstrong). After sacrificing everything to advance Jerry's career, Fanny is "repaid" when Jerry dumps her in favor of femme fatale Lillian (Gertrude Astor). Our heroine gets her revenge by telling Jerry's ring opponent to "go after" her man's nose, which was recently reconstructed by plastic surgery. As a result, Jerry loses the bout, but comes to his senses, returning to Fanny for good. Highlights include Brice's takeoff of "Dante's Inferno" and her song solo "Cookin' Breakfast for the One I Love," co-written by her then-husband Billy Rose. Unfortunately, the public didn't respond to Be Yourself, and Fanny Brice never again starred in a film, though she appeared as supporting player and guest performer from time to time.

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