Funny Girl (1968)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Barbara Streisand elevates this otherwise rote melodramatic musical with her ultra-memorable star turn as Fanny Brice.

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Movie Info

"Hello, gorgeous!" was Barbra Streisand's first comment to the Oscar statuette which she won for her performance in this biopic of entertainer Fanny Brice. This is also her first line in the film itself, the catalyst for a movie-long flashback. Repeating her Broadway role, Streisand stars as legendary comedienne Brice (1891-1951), whose life until the mid-1920s is romanticized herein. A gawky New Yawker, Brice fast-talks her way into show business, certain that she's destined to be "The Greatest Star." Hired as a "dramatic" singer by impresario Flo Ziegfeld (Walter Pidgeon), Brice defies orders to play it straight, turning a "Beautiful Bride" tableau into a laugh riot by dressing herself up as an extremely pregnant newlywed. The stratagem turns Brice into an overnight star and the toast of Broadway. But all is not roses for Brice, especially in her turbulent private life as the wife of big-time gambler Nicky Arnstein (Omar Sharif). Nicky at first finds it amusing to be referred to as "Mr. Brice," but he begins to resent his wife's fame and fortune and starts taking foolish risks with other people's money. The film was nominated for 8 Oscars, including Best Picture and Kay Medford for her portrayal of Brice's mother, Rose. Funny Girl was produced by Ray Stark, Brice's real-life son-in-law, who had enough material left over for a sequel, 1975's Funny Lady. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Rating:
G
Genre:
Classics , Comedy , Drama , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Columbia Pictures

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Cast

Walter Pidgeon
as Florenz Ziegfeld
Barbra Streisand
as Fanny Brice
Omar Sharif
as Nicky Arnstein
Anne Francis
as Georgia James
Gerald Mohr
as Branca
John Harmon
as Company Manager
Frank Faylen
as Keeney
Kay Medford
as Rose Brice
Thordis Brandt
as Ziegfeld Girl
Mae Questel
as Mrs. Strakosh
Penny Santon
as Mrs. Meeker
Raymond Guth
as Buffalo wrangler
Lee Allen
as Eddie Ryan
Alena Johnston
as Ziegfeld Girl
Gertrude Flynn
as Mrs. O'Malley
Karen Lee
as Ziegfeld Girl
Inga Neilsen
as Ziegfeld Girl
Mary Jane Mangler
as Ziegfeld Girl
Sharon Vaughn
as Ziegfeld Girl
Bettina Brenna
as Ziegfeld Girl
Virginia Ann Ford
as Ziegfeld Girl
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Critic Reviews for Funny Girl

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (10)

Streisand is stunning, but the film is a trial, particularly when the music disappears somewhere around the 90-minute mark and all that's left is leaden melodrama.

Full Review… | August 12, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

This extended Streisand Special has done absolutely nothing to correct the flaws in the Broadway original.

Full Review… | August 12, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Barbra Streisand in her Hollywood debut makes a marked impact.

Full Review… | August 12, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

Well worth watching, even if most later Streisand movies aren't.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It is impossible to praise Miss Streisand too highly; hard to find much to praise about the rest of the film.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

The fun is there whenever Streisand is, and that could be reason enough for reacquainting yourself with Funny Girl.

Full Review… | October 12, 2001
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Funny Girl

Epic freaking musical about a singing comedienne wedging her way into her big break. The beginning is a bit slow, and I tired of Fanny's repetitive self-deprecation about her lack of traditional beauty, but Barbra Streisand is sassy and ballsy, and my word, is Omar Sharif not the most dashing and earnest paramour? He says "I love you" so shyly yet tenderly! Nicky's love and admiration are so soaring, and that's what makes the main relationship conflict of Fanny outgrowing Nicky and the show-stopping number "My Man" all the more tragic in a mere mortals sort of way.

Alice Shen
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

Despite a tight and coherent film score, good singing, and a pleasantly avuncular performance by Pidgeon, "Funny Girl" is a real snoozefest. The only thing you'll find funny about this film is that you can't get your ticket refunded after you fall asleep in the middle of it.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

½

I was surprised at how relevant this story still is - take a look in the news lately and see how many columnists are talking about our changing work world, the one in which "feminine" skills are much more in demand and as a result, men have begun to feel insecure and less confident when they aren't the provider they've been socialized to be. Nick Arnstein (Omar Sharif) turns increasingly to gambling in his attempt to keep up with his love (Barbra Streisand)'s success. I found his story to be almost the more interesting, intermittently updated though it was. Before seeing this, I wrote it off as something old-timey for Broadway fans that plays all too well in the Borscht Belt, but it's not without its charms. A cliched story of a rise to fame, sure, and full of music that I don't really like, and a bit on the long side - there's a serious lull late in the second hour - but you shouldn't ignore the fact that William Wyler helmed this film. It's well-shot and funny and inspiring, on the whole, and a justifiable classic that's worth seeing once.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

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