Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria)
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This would Never be rated G today due to the "bridal" scene with barely-dressed women parading around for several minutes. Totally inappropriate objectification of women for a G-rated movie.
This is the first film I have seen since Stripes (1981) that manages to have an entertaining, glorious first half and a second half that completely drags and is ultimately forgettable. Barbra Streisand is undoubtedly the best part of this film as she outshines all who surround her but is also let down by a weak screenplay and a poorly paced film. I usually enjoy the work of William Wyler with The Heiress (1949) and The Little Foxes (1941) being among my favorites of his but here he doesn't seem to know what he is doing with this film as he spends too much time on details that are not interesting instead of providing us with more fabulous dance numbers. I would suggest that you watch the first 100 minutes of this film and then turn it off as the film begins to prioritize the romance over her career progression.
Unattractive but talented young performer Fanny Brice, Barbra Streisand, is desperate to become a part of the ‘Ziegfeld Follies' but flunks her audition attracting the ire of her bosses. She is later able to prove herself to be a talent with her humor and singing ability and is hired by the fearsome Florenz Ziegfeld, Walter Pidgeon, who she stands up to with the help of handsome gambler Nicky Arnstein, Omar Sharif. She strikes up a tentative romance with him following their meeting as her career skyrockets but he refuses to show commitment and will often disappear for long period of time with no explanation. The two eventually reunite and then quickly marry as she puts her career on hold to be with him. He becomes disgruntled with married life as he begins losing money while gambling and engaging in shady deals as his wife becomes successful as she returns to her career and financially supports them and their children. The two eventually break up when she realizes she is strong enough to stand on her own and does not need him for emotional support.
Streisand is giving a definitive movie star performance here as she radiates charisma from every pore, looks fabulous at all times and knocks you out with her singing and dancing. She is alive with passion in this film as she sells at every moment on the idea that Brice is a unique talent that would have been beloved both then and now. I had a great deal of fun with the scenes in which Streisand humorously roller skates around a stage while performing stand up and singing in addition to appreciating how Streisand carries herself in the few scenes with her mother. Despite how wonderful I think she is I would not have given either her or Katharine Hepburn the Academy Award for Best Actress but would have instead rewarded Joanne Woodward for her spellbinding performance in Rachel, Rachel (1968).
The rest of the film is difficult to praise as the story focuses on entirely the wrong aspects while enticing us with the sight of what could be interesting subplots. I found the tortured love story between Brice and Arnstein to be terrifically dull and tedious to watch as it extended the film beyond the tight 100 minutes it should have been and doesn't provide us with any real juicy drama. Part of this is how little Sharif brings to the role as he is completely outshone by his leading lady and we never understand why this dazzling woman would be so dependent on such a nothing character. What I wanted to see more of were the musical numbers as the ballet and the triumphant performance of "My Man" at the end of the film were sights to behold. I also wanted to see more of the delightfully witty Kay Medford who is a hoot as Brice's sassy mother Rose who can elicit laughter simply through saying the word "Ruffles" in a way that leaves you with no doubt as to what the double entendre means.
I am saddened that this film, which could have been great, loses itself so completely in it's second half and prevents itself from being as brilliant as Singin' in the Rain (1952) or The Sound of Music (1965). Still worth it for Streisand's performance and the exciting musical numbers but equally worth turning off after the film begins to lose it's way.
Barbra Streisand's legendary portrayal of singer/comedienne Fanny Brice deservedly won her Oscar (she shared Best Actress with Katharine Hepburn); unfortunately, the Broadway hit was transferred to the screen with mixed results - the first half is a colorful, enjoyable musical comedy while the second act is a maudlin melodrama. Still, there is much to like in William Wyler's adaptation including a fine performance by Omar Sharif and some memorable musical moments: "I'm the Greatest Star," "I'd Rather Be Blue" (on roller skates!), the memorable first act finale on a tugboat to "Don't Rain on My Parade," and Streisand's powerful "My Man" finale.
The best, GREATEST musical comedy romance movie ever made! With 3 of the best movie songs ever sung: People, My Man, and Don't Rain on My Parade! And the best movie quote ever spoken: "Hello, gorgeous."
With Barbara's performance so legendary, it's hard to focus on the little details that detract from the film. Omar offers a quirky, humble performance, and electricity flows through their relationship and throughout the film.
Beautiful movie although a bit too long also barbra's 60's hairdo doesnt fit the period of the movie.
Although Funny Girl definitely falters a bit in its very well done, but still overly serious, downer third act, the rest of the movie is phenomenal across the board. People and Don't Rain on My Parade are the standouts when it comes to the songs, the film also has excellent humor, a great energy to it, it's very entertaining and so well acted by Omar Sharif. The main reason to see it of course is for Barbra Streisand who gave her career-defining performance. She's funny, charming, incredibly endearing and she stole all the emotional, musical and humorous sequences. Her performance here is most definitely one of the acting highlights of the 60s.
A film that holds up surprisingly well and goes in moving, difficult and compelling directions. Streisand is absolutely electric and holds the screen. Sharif is just charming enough to hold water next to her. Brilliant.
Talent larger than Life from Streisand (it is Barbra not Barbara :D)
I love everything about this movie, Barbra Streisand, the music, her acting. its my favorite movie of all time but if you don't love Barbra then this movie won't be outstanding.