Tags: Hollywood | barbara streisand | iconic role | quotes | fanny brice

Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice: 4 Quotes About Iconic Role

By    |   Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:51 PM

Making the transition from Broadway stage to motion pictures is never easy for anyone in the acting business, but Barbra Streisand made the move seamlessly when she took on the role of Fanny Brice in the movie musical "Funny Girl."

She has just completed playing Brice on Broadway in the stage musical of the same name, putting in more than 1,300 performances during the course of a three-plus year run, so it is likely no one knew the role as well as she did.

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Streisand thrilled audiences with bother her acting and singing, winning the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (she actually tied for the victory as Katharine Hepburn also won for her performance in "The Lion in Winter"). In addition, she took home the Golden Globe award for Best Motion Picture Actress – Musical/Comedy.

She reprised her role as Fanny Brice seven years later in "Funny Lady," which picked up the Brice storyline immediately after the end of "Funny Girl." Although there were no honors awarded to Streisand, she did earn another Best Motion Picture Actress – Musical/Comedy nomination.

Here's a look at what critics had to say about Streisand's performance:

1. Newspaper and TV film critic Roger Ebert discussed the paradox between Streisand's performance and the film, "Funny Girl," itself.

"It is impossible to praise Miss Streisand too highly; hard to find much to praise about the rest of the film." – Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times film review, Oct. 18, 1968

2. Chicago Reader film critic Dave Kehr echoes Ebert's feeling about Streisand and the movie.

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"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." – Kehr, Aug. 12, 2008

3. The staff of Variety in its review of the film was equally kind to Streisand about her performance, more kind about the film in general.

"Barbra Streisand in her Hollywood debut makes a marked impact. The saga of the tragi-comedienne Fanny Brice of the ungainly mien and manner, charmed by the suave card-sharp Nick Arnstein, is perhaps of familiar pattern, but it is to the credit of all concerned that it plays so convincingly." – Variety film review, Dec. 31, 1967

4. In his review of "Funny Lady," New York Times film critic Vincent Canby hitches a ride on the Streisand bandwagon, and feels the same way about "Funny Lady" as the other reviewers felt about "Funny Girl."

"As long as Miss Streisand as Fanny is singing the blues, or singing anything else, "Funny Lady" is superb entertainment, but the minute she stops the movie turns into a concrete soufflé. It's heavy and tasteless." – Canby, March 12, 1975

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Making the transition from Broadway stage to motion pictures is never easy for anyone in the acting business, but Barbra Streisand made the move seamlessly when she took on the role of Fanny Brice in the movie musical "Funny Girl."
barbara streisand, iconic role, quotes, fanny brice
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