Funny Girl is a 1968 biographical musical comedy-drama film starring Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Kay Medford, and Sharon Vaughn. It is loosely based on Fanny Brice’s life and career as a Broadway and film actor and comedian, as well as her stormy relationship with businessman Nicky Arnstein. William Wyler directed, and Ray Stark produced the film. Funny Girl was nominated for seven awards, including Best Picture, Sound, Song, Musical Scoring, Editing, Cinematography, and Supporting Actress.
The movie features the story of Fanny Brice (Barbra Streisand), who wants nothing more than to be a star in show business and, after a rocky start, thinks she has made it when she gets a part in a Ziegfeld show. Ziegfeld (Walter Pidgeon) and Fanny clash over various issues due to Fanny’s strong personality, but her talent shines through, and she eventually becomes a major star. She falls madly in love with gambler Nicky Arnstein (Omar Sharif). Fanny becomes upset and angry because of his gambling habits, which get him into trouble with the police. However, she overcomes these obstacles to focus on her career and achieves her ambition to become a Broadway star.
The timing of this movie could not have been better for Streisand. In the late 1960s, a new generation of stars emerged. Unlike their predecessors, the current crop of stars does not have the super models’ looks or sculpted bodies. Omar Sharif was a wise choice as the wanderlust husband and card shark Nicky Arnstein. As the global-gambling playboy, he’s polished, proud, and at ease, so you can see the ungainly Fanny putting this glossy god on a pedestal. As Fanny, Barbra Streisand delivered one of the most natural and breathtaking historical performances. Barbra’s iconic vocal performance makes the movie a musical masterpiece.