Funny Girl

Director: William Wyler
Year Released: 1968
Rating: 1.5

Musical biopic of Jewish-American actress Fanny Brice (Barbra Streisand, in her first feature film role) that shows how she started working for Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. (Walter Pidgeon) - as a part of his wildly successful "Follies" - and got seduced by shady gambling addict Nick Arnstein (Omar Sharif), who comes and goes as he pleases (and gets up to his neck in debt).  Babs, like Ms. Brice, isn't what one would consider "conventionally beautiful," so it plays with that idea for a brief while, and the "Brice" character is a white-washed version of the real thing (how could it be historically correct when Fanny's real life son-in-law Ray Stark was a producer?): she gets away with absolutely everything, and she's portrayed as this "model of innocence" ... except she was previously married (to a barber when she was a teenager).  About two thirds of the way through - when her marriage is in trouble because of Nick's degeneracy - it almost forgets it's a musical and becomes just another case of "there was no way this was going to work out."  Streisand's vocal abilities are incredible, but everyone already knew that.