A Guide to Barbra Streisand Movie Musicals!

A Complete Guide to Barbra Streisand Musicals on Film!

By: Dec. 13, 2019
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Barbra Streisand's impressive career spans over six decades and has garnered her great acclaim. She's won dozens of awards and is one of the few entertainers to collect an EGOT - an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award.

Although she started her professional life on stage and with her studio recordings, she skyrocketed to fame in the late 1960s with the start of her film career.

Take a look below to catch up on your Barbra Streisand movie musicals, from "People" to "Papa Can You Hear Me?"

Funny Girl (1968)

For her film debut, Streisand reprised her role as Fanny Brice in "Funny Girl" and earned herself an Academy Award for her performance. William Wyler directed Isobel Lennart's screenplay adaptation of the 1964 Broadway production with the real Fanny Brice's son-in-law, Ray Stark, producing.

The story is loosely based on the life Brice and follows her rising career and romantic involvement with Nick Arnstein (Omar Sharif). Kay Medford from the original Broadway cast reprises her role as Rose Brice, Fanny's mother. The motion picture also features Walter Pidgeon as Florenz Ziegfeld, Anne Francis as Georgia James and Lee Allen as Eddie Ryan.

The film includes several songs from Jule Styne and Bob Merrill's original score, including "I'm the Greatest Star," "People, "Don't Rain on My Parade" and "Funny Girl." Some songs were swapped out for ones often performed by Brice herself, such as "My Man," "Second Hand Rose" and "I'd Rather Be Blue."

Hello, Dolly! (1969)

"Hello, Dolly!" featured Streisand as the titular Dolly Levi, who seeks a wife for Horace Vandergelder (Walter Matthau), the well-known half-a-millionaire in 1890. It quickly becomes clear that Levi, a widow, plans to marry him herself despite Vandergelder having plans to propose to Irene Molloy (Marianne McAndrew).

The matchmaker extraordinaire was famously played by Carol Channing in the 1964 Broadway production and several more times throughout her career.

The film directed by Gene Kelly and written and produced by Ernest Lehman also starred Michael Crawford as Cornelius Hackl, Danny Lockin as Barnaby Tucker, E. J. Peaker as Minnie Fay and Joyce Ames as Ermengarde Vandergelder. Tommy Tune made his film debut as Ambrose Kemper.

Despite not being a commercial success, it won Academy Awards for Best Art Direction, Best Score of a Musical Picture and Best Sound and was nominated for four more, including Best Picture.

The majority of Jerry Herman's score from the original Broadway production remains in the film adaptation, with the addition of "Just Leave Everything to Me" and "Love Is Only Love." Herman wrote the former specifically for Streisand and replaces "I Put My Hand In" from the Broadway production. In 1964, Louis Armstrong released an album titled "Hello, Dolly!" which covers the show tune of the same name. He also appears briefly in the film in the Harmonia Gardens Restaurant.

On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970)

Like her previous film roles, Streisand starred in the screen adaptation of the 1965 stage production of the same name. She played Daisy Gamble, a clairvoyant chain smoker, who goes to psychiatrist Marc Chabot to help with her nicotine addiction. While conducting hypnotherapy on her, Chabot discovers Daisy has been reincarnated and falls her in love with her past life Melinda Winifred Waine Tentrees, an aristocratic woman from the 19th century.

Vincente Minnelli directed Alan Jay Lerner's screenplay, based on the original book he wrote for the musical. Lerner also wrote the lyrics for Burton Lane's music. The 1965 Broadway score varies greatly from the film, with songs being cut, added and lyrics changed. However, the songs "Hurry! It's Lovely Up Here," "On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever)," "What Did I Have That I Don't Have" and "Come Back to Me" remain similar in both versions. There were also several changes to the characters and details of the plot.

Despite not garnering much critical acclaim, the film was nominated for the American Film Institute's Greatest Movie Musicals of All-Time list.

Funny Lady (1975)

Streisand reprised her role of Fanny Brice for this sequel directed by Herbert Ross. The film picks up several years after "Funny Girl" and follows Brice later in life. Omar Sharif also reprises his role as Nick Arnstein and James Caan stars as Brice's collaborator turned love interest, Billy Rose.

Ray Stark also produced the film, which included original songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb. Several songs written by Rose, including "Me and My Shadow," "It's Only a Paper Moon" and "More Than You Know" are featured in "Funny Lady."

Arnold Schulman conceived the story idea and wrote the screenplay along with Jay Presson Alle. It was nominated for five Academy Awards and six Golden Globe Awards.

A Star Is Born (1976)

Before the remake starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, Streisand and Kris Kristofferson played Esther Hoffman and John Norman in the second remake of "A Star Is Born." Norman is an established rock star who discovers Hoffman and they fall in love. As Hoffman becomes more successful, Norman's career declines.

The musical romantic drama was directed by Frank Pierson and executive produced by Streisand. The screenplay was written by Joan Didion, John Gregory Dunne and Frank Pierson and the original score was written by Paul Williams, Rupert Holmes, Roger Kellaway, Kenny Loggins and Barbra Streisand.

The film won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Evergreen," which was written by Streisand and Paul Williams. It also won five Golden Globe Awards, including Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Streisand's performance and Best Original Song for "Evergreen."

Yentl (1983)

Streisand made her directorial debut with "Yentl," which she also produced and co-wrote the screenplay for, alongside Jack Rosenthal. She stars as Yentl, an Ashkenazi Jewish girl living in Poland in the early 20th century. In order to enroll in a Jewish religious school and study Talmudic Law, she dresses as a man and goes by Anshel, her late brother's name. Mandy Patinkin stars as her classmate Avigdor, who she begins to fall in love with. Amy Irving plays Hadass Vishkower, Avigdor's fiancé who becomes romantically interested in Yentl as Anshel.

Streisand produced the soundtrack with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, who wrote the score's lyrics. The music was arranged and conducted by Michel Legrand. The album won an Academy Award for Best Adaptation Score and received nominations for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration and Best Supporting Actress for Irving's performance. Along with four other Golden Globes nominations, Streisand was the first woman to win the Best Director award.