People — people who need Barbra Streisand — will be able to have "Funny Girl," the film that launched her to superstardom, on DVD Oct. 23, in a restored and remastered version that includes special features including intermission and overture music.
The 1968 picture that won Streisand her first Academy Award was re released in its restored print in August 2001 in theatres in anticipation of the fall DVD release. The new summer print offered a brilliant image and refreshed sound quality not seen or heard in old prints. Sony Pictures Entertainment is responsible for the restoration.
"We started restoring 'Funny Girl' three years ago, to repair the damage that occurred to the original negative when the film was first released, due to the enormous number of prints struck from the negative," said Grover Crisp, vice president of film restoration for Sony Pictures Entertainment. "Missing frames, numerous scratches and a disintegrating soundtrack were part of the damage done over time."
Conjuring the days when movies were genuine "events," the picture was shown in its "road show" format that includes a soundtrack overture and intermission. Those same features are seen on the DVD release. Also on the disc are the featurettes "Funny Girl: This is Barbra" and "Funny Girl: Barbra in Movieland." Bonus trailers and widescreen presentation are among the "added value elements" on the DVD.
* William Wyler directed the film version of the 1964 Broadway hit that had a score by composer Jule Styne and lyricist Bob Merrill. The story tells the fictionalized version of vaudeville and radio star Fanny Brice's rise from the Jewish working class to star of the Ziegfeld Follies. Omar Sharif co-stars as the romanticized version of Brice's gambler businessman husband, Nicky Arnstein. Kay Medford, Anne Francis, Lee Allen and Walter Pidgeon also star. Choreography is by Herbert Ross (who recently died). Isobel Lennart penned the screenplay. Ray Stark produced.
Unlike the stage show, the film version uses "My Man" as a climactic emotional vocal. The tune was Brice's signature song.
The picture runs 155 minutes in DVD and 147 minutes on VHS.
— By Kenneth Jones