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Born in NYC to Hungarian Jewish immigrant parents, Fania Borach quit school in 1908, changed her name to Fanny Brice and entered burlesque as a "soubrette," a demure singer. Brice kept her clothes on there and in the Ziegfeld Follies, where she appeared for over 20 years, beginning in 1910. During her Follies run Miss Brice introduced "My Man" and "Second Hand Rose." She later starred on radio as "Baby Snooks" and also headlined six movies. "Be Yourself" is the third of these.
In "Be Yourself!," Fanny performs five songs: "Cookin' Breakfast for the One I Love," "Is There Something the Matter With Otto Kahn?," "It's Gorgeous to be Grateful," "Kickin' a Hole in the Sky" and "When a Woman Loves a Man." (A sixth, "I'm Sasha" is missing from this print.)
The picture's story is typically an excuse to hang the musical numbers on. Here, two men duke it out for the love of nighclub singer Fannie Field. The loser ends up becoming trainer for the winner, whose successful boxing career brings him both money and the affections of a young blonde-- a rival that Fanny has to contend with.
The only other Fanny Brice movie currently available on DVD is one she has a small part in, ZIEGFELD FOLLIES (1946).
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 viewer poll rating found at a film resource website.
(6.6) Be Yourself! (1930) - Fanny Brice/Robert Armstrong/Harry Green/G. Pat Collins/Gertrude Astor/Budd Fine/Marjorie kane/Rita Flynn
That she is, playing a nightclub entertainer in love with a boxer. The songs are so-so, except for "I'm Cookin' Breakfast for the One I Love," the film's comic highlight. But you get to see the original Funny Girl mugging, singing songs both dramatic and antic and wearing period clothes elegantly. This was a lady who had style, who knew how to use every talent she had at her disposal and brother, she had plenty. She almost never walks out of frame without a funny look, as if she doesn't want a dull frame in the picture. A bit hokey-poky, but who cares when you're watching one of the great entertainers of the twentieth century?
When the action starts, two men in a nightclub, Jerry Moore and 'Mac' McCloskey (Robert Armstrong and G. Pat Collins, respectively) get into a fight over the nightclub singer Fannie (Fannie Brice). Although Jerry loses, it isn't long before Fannie and her outdated stereotyped Jewish lawyer brother Harry (Harry Green) start to manage Jerry so he can finally become a professional prize fighter. Their work pays off, too--Jerry goes from being a guy who lies down in the ring way too much to being a champ.
As the plot moves along other issues come up. Will the Gold Digger Lil (Gertrude Astor) succeed in winning Jerry away from Fannie? Will Jerry keep on winning all his future fights? How does Fannie's brother help her to keep Jerry as her boyfriend--if Harry helps her at all? No plot spoilers here, folks--watch the movie and find out!
Unfortunately, the DVD comes without a single extra feature. We get scene selections but that's it. Not even a trailer! However, it's great to see Fannie Brice sing her heart out; I liked the opening number and the refrain of "When A Woman Loves A Man.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was wonderful to see Fanny Brice even though script was silly. However, love those old movies.Published 1 month ago by Michael E. Weitzman
I kept expecting Ms. Brice to be Barbra Streisand. Never happened.Published 2 months ago by Articulate Texas
It wasn't as good as I expected but then it is very old. The audio was scratchy and film a bit shaky but I still liked it. A glimpse of what use to be.Published 3 months ago by bill boni
This is really old fashioned and irritating. I did not like it. Could not watch all.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Funny Girl is one of my favorite movies and this movie, Be Yourself, has the real "funny girl" in action! Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
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