After the runaway success of Funny Girl (1968), it was inevitable that Columbia would want a sequel.
The result was Funny Lady, a sort of ‘Fanny Sings Again’ which takes up the Fanny Brice story after Nicky Arnstein’s exit and continues to show how the great comedienne has no luck with her love-life by chronicling her unhappy marriage to showman Billy Rose.
The film’s first quarter, which hilariously describes the trials and tribulations of an Atlantic City try-out for a new revue, promises far more than the rest of the movie delivers.
Ultimately, Fanny drifts away from both Rose and Arnstein and finds a career in Hollywood as the star of The Baby Snooks Show, a long-running radio show for CBS.
Fanny is, of course, once more played by Barbra Streisand, with James Caan cast as Rose (who in real-life was pint-sized and actually towered under his famous wife), and Omar Sharif reprising his role as gambler Arnstein.
Also in the cast are Roddy McDowall, Ben Vereen, Larry Gates, Carol Welles and Heidi O’Rourke.