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Funny Face


Robbie79

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I think we should not neglect Funny Face with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. The location was actually in Paris. I love when Fred sings the title song in the 'Red Room'. I also love the customs, especially the ones worm by Audrey in Paris. Thanks to Givenchy, Audrey looks gorgeous!!!

I love her with the red dress in Le Louvre. That's so iconic!!

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I, and others, thought that Audrey sang rather well in "Funny Face". Apparently the producers of "My Fair Lady" didn't think she sang well enough, since they brought in Marni Nixon to sing for her. Since Marni's operatic soprano was totally different from Audrey's speaking voice, this added a ridiculous element to the movie which could have been avoided by letting Audrey sing.

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I, and others, thought that Audrey sang rather well in "Funny Face". Apparently the producers of "My Fair Lady" didn't think she sang well enough, since they brought in Marni Nixon to sing for her. Since Marni's operatic soprano was totally different from Audrey's speaking voice, this added a ridiculous element to the movie which could have been avoided by letting Audrey sing.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}

> I, and others, thought that Audrey sang rather well in "Funny Face". Apparently the producers of "My Fair Lady" didn't think she sang well enough, since they brought in Marni Nixon to sing for her. Since Marni's operatic soprano was totally different from Audrey's speaking voice, this added a ridiculous element to the movie which could have been avoided by letting Audrey sing.

 

I agree the match of voice is preposterous. However, you have to put things into perspective. When the film version of My Fair Lady was made, the show was the most successful in the history of Broadway. And Broadway, unlike now, was a major part of pop culture at that time. Also, the Original Cast Album was the biggest-selling album in history, of any genre. Everybody either had it, or certainly heard it. Even if they hadn't heard the album, Julie Andrews and Sally Ann Howes (her replacement on Broadway) appeared on every popular show of the day, singing the songs. Everyone knew how the song should sound. They were written for a legitimate voice. Audrey Hepburn had a thin, pleasant voice, but she was no singer. Most-likely, people would have laughed at the screen, had she done her own singing in all the numbers. As it was, people were fairly livid over Julie Andrews not being cast. To then have the songs sung, poorly, would have added insult to injury. I hate everything about the film, including the lousy voice-match, and would prefer Hepburn's vocals. Not that I think they are any good, but at least they would match her speaking voice! But back then, people would have rejected it. She just wasn't capable of singing the role.

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I love Funny Face, and Audrey does a great job. I don't think her singing is all that great, mostly because she sings duets with a real singer, so we can hear what great singing is. But I forgive her because she dances so well. But Audrey simply shouldn't have been cast in My Fair Lady--she isn't a soprano, let alone an operatic soprano, and her cut of "Wouldn't it be Loverly" is painful. And I think Marni does a fantastic job matching her voice. The only problem with the match--the reaason it doens't match to us--is that we've heard her real voice in Funny Face, and singing "Moon River", so we know she doesnt' sound like that. But if you didn't know the difference, I think it's a good match.

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Having a "thin" voice wasn't a bar to doing a lot of singing in films. Look at Fred Astaire. His singing added immeasurably to his movies, and composers such as Kern, Berlin, and Gershwin preferred Astaire to virtually anyone else to sing their material

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}

> Having a "thin" voice wasn't a bar to doing a lot of singing in films. Look at Fred Astaire. His singing added immeasurably to his movies, and composers such as Kern, Berlin, and Gershwin preferred Astaire to virtually anyone else to sing their material

 

 

But that's not a proper comparison. Astaire usually introduced the songs he sang. Hepburn was following some of the finest sopranos who ever graced the Broadway stage. People knew those songs by better singers. Not true of Astaire.

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I wasn't comparing the two. The only point of similarity is that they both had thin voices. Astaire was a very stylish singer. Audrey was a very stylish dresser with a thin voice. Regarding Astaire's songs, I'm sure most would have sounded great even if others such as Crosby or Sinatra had already introduced them.......I do believe, though, that anyone who is an excellent actor or actress with an acceptable voice and the ability to sing on key can generally do fairly well. That's why I think Audrey should have been given a shot.

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  • 2 weeks later...

> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}

> I wasn't comparing the two. The only point of similarity is that they both had thin voices. Astaire was a very stylish singer. Audrey was a very stylish dresser with a thin voice. Regarding Astaire's songs, I'm sure most would have sounded great even if others such as Crosby or Sinatra had already introduced them.......I do believe, though, that anyone who is an excellent actor or actress with an acceptable voice and the ability to sing on key can generally do fairly well. That's why I think Audrey should have been given a shot.

 

Still the biggest difference between those 2 "thin" voices, is that Fred Astaire could really sing, and Audrey Hepburn could just carry a tune. A big difference. His voice may have been thin, but he could hit all the notes required to deliver the songs he was given. There was never any need to consider dubbing him. She could not hit the notes requred to sing the songs in *MFL*. Dubbing was absolutely required. The fact is she was neither capable of singing the role, nor acting it. She was chosen strictly for her looks and the fact that she never made a film that lost money. Why Jack Warner didn't realize that the star of *My Fair Lady* was the show, itself, remains a complete mystery to me. Anyone with half a brain cell would know that. He predicted the film would be the most successful in motion picture history, and it may have been, but he tampered with the show's tone and the expected cast and, while it is certainly a success (because the show's title was really all the marquee needed), it isn't even the biggest film of 1964, let alone of all time. People actually stayed away, because of Hepburn, and the negative press the film received due to her casting and dubbing. The film didn't enjoy the repeat business that is so important to the creation of a major blockbuster. Once seen, many found it dull, and it couldn't compare to the freshness of *Mary Poppins*, which ultimately became the blockbuster of 1964, and the biggest box-office hit in Disney's history.

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I thought that Audrey did a pretty good acting job in MFL. Then again, I have nothing to compare it to. I never saw Julie as Eliza, nor anyone else. I'm biased, too, because I've always been a big Audrey fan. I found her absolutely enchanting in "Sabrina","Funny Face", and "Love in the Afternoon". "Breakfast at Tiffany's" I could do without.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}

> I thought that Audrey did a pretty good acting job in MFL. Then again, I have nothing to compare it to. I never saw Julie as Eliza, nor anyone else. I'm biased, too, because I've always been a big Audrey fan. I found her absolutely enchanting in "Sabrina","Funny Face", and "Love in the Afternoon". "Breakfast at Tiffany's" I could do without.

 

Yes, she was enchanting in almost everything - but sorry to hear you're not a Breakfast at Tiffany's fan, though. ;)

 

Back on topic, I've not seen Funny Face in a long time, but I hope to watch it again soon because I don't remember much about it (although I'm pretty sure I enjoyed it).

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I saw both Julie Andrews and Sally Ann Howes do the role, among many others of lesser note. Both of them were completely different from one another, but they both brought a fire and realism to the role (not to mention a singing voice), that Audrey lacks. She's just Audrey Hepburn, with a few carefully placed smudges, play-acting Eliza. She never *is* Eliza. Not for one moment. You're truly never drawn to her charater. She's Audrey Hepburn throught the entire film. Never Eliza.

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There are many worse things to be. But Audrey Hepburn is not Eliza Doolittle, and that's what I'm discussing. I really don't blame her. I place *all* of what's wrong with *My Fair Lady* on the shoulders of both Jack Warner and George Cukor! They both botched it, as far as I'm concerned.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}

> If she's just Audrey Hepburn, I could think of worse things to be.

 

Well, yeah, I guess so. :P

 

I've only ever seen Audrey and Wendy Hiller play the part, so I don't have much to compare her to. I think either Keira Knightley or Anne Hathaway are supposed to play the part in the upcoming remake - but I don't want to take the discussion off-topic, so I won't go into that.

 

Back on topic: I think Audrey was very lucky to make a movie with Fred Astaire, and I genuinely can't think of anyone Astaire didn't have good chemistry with, on-screen. He was just a great partner for everyone!

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}

> The closest Fred came to not having good chemistry was with Joan Fontaine in "A Damsel in Distress"(1937). It's kind of forgotten, and did nothing for developing Joan's reputation.

 

Sounds vaguely familiar, I'm not 100% that I've seen it.

 

Overall, while I don't intrinsically like Fred Astaire, I'm also very much in awe of him for his amazing ability and consummate professionalism - and of course I love his dancing. He's not someone I think I would have liked to know in person, but I absolutely _adore_ watching him in almost any movie he ever made.

 

I wonder how Audrey and Fred got along on the set?

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