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Funny Face (Trivia & Reviews) PDF Print E-mail

 

  • The title and most of the score of the movie are taken from Fred and Adele's 1927 stage hit Funny Face.

 

  • Fred Astaire's character is based on photographer Richard Avedon. In fact, it is Avedon who set up most of the photography for this film, including the famous face portrait of Audrey Hepburn unveiled during the dark room sequence. His contribution can also be seen, with intense primary colours, special lenses and shots of the fashion and photography scenes all contributing to the great visual style.

 

  • During the "Bonjour, Paris!" number, Astaire runs up the same staircase that Gene Kelly ran down in An American In Paris.

 

  • Cameo by Baroness Ella Van Heemstra, Audrey Hepburn's mother, and producer and composer Roger Edens. They are the couple having a lover's quarrel outside the cafe where Hepburn does her Basil Metabolism dance.

 

  • Not wanting to be apart from her husband, Mel Ferrer, Audrey Hepburn arranged for filming of the Paris scenes to coincide with Ferrer's filming of Elena et les hommes.

 

  • Paris' unseasonably rainy weather had to be worked into the script.

 

  • During filming of the Paris scenes, much of the crew and cast were on edge because of riots and political violence that was gripping the city at that time.

 

  • Hepburn filmed this back-to-back with Love in the Afternoon.

 

  • Continuity: At the end of the film, we see Dick leave an evening fashion show party to join Jo at the church for the final dance. But a hazy filter once the church scene begins can't hide the fact that it was shot in broad daylight (complete with blue sky), even though it should still be evening.

 

  • Academy Awards: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration: Sam Comer, George W. Davis, Ray Moyer, Hal Pereira (nominated); Best Cinematography: Ray June (nominated); Best Costume Design:
    Hubert de Givenchy, Edith Head (nominated); Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen: Leonard Gershe.

 

  • Laurel Awards: Top Male Musical Performance: Fred Astaire (Fourth place).

 

  • Writer's Guild of America Awards: Best Written American Musical:
    Leonard Gershe (nominated).

Reviews

Arthur Knight, Dance Magazine, Apr 1957: "For any avid Astaire enthusiast (and this reviewer is definitely one) this is always the temptation to hail each new appearance of The Master as his best film yet. So be it! Funny Face... is the best Astaire film yet... Rarely have all the elements that go to make up a musical comedy been of such high calibre, or so skillfully blended."

James Powers, Hollywood Reporter, 13 Feb 1957: "Shows again why there will never be a 'new' Fred Astaire. He is as ebullient, as nimble and as captivating as he has ever been."

Bosley Crowther, New York Times, 29 Mar 1957: "Indeed it is reasonable to reckon that you won't see a prettier musical comedy- or one more extraordinarily stylish- during the balance of this year... Let's begin with the songs of George and Ira Gershwin, which are from their musical comedy of the same title, produced thirty years ago. That's the oldest thing in the picture, barring Mr. Astaire and perhaps the simple Cinderella story, which is basically as old as the hills. Finally we come to the acting (and singing and dancing), which are elegant too, but not quite as elegant as the rest of it, due partly to a certain gentleman's age. Miss Hepburn has the meek charm of a wallflower turned into a butterfly and Mr. Astaire plays his lens-hound suitor softly, as if afraid to turn on too much steam."

New Yorker, Mar 1957: "Put Funny Face down as an amiable bit of seasonal fluff and rejoice that Mr. Astaire's middle-aged bones can still rattle with an infectious beat."

Crazy for Cinema: (2/4 stars) "If you're a fan of either Astaire or Hepburn, FUNNY FACE is a film you should definitely check out. They each have classic moments that are lovely to see. They've both done better work, but since this is their only onscreen pairing it's worth at least one viewing."

Rick Pali, An Alienshore Review, 12 June 1997: (3/5 stars) "Although it can be syrupy-sweet and cute at times, it still makes for an entertaining film. I suspect Astaire has made better films, and I know that Hepburn has, but this one is still well worth watching if only to see them perform together."

MrsNormanMaine, Epinions.com, 11 Jun 2001: (4/5 stars) "Stanley Donen's musical combines Gershwin, Astaire, Hepburn and Richard Avedon into a fun and frothy confection."

Rebecca, Epinions.com, 27 May 2001: (4/5 stars) "Funny Face is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. It's not the most original, but it's much better than a lot of stuff in theaters now."

Ms Hooterville, Epinons.com, 10 Apr 2001: (5/5 stars) "If you love Gershwin, Astaire, Hepburn and Paris, this is a must see movie. Incredible Givenchy clothing, scenes of Paris -- a trip without the long flight!"

Heather Blazer, Epinions.com, 5 Apr 2000: (4/5 stars) "I recommend it to people who like classic films, people who like musicals, people who like Audrey, or people who want to get to know about Audrey Hepburn. It's a nice little movie to discover her in."

Wyldxtc, Epinions.com, 10 Apr 2000: (5/5 stars)

Sarah, Epinions.com, 30 Dec 1999: (5/5 stars)

Susan Z, Astaire Mailing List: Just a comment on Funny Face...I absolutely love this movie, partly because 3 of the biggest loves of my life are superbly showcased here -- Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn, and Paris France...the sight of Audrey gliding down the stairs at the Louvre in front of the Winged Victory shouting "Take the picture! Take the picture!" Incredible. Despite occasional political problems with the plot (!) I just love every moment of this film Fred and Audrey make an exquisite team. Check it out, for sure!

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Last Updated on Friday, 06 November 2009 11:10