Funny Face

:"This article is about the musical film. For an unrelated 1971 CBS sitcom, see" Funny Face (TV series)." "For the 1927 musical, see Funny Face (musical)." "For the Gershwin song, see Funny Face (song)."

Infobox_Film
name = Funny Face


caption = Original 1957 Movie Poster
director = Stanley Donen
producer = Roger Edens
writer = Leonard Gershe
starring = Audrey Hepburn,
Fred Astaire,
Kay Thompson,
Michel Auclair,
Robert Flemyng
music = original score by
Adolph Deutsch
with songs by
George Gershwin
Ira Gershwin
cinematography = Ray June

distributor = Paramount Pictures
released = 13 February 1957
runtime = 103 min.
country = USA
language = English
budget = $3,000,000 est.
amg_id = 1:18956
imdb_id = 0050419

"Funny Face" is an American musical film released in 1957, with assorted songs by George and Ira Gershwin. The film was written by Leonard Gershe and directed by Stanley Donen. It stars Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, and Kay Thompson. Richard Avedon designed the opening title sequence and consulted on the film, and Bill Avery was the still photographer. Contrary to common belief, only four of the songs are from 1927 Broadway musical production of the same name.

ynopsis

Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson) is a fashion magazine publisher and editor, for Quality Magazine, who is looking for the next big fashion trend. She wants a new look for the magazine. Maggie wants the look to be both "beautiful" and "intellectual". She and famous fashion photographer Dick Avery (Fred Astaire) want a model who can "think as well as they look." The two brainstorm and come up with the idea to find a "sinister" looking book store. They subsequently locate the bookstore named "Embryo Concepts" in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

Maggie and Dick take over Embryo Concepts, which is being run by the shy bookshop clerk and amateur philosopher, Jo Stockton (Audrey Hepburn). Jo thinks the fashion and modeling industry is nonsense, saying: "it is chichi, and an unrealistic approach to self-impressions as well as economics". Maggie decides to use Jo in the first fashion shot, to give it a more intellectual look. After the first shot Maggie locks Jo out of the shop to shut her up.

Jo wants more than anything else in the world to go to Paris and attend the famous philosopher and professor Emile Flostre's lectures about empathicalism. When Dick gets back to the dark room, he sees something in Jo's face which is "new" and "fresh", and which would be perfect for the campaign, giving it "character", "spirit", and "intelligence".

They send for Jo and start treating her like a doll, trying to make her over, pulling at her clothes and attempting to cut her hair. She rebels and runs away, only to hide in the dark room where Dick is working. When Dick mentions 'Paris', she becomes very interested that she will get her chance to see Professor Flostre, and she is finally convinced to do the modelling.

Soon Maggie, Dick, and Jo are off to Paris to prepare for a major fashion event, shooting photos at famous landmarks from the area. During the various photo shoots Jo starts to feel something for Dick, and they fall in love.

Notes

The plot for the film version is drastically different from that of the Broadway musical, and only four of the songs remain. Astaire also starred in the stage version alongside his sister, Adele Astaire. The choreography is by Eugene Loring. The movie plot is actually adapted from another Broadway musical, "Wedding Bells", by Leonard Gershe. The original title for the film was "Wedding Day."

Unlike her later film, "My Fair Lady," Hepburn sings the songs herself, in this her first musical. She performs one solo, "How Long Has This Been Going On?"; a duet with Astaire, "'S Wonderful"; a duet with Kay Thompson called "On How to be Lovely"; and takes part in an ensemble performance of "Bonjour, Paris." Her previous dance training is also called into play, not only in the two dance numbers she performs with Astaire, but also for a Bohemian-style solo dance in a nightclub, which has since often been replayed in retrospectives of her career.

As was the case with many of her leading men, Astaire was much older than Hepburn. At 58, 30 years Hepburn's senior, he was approaching the end of his musical film career, in this, the second in a consecutive series of three French-themed musicals he made in the 1950s. He performs a song and dance solo with umbrella and cape to Gershwin's "Let's Kiss and Make Up." According to Hepburn, she insisted on Astaire as a precondition for her participation. Thompson, who usually worked behind the scenes as a musical director for films, makes a rare appearance on camera as Maggie Prescott, a fashion magazine editor. Besides her duet with Hepburn, she performs the solo number "Think Pink!" in the presence of a dance chorus, and Thompson and Astaire perform a comic dance duet to "Clap Yo' Hands." Thompson is perhaps best known today as the author of the popular series of books concerning the spoiled rich girl, "Eloise."

Astaire's character was loosely based on the career of Richard Avedon, [Landazuri, Margarita. [http://www.tcm.com/thismonth/article.jsp?cid=102790&mainArticleId=115759 "Spotlight: "Funny Face "] - Turner Classic Movies] [Puente, Maria. [http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2004-10-01-avedon-obit_x.htm "Avedon pushed photography to the edge"] - "USA Today" - October 1 2004] [Grundberg, Andy. [http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/01/arts/01CND-AVED.html?ei=5090&en=175acfd39f2d6c9b&ex=1254369600&partner=rssuserland&pagewanted=print&position= "Richard Avedon, the Eye of Fashion, Dies at 81"] - "New York Times" - October 1 2004] [Feeney, Mark. [http://www.boston.com/news/globe/obituaries/articles/2004/10/02/photographer_richard_avedon_dies/ "Photographer Richard Avedon dies"] - "Boston Globe" - October 2 2004] who provided a number of the photographs seen in the film, including the stills for the opening credits, which were also used in the halls of "Quality" magazine. Probably the most famous single image from the film is the intentionally overexposed close-up of Hepburn's face in which only her facial features—her eyes, eyebrows, nose and mouth—are visible. This image is seen both during the "Funny Face" musical number, which takes place in a darkroom, and when Dick (Astaire) presents it to Maggie (Thompson).

ongs

*'S Wonderful - from "Funny Face" (1927 musical)
*Think Pink!
*How Long Has This Been Going On?
*Funny Face - from "Funny Face"
*Bonjour, Paris!
*Clap Yo' Hands - from "Oh, Kay!"
*He Loves and She Loves - from "Funny Face"
*On How to Be Lovely
*Basal Metabolism - from "Funny Face"
*Let's Kiss and Make Up
*Tristan und Isolde - Richard Wagner

Awards

The National Board of Review gave the film Special Citation award for the photographic innovations. Leonard Gershe was nominated for "Best Written American Musical" by the Writers Guild of America. Stanley Donen was nominated by the Directors Guild of America for "Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures" and for a "Golden Palm" at the Cannes Film Festival. Fred Astaire received a Golden Laurel nomination for "Top Male Musical Performance". The film received four Academy Award "Oscar" nominations: Leonard Gershe for "Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen"; Edith Head and Hubert de Givenchy (Hepburn's costume designer) for "Best Costume Design"; Ray June for "Best Cinematography"; and Hal Pereira, George W. Davis, Sam Comer, and Ray Moyer for "Best Art Direction-Set Decoration". [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050419/awards "Funny Face" awards] - at IMDb]

Cultural references

In the fall of 2006, clothing retailer The Gap used footage from "Funny Face" in its commercials for its Skinny Black Pant. In the commercials, Hepburn's dance number is paired with the song "Back in Black" by AC/DC.

In the episode of "Gilmore Girls" titled S'Wonderful S'Marvelous, (taken from Funny Face) Lorelai Gilmore and Christopher Hayden watch Funny Face on a date.

In 1990, pop diva Whitney Houston used Hepburn's character from Funny Face as a tribute to Hollywood's Golden Age in her video "I'm Your Baby Tonight."

A new Soapstone Barbie designed to look like Jo Stockton. It was only available to 2008 Barbie conventioniers.

DVD release

To date, "Funny Face" has been released to DVD in Region 1 (North America) in two editions from Paramount Home Entertainment: in 2001 as part of the "Audrey Hepburn Widescreen Collection" series, and again in 2007 in a 50th Anniversary edition. The 2007 version has additional featurettes as well as improved picture and sound quality from the 2001 edition. [Keizer, Mark. [http://dvdfile.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6295&Itemid=3 "Funny Face - 50th Anniversary Edition"] - DVDFile - October 1 2007]

References

External links

*imdb title| id=0050419 | title=Funny Face
*amg title | id=1:18956 | title=Funny Face


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