Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Fannie Brice
Director: Thornton Freeland
Genres: Comedy, Musicals & Performing Arts
Studio: Kino International Release Date: 09/04/2007 Run time: 66 minutes
Early talkie has it all!!!
A. Altomare | new windsor ny | 09/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Be yourself released on DVD by kino is a real early talkie treat! Has it all, great music, Fanny's singing and comic nature, boxing, great mugs and more. Robert armstrong is perfect in the role as a punch drunk boxer, and works well with fanny. If you are into early talkies this one is a fun one. A treat to see fanny in a film.Sound quality is good for an early talkie, print is not as could as other kino releases, but is very good for a film this rare. A must have for any fan of early sound films."
As good as they could do, but missing key scene
Theseus | 08/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The quality of reproduction on this DVD is excellent, given the limitations of the original source, and it's wonderful to have an almost complete Fanny (or Fannie, when she was in Hollywood) performance. However, the print that was used for the DVD is missing Fanny's most famous number from this film, "I'm Sasha, the Passion of the Pasha." We see Fanny leave her dressing room to perform the number, and then there is an obvious cut, and the story continues from the moment AFTER the number has been performed. Well, this is a rare film, and the producers of the DVD obviously were duped when they obtained the print from which they worked. For the sake of history, let's hope a complete version eventually makes it to DVD, because, even with the missing number, the film is really charming and shows us a lot about Brice's great gifts."
It's enough to make me want another sing-song boxing movie
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 01/02/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Be Yourself! is one of the best early talkies I've seen! Fannie Brice turns in a fantastic performance and the rest of the cast act very convincingly, too. The cinematography could have been a little bit better but I suppose that this was a relatively low budget film; there aren't many stage sets throughout the picture. The sound quality is the usual fair to average quality that we get so often with early talkies; but the plot actually has meat on it and the story moves along at a good pace. Look also for Fannie Brice to sing some fine numbers, including "When A Woman Loves A Man."
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." In addition, the song Fannie sings as she is making breakfast for Jerry and her brother Harry is absolutely wonderful and very catchy.
Be Yourself! is a fine early talkie with a great performance by Fannie Brice; and Robert Armstrong gives an especially strong performance as Jerry. I highly recommend this film for people who like pre-Code films, early talkies and Fannie Brice.
Fannie and the prizefighter
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 12/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the early talkie era musical BE YOURSELF!, Fanny Brice co-stars with Robert Armstrong, best remembered as Carl Denham in KING KONG (1933).
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"