Funny Girl, the Cut Scenes

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Part Five: Cut. “Who Taught Her Everything She Knows”...

Scenes from Funny Girl

Immediately following “People,” the next scene and musical number was filmed but cut completely from the movie Funny Girl.

A left-over from the Broadway show, Mrs. Brice and Eddie sang “Who Taught Her Everything She Knows”.

The scene began with Mrs. Brice receiving a postcard from Fanny about her travels across America as a Ziegfeld star. Eddie and Mrs. Brice lament losing a daughter (and friend) and gaining a star ...

Thanks to Mark Charbonneau, here are two stills that prove the song was filmed! And below is an audio track of the song, as recorded for the film!

Scene 76. Trim. EXT. TRAIN, BALTIMORE

The first scene which expanded the Georgia James (Anne Francis) character was cut. As the Ziegfeld girls arrive by train in Baltimore, they disembark and get their photos taken. As they're walking down the platform, Georgia says, “A buck I get a rise out of him.” And Georgia flashes an old man pushing a produce cart.

Georgia flashes train employee

The scene continues, as Fanny spots Nick and he invites her to dinner.

Anne Francis Cut ... For the Record

Streisand and Anne Francis

Actress Anne Francis was cast in the Funny Girl movie as Georgia James, a Ziegfeld chorus girl and troubled friend of Fanny Brice. For years, writers wishing to characterize Streisand as a “vindictive diva” have repeated the story that she ordered all of Anne Francis' scenes to be cut from the film.

(It should be noted that the same character appeared in early versions of the Broadway play — only to be cut out. Funny Girl is Fanny Brice-centric, not Georgia James-centric.)

One of the quotes attributed to Francis was: “Every day, Barbra would see the rushes and the next day my part was cut or something else was cut. Barbra ran the whole show...She had the Ziegfeld girls’ scenes changed — one day she told Wyler to move a girl standing next to her because she was too pretty, and the girl wound up in the background. Eventually, the Ziegfeld girls’ scenes were eliminated altogether.”

Funny Girl's Supervising Editor Robert Swink had a different view. “I know the Anne Francis role was cut down terribly,” Swink said. “But Willie [Wyler] only did it for the sake of the picture. He had final cut. Streisand didn’t.”

Barbra even wrote a short piece for the June 28, 1999 issue of Newsweek magazine titled “Those ‘Terrible Stories’” in which she stated, “One night on TV, I saw Anne Francis say I had some of her scenes cut. That was ridiculous. I didn't tell Willie Wyler what to cut.”

In 2002 on her official website, Anne Francis wrote an open letter to Barbra Streisand apologizing for the whole affair. She admitted her publicist attributed the quote to her. “The sub plot of Georgia’s histrionics with Florenz Ziegfeld was really not necessary to the story about Fanny Brice,” Francis stated.

The “cap” of the scene was to be another reprise of the Nicky Arnstein song—but was cut.

Streisand as Fanny

Fanny, having told Nick that “there's no law against waiting,” left the station and got in a cab. In the cab, she was to have sung (August '67 and September '67 lyrics below):

AUGUST 1967 VERSION

Fanny (singing)

NICKY ARNSTEIN, NICKY ARNSTEIN,

YOU'VE GOT A BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL LINE!

YOU CAN WAIT TILL HELL FREEZES OVER

OR ZIEGFELD DOES SHAKESPEARE

THAT'S YOUR PROBLEM, MR. ARNSTEIN -- NOT MINE!

 

SEPTEMBER 1967 VERSION

Fanny (singing)

NICKY ARNSTEIN, NICKY ARNSTEIN,

IMAGINE REMEMBERING IT WAS ONE YEAR AND TWO WEEKS,

AND NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN OUT OF A CLEAR BLUE SKY

AN INVITATION TO DINNER

(spoken) But you can still go to hell!

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