Barbra Streisand is a legendary actress, singer, and filmmaker who has made a significant impact on the entertainment industry over the past six decades.
She has won numerous awards, including two Academy Awards, ten Grammy Awards, five Emmy Awards, and a Tony Award, and is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time.
Streisand has appeared in numerous films throughout her career, showcasing her talents as an actress and singer. Her films range from musicals to dramas and comedies, and many have become classics of their respective genres.
Throughout her career, Streisand has been praised for her powerful voice, commanding stage presence, and nuanced performances.
Best Barbra Streisand Movies
Her impact on cinema and music has been significant, and her films continue to inspire and entertain audiences around the world.
1. Nuts (1987)
“Nuts” is a 1987 drama film directed by Martin Ritt and starring Barbara Streisand, Richard Dreyfuss, and Maureen Stapleton. The film tells the story of a high-class call girl named Claudia Draper (played by Streisand) who is accused of killing one of her clients in self-defense.
Despite her wealth, Draper is deemed unfit to stand trial and is sent to a mental institution for evaluation.
Here are three reasons to watch “Nuts”:
Streisand’s performance: Streisand delivers a powerful performance as Claudia Draper, a complex and layered character who is forced to confront her past and fight for her freedom.
She received critical acclaim for her performance, earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress.
Important themes: “Nuts” explores themes of mental illness, justice, and the limitations of the legal system. It raises important questions about the treatment of those with mental illness and the challenges they face in being fairly represented in court.
Stellar supporting cast: In addition to Streisand, “Nuts” features a strong supporting cast that includes Richard Dreyfuss as Claudia’s lawyer, Maureen Stapleton as her mother, and Eli Wallach as her stepfather.
Each actor brings depth and nuance to their characters, adding to the film’s overall impact.
2. Yentl (1983)
“Yentl” is a 1983 musical drama film directed, co-written, produced, and starring Barbra Streisand.
It is based on a play titled “Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy” by Isaac Bashevis Singer. The story is about a young Jewish woman named Yentl who disguises herself as a man in order to study at a yeshiva (Jewish seminary) in Poland in the early 1900s.
The film explores themes of gender roles, sexuality, religion, and self-discovery. Streisand’s performance was praised, and the film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
3. Funny Girl (1968)
“Funny Girl” is a 1968 American biographical musical comedy-drama film directed by William Wyler.
It stars Barbra Streisand in her film debut as Fanny Brice, a role that would earn her an Academy Award for Best Actress.
The film follows Brice’s rise to fame as a performer in the Ziegfeld Follies, her marriage to gambler Nick Arnstein (played by Omar Sharif), and the ups and downs of their relationship.
The film is based on the Broadway musical of the same name, with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Bob Merrill. It was a critical and commercial success and helped to launch Streisand’s career as a film actress.
4. A Star Is Born (1976)
“A Star Is Born” is a 1976 musical drama film directed by Frank Pierson and starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, with Faye Dunaway in a supporting role. The film is the third remake of the original 1937 film of the same name.
Dunaway plays the role of Esther Hoffman, a journalist who befriends the main character, John Norman Howard (Kristofferson), a famous rock star who is struggling with addiction and self-destructive behavior.
Though her screen time is limited, Dunaway delivers a nuanced and empathetic performance as a woman who cares deeply for John and is trying to help him overcome his demons.
The film tells the story of John and Esther’s tumultuous relationship, as John’s star begins to fade while Esther’s career as a singer-songwriter takes off. The film explores themes of fame, addiction, and the price of success in the music industry.
“A Star Is Born” was a critical and commercial success, with Streisand winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song for the film’s hit song “Evergreen.”
Dunaway’s supporting role in the film is a testament to her talent as an actress, and she brings depth and complexity to her character. The film remains a beloved classic of the musical genre.
5. The Prince of Tides (1991)
“The Prince of Tides” is a 1991 drama film directed by and starring Barbra Streisand, with Nick Nolte and Blythe Danner in supporting roles. Here’s a brief summary and some reasons why you might want to watch it:
The film is based on the novel of the same name by Pat Conroy, and follows the story of Tom Wingo (Nick Nolte), a struggling football coach and poet who travels to New York City to help his sister Savannah (Barbra Streisand) confront her past trauma during therapy sessions with Dr. Susan Lowenstein (Blythe Danner).
As the therapy progresses, Tom and Susan develop a strong connection and a complicated relationship that will change their lives forever.
Reasons to watch “The Prince of Tides”:
Strong performances: The film features some incredible performances from the lead actors, especially Nick Nolte and Barbra Streisand. Nolte received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Tom Wingo, and Streisand’s performance as Savannah is equally powerful.
Emotional depth: “The Prince of Tides” deals with heavy themes like trauma, abuse, and mental health, but it does so in a way that’s both insightful and emotional.
The film is a poignant exploration of family dynamics, relationships, and personal growth, and it’s sure to leave a lasting impact on viewers.
Beautifully crafted: The film boasts some impressive cinematography, music, and direction that elevate the story and create a rich and immersive atmosphere. The score, composed by James Newton Howard, is particularly noteworthy and adds a lot of depth to the film.
Overall, “The Prince of Tides” is a moving and emotionally resonant drama that showcases some great performances and excellent craftsmanship. It’s definitely worth a watch for fans of powerful and thought-provoking cinema.
6. Hello, Dolly! (1969)
“Hello, Dolly!” is a 1969 musical film directed by Gene Kelly and starring Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau, and Michael Crawford.
The film is based on the Broadway musical of the same name and follows Dolly Levi (Streisand), a matchmaker who travels to Yonkers to find a suitable match for Horace Vandergelder (Matthau), a wealthy merchant.
Here are three reasons why you should watch “Hello, Dolly!”:
Iconic performances by Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau: Streisand and Matthau deliver outstanding performances as the leading characters.
Streisand’s powerhouse vocals and charismatic screen presence bring Dolly to life, while Matthau’s comic timing and gruff charm make Horace a memorable character.
Timeless music and choreography: “Hello, Dolly!” features timeless music and choreography that still delight audiences today.
The songs, including “Put On Your Sunday Clothes” and “Hello, Dolly!”, are catchy and fun, while the choreography, including the famous “Waiters’ Gallop” dance sequence, is energetic and entertaining.
Lavish production design and costumes: The film boasts stunning production design and costumes that transport viewers to the glamorous world of turn-of-the-century New York.
The sets and costumes are colorful, opulent, and intricate, adding to the film’s overall charm and spectacle.
Overall, “Hello, Dolly!” is a classic musical film that offers a delightful blend of humor, romance, and spectacle.
Streisand and Matthau’s performances, the timeless music and choreography, and the lavish production design and costumes make it a must-watch for fans of musicals and classic Hollywood cinema.
7. The Owl and the Pussycat (1970)
“The Owl and the Pussycat” is a romantic comedy film released in 1970, directed by Herbert Ross and starring Barbra Streisand and George Segal.
The film tells the story of a mismatched couple: Felix (Segal), a struggling writer who lives in a dingy apartment in New York City, and Doris (Streisand), a brash and eccentric prostitute who becomes his neighbor.
Despite their initial animosity towards each other, they soon develop an unexpected bond and begin a tumultuous and unconventional relationship.
“The Owl and the Pussycat” explores themes of loneliness, sexuality, and self-discovery. It was based on the play of the same name by Bill Manhoff and was a departure for Streisand, who was known for her musical roles at the time.
The film received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising Streisand’s performance and others finding the film’s humor and characters off-putting. However, it was a commercial success and has since gained a cult following.
“The Owl and the Pussycat” is notable for its frank depiction of sexuality and unconventional relationship dynamics, as well as its exploration of the bohemian counterculture of the late 1960s and early 1970s. It remains an interesting and entertaining artifact of its time.
8. What’s Up, Doc? (1972)
What’s Up, Doc? is a 1972 comedy film directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal.
The film follows the story of four identical plaid overnight bags and the characters that are trying to get their hands on them.
The bags contain various items, including a rare rock, which is pursued by a group of thieves. The movie is known for its fast-paced, screwball-style comedy, as well as the chemistry between the two leads.
The film was a commercial success and is considered a classic of the genre.
9. The Main Event (1979)
“The Main Event” is a 1979 comedy film directed by Howard Zieff and starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal, with Faye Dunaway in a supporting role.
The film follows the story of a struggling businessman named Hillary Kramer (Streisand) who discovers a talented boxer named Eddie “Kid Natural” Scanlon (O’Neal) and decides to promote him in a series of high-stakes fights.
Dunaway plays the role of a wealthy and ruthless businesswoman named Véronique, who is also a boxing promoter and rival to Kramer.
Though her screen time is limited, Dunaway delivers a memorable and entertaining performance as a woman who is not afraid to use her wealth and power to get what she wants.
The film is a lighthearted and entertaining comedy that combines elements of romance, sports, and business drama. The chemistry between Streisand and O’Neal is a highlight of the film, and Dunaway’s supporting role adds an extra layer of intrigue and humor.
“The Main Event” was a commercial success, grossing over $42 million at the box office. The film was praised by critics for its humor, performances, and engaging plot.
Dunaway’s supporting role is a testament to her versatility as an actress, and she brings a sense of wit and charm to her character.
10. The Way We Were (1973)
“The Way We Were” is a 1973 romantic drama film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford.
The movie follows the relationship between Katie (Streisand), a politically active liberal, and Hubbell (Redford), a writer who is more interested in his career than in politics.
The film explores their love story over the course of several decades, from their college years in the 1930s through the 1950s, against the backdrop of political and social upheaval in the United States.
The film was a critical and commercial success, receiving six Academy Award nominations and winning two for Best Original Dramatic Score and Best Original Song for the title track, performed by Streisand.
3 Reasons To Watch Barbra Streisand Movies
Iconic Performances: Barbra Streisand is a highly acclaimed performer and has won multiple awards for her acting, singing, and directing work.
Her films have showcased her versatility as an actress, singer, and comedian, and she has given unforgettable performances in films like “Funny Girl,” “A Star Is Born,” and “Yentl.”
Powerful Voice: Streisand’s distinctive voice is one of the most recognizable in the entertainment industry.
Her singing has won her numerous awards, including ten Grammy Awards, and her music has been celebrated for its emotional depth and range. Her films often feature musical numbers, and watching Streisand perform on screen is a treat for any music lover.
Strong Female Characters: Streisand’s films often feature strong and independent female characters who challenge gender stereotypes and traditional roles.
Her characters are intelligent, driven, and unapologetically themselves, and they serve as role models for viewers of all ages. Streisand’s films also explore important social and political issues, making them both entertaining and thought-provoking.
Best Barbra Streisand Movies – Wrap Up
Funny Girl (1968) – Streisand’s breakthrough film, where she portrays legendary Broadway performer Fanny Brice.
A Star Is Born (1976) – Streisand plays a rising musician who falls in love with a famous rock star (played by Kris Kristofferson).
The Way We Were (1973) – Streisand and Robert Redford star in this romantic drama about a couple whose political differences threaten their relationship.