Musical Monday: “Funny Face” (1957)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

funny face posterThis week’s musical:
Funny Face” -Musical #32

Paramount Pictures

Stanley Donen

Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn, Kay Thompson
Model cameos: Dovima, Suzy Parker, Sunny Hartnett

An intellectual book store clerk (Hepburn) gets caught up in a fashion shoot. Photographer Dick Avery (Astaire)-based off of real life photographer Richard Avedon- feels she would add something unique to the fashion magazine he works for.

Fred Astaire's character was modeled after photographer Richard Avedon. Astaire is pictured with model, Dovima.

Fred Astaire’s character was modeled after photographer Richard Avedon. Astaire is pictured with model, Dovima.

-This movie was originally going to be an MGM film in the Freed Unit. However, since both Astaire and Hepburn were both working for Paramount, the film was moved to that studio. The MGM executives also weren’t in love with the script, according to The Fifties: Transforming the Screen, 1950-1959 by Peter Lev.
-Fred Astaire only wanted Audrey Hepburn for the film. Filming was delayed, because she wanted husband Mel Ferrer to be with her, according to “Audrey: A Life in Pictures” by Carol Krenz.
-Hepburn was self-conscious about being too skinny and flat chested. Fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy said everyone would be looking more at her eyes, Krenz said.
-Astaire’s role is based on the life of famed fashion photographer Richard Avedon. Stanley Donen hired Avedon for the visual consultant, according to “The Audrey Hepburn Treasures.”
-During the “He Loves, She Loves” number when Hepburn is in the wedding dress, it was difficult for Astaire and Hepburn to dance due to slippery and muddy grass.
-Hepburn’s own dog appears in the train fashion shoot scene.
-The white socks Hepburn wears in the jazz dancing scene caused trouble on set. Hepburn thought all black, including the socks looked better. Director Stanley Donen said if she wore all black, she would fade into the the background in the dimly lit scene and there would be no definition in her movement, according to the Sam Irvin book “Kay Thompson: From Funny Face to Eloise.”

-“Think Pink” isn’t an excellent song but the pink fashion sequence that goes along with the song is to die for. The number has models, including famous Suzy Parker, modeling pink bathing suits, day wear, evening gown and using pink shampoo and tooth paste.

Funny Face pink photogrid

“Think Pink” fashion segment in “Funny Face.” Models include Sunny Hartnett and Suzy Parker. (Film strip made by Comet Over Hollywood)

-The fashion shoot with Audrey Hepburn. The different scenarios are fun and the clothes are gorgeous.

model funny face

Audrey Hepburn fashion shoot (Film strip made by Comet Over Hollywood)

Notable Songs:
All of the music is by George and Ira Gershwin, so most of it is familiar and fairly enjoyable. However, some of the songs aren’t as recognizable Gershwin favorites like “Lady Be Good” and “I Got Rhythm.”
-“Funny Face” sung by Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn as he convinces Hepburn to model. Probably the most memorable song in the film.
-“S’Wonderful” sung by Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn
-“Let’s Kiss and Make Up” sung by Fred Astaire
-“How Long Has This Been Going On?” sung by Audrey Hepburn

My Review:
Though it’s said Fred Astaire wouldn’t do the film without Audrey Hepburn, Astaire is sadly wasted in this film. Astaire has two major dance numbers, but I don’t feel like it gives him an opportunity to really show off his talent.
However, “Funny Face” gives Audrey Hepburn a rare time to show off her dancing skills on screen. Hepburn originally trained to be a ballet dancer before going into films. Hepburn dances with Astaire and does the bohemian jazz, modern dance number.
Hepburn also does her own singing, rather than being dubbed like she was in “My Fair Lady.” Her voice, though, is better suited for the Gershwin tunes than the operatic score of “My Fair Lady.”
On a whole, though the plot isn’t fantastic- this movie is GORGEOUS. Beautiful color, beautiful clothing and my favorite are the fashion montages.
On a personal note: This film taught me the definition of empathy and made me want a black turtleneck.

Astaire and Hepburn dancing in "Funny face"

Astaire and Hepburn dancing in “Funny face”

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Actress beauty tip #10: Audrey Hepburn’s perfume

This is the tenth installment of my monthly classic actress beauty tips that I have read about and tested.

I love perfume. It’s nice to be recognized with a particular scent. It’s feminine and fun.

Several actresses were perfume addicts as well. The Turner Classic Movies documentary “Movies and Moguls” said Gloria Swanson spent $500 per month on perfume in the 1920s.

The ad reads “Once she was the only woman in the world allowed to wear this perfume. L’Interdit. Created by Givenchy for Audrey Hepburn.”

Recently I’ve been trying out different perfumes used by actresses. This month, I tried out Givenchy’s L’Interdit which was created and worn by Audrey Hepburn. The scent was created in 1957 and was made solely for Audrey. It was only offered in stores after she had worn it for a few years.

I’ve had a sample of this perfume for at least five years. It came in a gift set with my Very Irresistible Givenchy perfume and I simply forgot about it.  I only realized that I had it, and that it would make a good beauty tip, last weekend.

I wore it last week so I could smell it, get others to smell it and see if I could tolerate it for the whole day.

The perfume doesn’t smell bad. In fact, it’s pretty light and airy, but it is a very mature smell.  It has that musky, powdery smell that fills your nose when you sit behind an old woman in church.

My thoughts about the mature scent were confirmed when I had friends smell my wrist and say, “You smell like my mom” or “Aw that makes me think of my grandmother.”

To review:  The perfume smells nice and is light, but is probably a little mature for a 22-year-old. I may try again in a few years to see if my opinion changes.  On a side note, I read that the L’Interdit sold now isn’t the original scent. One blog said the original L’Interdit was much more spicy and exotic and not as flowery and musky. It’s a shame it was changed because that sounds much more appealing.

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