Barbra Streisand (1983)

PG Certificate
Sun 7 Feb 2pm - 4:05pm BBC Two


Our Score
In his autobiography, Charlton Heston recalls asking director William Wyler if he had any problems with Barbra Streisand on Funny Girl. "Nah, not really," said Wyler, "considering it's the first film she ever directed." And when, 15 years later, Streisand did finally get to direct, co-produce, co-write and star in a movie (Yentl), her perfectionism became the stuff of legend. Based on a story by Isaac Bashevis Singer and set in 1904 in central Europe, this musical drama is about a Jewish girl who dresses as a boy to receive a religious education. Such complications suggest a kosher Victor/Victoria or Tootsie, but Streisand approached it very seriously. Despite the obvious pains taken with the period setting (British studio interiors plus Czech location work), it rather lumbers along, suggesting that Streisand learned too much from Wyler and should have watched some early Ernst Lubitsch pictures instead. The film won the Oscar for best original score and two of the songs were nominated.


A Jewish woman is left alone in the world after the death of her father, who had been secretly teaching her Talmud law in defiance of religious tradition. To continue her education, she disguises herself as a man, but ends up being pushed into an arranged marriage to another woman. Musical drama, directed by and starring Barbra Streisand. With Mandy Patinkin and Amy Irving.

Cast & Crew

Yentl Barbra Streisand
Avigdor Mandy Patinkin
Hadass Amy Irving
Reb Mendel Nehemiah Persoff
Reb Alter Vishkower Steven Hill
Shimmele Allan Corduner
Esther Rachel Ruth Goring
Rabbi Zalman David de Keyser
Mrs Shaemen Doreen Mantle
Peshe Lynda Baron
Director Barbra Streisand
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: NudityAvailable on: video, DVD and Blu-ray
Drama Music