Barbra Streisand: Becoming an Icon 1942-1984

Barbra Streisand: Becoming an Icon 1942-1984


Don’t look for understatement in this immodestly titled bio-doc. Feminist historian Camille Paglia, a big Streisand fan, describes her as “my generation’s John the Baptist” and the narration is breathless… “She would have to make her own dreams come true.”

But Streisand is undeniably a massive star with a thunderball of talent, even if you might want to duck when she opens her mouth to sing. Hers is a terrific story – born in a poor Jewish working-class neighbourhood in Brooklyn, little Barbara (as she was then; Streisand later removed that second “a”) lost her dad when she was young and saw her grief-stricken mother struggle to cope. Through sheer determination, she made it big.

Streisand doesn’t contribute, but there are long clips from a revealing 1971 interview with David Frost, and anecdotes from friends and colleagues.


Actress and singer Barbra Streisand grew up in working-class Brooklyn, dreaming of escape from her tough childhood. A stellar student, she resisted the pressure to go to college as her sights were firmly set on Broadway. She was determined to become an actress and landed her first role aged 16, but it was two years later, when she started to sing, that her career took off. This documentary charts her rise to stardom and the remarkable achievements of her early career.

Cast & Crew

Contributor Barbra Streisand
Director Nicolas Maupied
Producer Dominique Tibi
Producer Cathy Palumbo