Todd McCarthy Picks Barbra Streisand's 5 Best Films

Barbara Streisand Ryan O'Neal - H 2013
Everett Collection

From "Funny Girl" to "Meet the Fockers," these movies revealed distinct sides of her protean talent.

This story first appeared in the April 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Funny Girl (1968)

A star is born -- you’d never seen anything like her before. the biographical bits about Fanny Brice seemed artificial even then, but director William Wyler made sure Babs’ debut was a knockout.

What’s Up, Doc? (1972)

Streisand loosened up, became sexier and dominated Ryan O’Neal -- then her offscreen lover -- in just the right way under Peter Bogdanovich’s shrewdly appreciative direction.

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The Way We Were (1973)

Sydney Pollack’s romantic drama about political opposites and the Blacklist might have been gutted in the editing room, but there’s no denying the star wattage of Streisand and Robert Redford.

Yentl (1983)

This musical was Streisand’s moment of total auteurship, a hugely personal work that easily can be derided but fuses her passion for her Jewish heritage, feminism, self-realization and music.

Meet the Fockers (2004)

This disposable comedy seems to have inspired Streisand to come out of her shell, disregard her image and just be brash and funny. For the first time in years, she actually was fun to watch.