Released – February, 1957
Directed By – Stanley Donan
Starring – Audrey Hepburn (Jo Stockton), Fred Astaire (Dick Avery), Kay Thompson (Maggie Prescott), Michel Auclair (Professor Emile Flostre).
Description – ‘S Wonderful! ‘S Marvelous!
Quality Magazine editor and publisher Maggie Prescott is on the lookout for the next big fashion trend. She wants something different, a new look, that is both “beautiful” and “intellectual.” Photographer Dick Avery is just the man for the job.
Maggie and Dick decide to start by finding the perfect location for the new look. They discover and take over a small book store called Embryo Concepts. The store is managed by Jo Stockton, a shy and philosophical young woman. Maggie decides to use Jo in some of the first fashion shots in order to give them a more intellectual look.
Jo agrees to do the shots, but right now has only one ambition. That is to get to Paris and attend a lecture by famed philosopher Professor Emile Flostre.
While developing the negatives of the shots, Dick believes he sees something in Jo’s face. Something that makes Jo perfect for the entire new look fashion campaign. Maggie and Dick send for Jo and she is immediately set upon by hair designers, and fashion and makeup experts.
This is something that the philosophical Jo wants no part of, that is, until she hears Dick mention something about a fashion show in Paris. This would be the perfect opportunity for her to get to France.
It isn’t long before Maggie, Dick, and Jo are off to Paris. Dick and Jo begin shooting photos at all the famous landmarks in the beautiful city. It’s then that something no one expected begins to happen. Dick and Jo are falling in love.
NOTABLE: Funny Face received Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Writing, Story and Screenplay, Best Costume Design, and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration.
The character of Dick Avery, as played by Fred Astaire, is based on real-life photographer Richard Avedon who set up most of the photography for the film.
When scenes were filmed in Paris there existed a political problem in France that left cast and crew on edge due to the violent riots in the city.
Actress Cyd Charisse was offered the role of Jo Stockton, but turned it down. Initially, the agents for Audrey Hepburn also turned the role down, but after reading the script Audrey Hepburn overruled them and wanted the role. Hepburn had also been offered the lead in Gigi, but preferred to do this picture.
The films producers wanted both Hepburn and Astaire for the lead roles and resulted to a little trickery in order to get them both. When speaking with each, the producers told them that the other had already signed to do the picture feeling that they would not pass up the chance to work together. They were right.