Funny Face is an American musical film released in 1957, based on the 1927 Broadway version by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin. It stars Audrey Hepburn as Jo, a shy, bookshop clerk-cum-amateur philosopher, who is discovered by a famous fashion photographer (played by Fred Astaire) and finds herself at a major fashion event in Paris, where romance blossoms. The plot for the film version is dramatically different from that of the Broadway musical, although many of the songs remain. Astaire also starred in the stage version alongside his sister, Adele. The movie plot is actually adapted from another Broadway musical Wedding Bells by Leonard Gershe. The original title for the film was "Wedding Day".
Unlike her later film, My Fair Lady, Hepburn sings in her own voice in this, her first musical. She performs one solo, "How Long Has This Been Going On?", a duet with Astaire, "S'Wonderful", a duet with Kay Thompson called "On How to be Lovely", and takes part in an ensemble performance of "Bonjour, Paris". Her dance training is also called into play, not only in the two dance numbers she does with Astaire, but also for a Bohemian-style solo dance in a nightclub which is often replayed in retrospectives of her career.
Astaire, meanwhile, was approaching the end of his musical film career, in this the second in a consecutive series of three French-themed musicals he made in the 1950s. He performs a song and dance solo with cane and cape to Gershwin's "Let's Kiss And Make Up". According to Hepburn, she insisted on Astaire as a precondition for her participation. Thompson, who usually worked behind-the-scenes as a musical director for films, makes a rare appearance on camera as Maggie Prescott, a fashion magazine editor. Besides her duet with Hepburn, she performs the solo number "Think Pink!" in the presence of a dance chorus, and Thompson and Astaire perform a comic dance duet to "Clap Yo Hands". Thompson is perhaps best known today as the author of the popular series of books concerning the spoiled, rich girl, "Eloise."
Astaire's character was loosely based upon the career of Richard Avedon, who provided a number of the photographs seen in the film, including its most famous single image: an intentionally overexposed close-up of Hepburn's face in which only her famous features - her eyes, her eyebrows, and her mouth - are visible. (This image is seen during the "Funny Face" musical number, which takes place in a darkroom).
Funny Face was also the name of an American television series starring Broadway singer/actress Sandy Duncan, which aired from 1971 to 1972 for two seasons.