54 user 31 critic

The Rose (1979)

The tragic life of a self-destructive female rock star who struggles to deal with the constant pressures of her career and the demands of her ruthless business manager.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Huston Dyer
Billy Ray
Sandra McCabe ...
Sarah Willingham
Mr. Leonard
Rudy Bond ...
Don Frank
Mrs. Foster
Sandy Ward ...
Mr. Foster, Rose's Father
Kenny Sacha ...
Female Impersonator (as Claude Sacha)


Bette Midler plays The Rose, a female rock star strikingly similar to Janis Joplin. The film follows Rose's career during her last tour, as she's determined to return to her Florida hometown. Although a success, she's exhausted and lonely but continued working by her gruff and greedy manager. Though loud and brassy, Rose is an insecure alcoholic and former drug user who seems to crave approval in her life. She begins a romance with a limousine driver, who's actually an AWOL sergeant from the United States Army. Her rock and roll lifestyle of Drugs, Sex, and Rock and Roll and constant touring lead her to an inevitable breakdown. Written by R. John Berggren <jberg@nina.pagesz.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

roses | bath house | drugs | awol | driver | See All (83) »


She gave and gave, until she had nothing left to give See more »


Drama | Music | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 November 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pearl  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$8,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The post-premiere party was held at New York's Roseland Ballroom and featured three thousand roses, the 3000th being clenched in the teeth of Bette Midler. See more »


The Rose shoots up heroin in a phone booth, even though she has no water - a necessity for intravenous usage of a powdered narcotic. See more »


Rose: Where you going...? Where's everybody going...?
[she collapses onstage]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Lyrics of "The Rose" are displayed at the end of the credit crawl, scrolling to the ending of the song. See more »


References What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) See more »


Fire Down Below
Music and Lyrics by Bob Seger
Performed by Bette Midler (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

A surprisingly good mix of fact & fiction!
21 January 2004 | by See all my reviews

Originally intended as a flat-out biography of Janis Joplin's last days titled "Pearl" ( Janis' nickname and alter-ego ) the filmakers allegedly ran into privacy issues with the Joplin family which caused them to take a more "loosely based" approach of a "composite" character! Even Bette Midler herself had some ideas of her own that promised to provide a fictious portrayal! Since I had always found Janis Joplin's life both fascinating and tragic I had to write off seeing this movie in the theatres when it first came out in 1979.It wasn't until sitting through it on HBO that I could truly appreciate how utterly great Bette Midler's performance was!It certainly stayed close enough to the "truth" while adding some dynamic elements that a Janis biography portrayed by anyone else would have sorely lacked! Bette Midler is truely at her best! She pours out her heart and soul into this role and leaves nothing behind!Her rock concert scenes alone show her broad talent as a stage performer! Her scenes drunk & stoned give a rare glimpse into a lonely and crazy world of rock stars(like Janis Joplin was!) Her scene with her childhood country-music idol reminded me of a similar situation between Janis and Johnny Cash! Her former lesbian lover is reminiscent of Janis' one-time "biographer/lover" Peggy Caserta! The "homecoming" concert at the film's end reminded me of Janis' 10-year-highschool reunion which she attended only shortly before her death! All in All I regret not having seen (in the theatre) this "loosely based" and yet "thinly disguised" story of Janis!With Bette Midler at center stage it stands as both a glowing tribute to Janis AND Bette!

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