The Rose (1979)

R  |   |  Drama, Music, Romance  |  7 November 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 5,871 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 20 critic

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), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rudge Campbell
Huston Dyer
Billy Ray
Barry Primus ...
Pfc. Mal
Sandra McCabe ...
Sarah Willingham
Will Hare ...
Mr. Leonard
Rudy Bond ...
Don Frank
Mrs. Foster
Sandy Ward ...
Mr. Foster, Rose's Father
Michael Greer ...
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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

roses | drugs | awol | driver | demand | See All (83) »


She gave and gave, until she had nothing left to give


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)


$29,200,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When originally issued on Home Video by the Magnetic Video corporation, the film was separated into 2 parts, as VHS could only hold 2 hours of videotape at the time and the alternative would have been to time compress it. (See also _Superman (1979)_.) 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: Ain't it just grand layin' there late at night in your bed, waitin' for your man to show up? And when he finally does, at oh about 4 o'clock in the mornin', with whiskey on his breath, and the smell of another woman on his person... Oh honey, I can smell another woman at 500 paces. That's a easy one to catch.
[crowd gets really noisy]
Rose: Oh, the women are getting nasty. So what do you do when he comes home with the smell of another woman on him? Do you say, "Oh honey, let me open up my loving arms ...
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 »


Featured in No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos (2008) See more »


Let Me Call You Sweetheart
Written by Beth Slater Whitson and Leo Friedman
Performed by Bette Midler
See more »

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User Reviews

4 October 2001 | by See all my reviews

I'm no fan of Bette Midler, but I was mighty impressed by her first starring role in "The Rose". The Divine Miss M plays Rose, a Janis Joplin-type, living her last days in a sea of sex, booze, and drugs. The movie shows painfully and slowly how her life goes completely out of control, while her friends and management are helpless.

Midler, unlike the unbearably long line of singers/rappers/divas/bubblegum pop stars who have done acting, can do both and dominate. Midler's Oscar-nominated performance is awesome, and her singing voice is superb as she belts out the songs with panache. If you want to see her do something else besides the endless comedies she does, check this one out.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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