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Divine Madness (1980)

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In 1980, the head usher at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium gives his crew a pep talk: he wants tonight's "Betty Midler" show to go smoothly. He's a little worried about risque language, ... See full summary »


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Title: Divine Madness (1980)

Divine Madness (1980) on IMDb 7/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »


Complete credited cast:
Herself / The Divine Miss M
Jocelyn Brown ...
The Harlettes
Ula Hedwig ...
The Harlettes
Diva Gray ...
The Harlettes
Irving Sudrow ...
Head Usher
Tony Berg ...
Band Vocals
Jon Bonine ...
Band Vocals
Joey Carbone ...
Band Vocals
Band Vocals


In 1980, the head usher at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium gives his crew a pep talk: he wants tonight's "Betty Midler" show to go smoothly. He's a little worried about risque language, Liberace recently gave him a scare. Then, boom, there she is, with her backup trio, "The Harlettes," going from rock to ballad to medley, from "Big Noise From Winnetka" to "I Shall Be Released." It's a concentration of camp: she imitates Sophie Tucker, she's mermaid Dolores Delago, and between every song, it's non-stop movement and lots of raunchy patter. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

concert film | crude humor


Bette Midler is Divine Madness See more »


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 November 1980 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Divine Madness  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was shot using only ten cameras and a small crew of thirty. See more »


Featured in At the Movies: Winners That Were Losers (1983) See more »


Big Noise from Winnetka
Written by Ray Bauduc, Bob Crosby, Bob Haggart and Ben Pollack
Performed by Bette Midler
See more »

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User Reviews

Quite shocking for its time
10 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Film version of a Bette Midler stage show. After the huge hit movie "The Rose" Hollywood figured that America was ready to see Bette Midler uncensored on stage. Well--they weren't. Film critics were horrified and/or found the film way too stagy. Also it was made VERY clear that the jokes were really extreme and vulgar. This movie pretty much bombed. But come on! What where they expecting? "The Rose" wasn't exactly PG material. I'm a Bette Midler fan myself but I wasn't too impressed with this. When she's joking it's absolutely hysterical and she does some great songs ("Shiver Me Timbers", "The Rose", "Going to the Chapel") and the stage show is very elaborate. But you never forget you're watching a stage show and uninspired direction doesn't help. Also Midler (unwisely) does some rock'n'roll towards the end which just doesn't work. There are some obvious cuts in the performance too. Still, it has plenty of good moments and doesn't overstay it's welcome. Bette Midler fans will want to check this out. All others--use your own judgment.

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