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 »
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
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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