7.0/10
7,034
54 user 31 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.

Director:

Mark Rydell

Writers:

Bo Goldman (screenplay), Bill Kerby (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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

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Stars: Bette Midler, Danny DeVito, Judge Reinhold
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bette Midler ... Mary Rose Foster
Alan Bates ... Rudge Campbell
Frederic Forrest ... Huston Dyer
Harry Dean Stanton ... Billy Ray
Barry Primus ... Dennis
David Keith ... PFC Mal
Sandra McCabe Sandra McCabe ... Sarah Willingham
Will Hare ... Mr. Leonard
Rudy Bond Rudy Bond ... Monty
Don Calfa ... Don Frank
James Keane ... Sam
Doris Roberts ... Mrs. Foster
Sandy Ward ... Mr. Foster, Rose's Father
Michael Greer ... Emcee
Kenny Sacha Kenny Sacha ... Female Impersonator (as Claude Sacha)
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Storyline

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 (84) »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 November 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pearl See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$29,200,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The DVD sleeve notes outline a trivia item about the film's comparisons with Janis Joplin. It reads: "Bette Midler's fictional role bears striking similarities to Janis Joplin, who many say was the film's inspiration. Like Joplin, Midler's character performs while drinking Southern Comfort, she is called 'Rose' as Joplin was called 'Pearl' and she returns home to flaunt her success, just as Joplin showed up at her high school reunion". See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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 »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 14 minutes from this film for its 1984 network premiere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Margaret Cho: I'm the One That I Want (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

I've Written a Letter to Daddy
Music and Lyrics by Larry Vincent, Henry Tobias, Moe Jaffe
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Emotionally Moving Story With One Electrifying Performance
14 March 2011 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

As a pumped-up, neurotic 1960s rock star named Rose, Bette Midler energizes this film with a soulful, emotional performance deserving of Oscar recognition. Midler animates the character so well that, paradoxically, she rather overwhelms the film's plot about a famous singer who nonetheless is insecure and fragile.

I would estimate that roughly a quarter of the film's runtime consists of Midler on-stage singing and performing in front of an audience of hundreds, and in one case thousands, of extras as part of a real-life concert. The technical logistics of putting together such a believable event is quite impressive, with multiple cameras, special effects, complex lighting, and in only one camera take.

The non-concert plot has Rose in various states of emotional highs and lows, mostly lows, as she laughs and cries, whines and moans, and argues and fights with those around her. This is a lady who is controlled by emotion, not reason or logic. She laughs one minute, cries the next, then laughs, then cries some more.

As such, the plot trends emotionally repetitive, though we as viewers sense that all this enormous gushing of raw feeling can't continue indefinitely. And thus with great effect, the film has a dramatic ending, one that combines character resolution with stunning visuals, followed by end credits set against the musical backdrop of Amanda McBroom's moving, hymn-like title song, "The Rose".

By far the best element of the film is Midler's electrifying performance. Yet, the concert footage and film editing are also impressive. The weak link is a plot that, though acceptable, seems anemic in comparison to Midler and the stunning visuals.

Inspired by the unnerving musical career of Janis Joplin, "The Rose" presents viewers with an emotionally moving story, character driven, that is set within an overall film production that is technically both competent and credible.


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