Bette Midler And Mark Rydell: Discuss “The Rose” Sept 25

Alternative Film Guide
Bette Midler at THE ROSE Screening
By Andre Soares

Bette Midler and Mark Rydell will take part in an onstage discussion following the 30th anniversary screening of The Rose on Friday, September 25, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

Inspired by the wild life and times of Janis Joplin, The Rose chronicles the rise and fall of late ’60s rock star Mary Rose Foster (Midler), who is used by her self-serving manager (Alan Bates at his slimiest); loved by a just-folksy, Starred-and-Striped limo driver (Frederic Forrest); and who eventually comes to the realization that love is indeed a river that drowns the alcoholic and drug-addicted reed.

Directed by Rydell from a screenplay credited to Bo Goldman – though Michael Cimino reportedly co-wrote it – and taken from a story by Bill Kerby, The Rose is sheer, shabby, shameless melodrama – but with a Moral. (The moral? Well, never, ever shoot up, get drunk, and then go perform onstage.)

In The Rose, her first “official” feature film, Bette Midler, perhaps afraid she might never have the chance to make another movie, runs the gamut: she screams, she cries, she laughs, she fights, she sings, she gets drunk, she shoots up, she says fuck at least twice in every sentence, she does fuck her driver, and then she drops dead. That helps to explain her Oscar nomination, though something tells me that Midler’s legendary performances at New York’s gay bathhouses would have been more deserving of acting awards. (And who would have guessed that she was to become the top female box-office star of the 1980s?)

The Rose was nominated for three additional Academy Awards: Actor in a Supporting Role (Forrest), Film Editing (Robert L. Wolfe, C. Timothy O’Meara), and Sound (Theodore Soderberg, Douglas O. Williams, Paul Wells, Jim Webb).

Also in the Rose cast: Harry Dean Stanton, Barry Primus, David Keith, and several drag queens.

Tickets for The Rose are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID, and may be purchased online at, in person at the Academy box office or by mail. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. All seating is unreserved. For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit

Photos: Courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library

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