BootLeg Betty

BetteBack: People Love “Ruthless People”

Parade Magazine
What’s Up This Week
By Lynn Minton
June 22, 1986


HAD THE DIRECTORS OF RUTHLESS People (Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams and David Zucker) but known of Bette Midler‘s impending pregnancy, they could have planned to shoot accordingly: In the movie, Bette, playing an overweight heiress, had to be padded for the early scenes to make her look fat.

Midler’s character is so obnoxious that when she’s kidnapped, her captors almost become ready to pay her reluctant husband (Danny DeVito) to take her back. (Yes, the plot was inspired by The Ransom of Red Chief, 0. Henry’s famous story.)

Out of character, Midler was ‘kinda shy,” reports Jerry Zucker (director also, with his partners, of the boxoffice smash Airplane). “I’d tell her, “You were terrific!’ and she’d say, ‘Really? Was it good? Do you really think so? like she didn’t quite believe me, and then she’d sort of melt and say, ‘Gosh, thanks.”

Preview audiences have been saying thanks’ for this new comedy from Touchstone Rims, opening Friday.

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