Monthly Archives: July 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Director William Friedkin: Bette’s Mae West Will Be A Musical

Indiewire William Friedkin Makes a Midler Musical, Defends Digital, Restores ‘Sorcerer,’ Reveres Old Studios INTERVIEWS BY ANNE THOMPSON JULY 31, 2014 5:25 PM download The whip-smart husband-and-wife team of director William Friedkin (“The French Connection“) and Sherry Lansing, the producer (“Fatal Attraction”) and first woman studio head at Twentieth Century Fox and Paramount, visited the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in Czech Republic this month, where I sat down with each of them. Here’s Lansing, and below is my free-wheeling conversation with Friedkin. The director has been keeping busy not only writing his memoir, The Friedkin Connection, and directing such films as Tracy Lett’s adaptation of “Killer Joe,” starring Matthew McConaughey, but many operas. He’s legendary for his intensity and demands for excellence–but the results speak for themselves. Always have. Friedkin has also painstakingly restored 1977 cult film “Sorcerer” (his Tangerine Dream-scored remake of Henri Clouzot’s classic “The Wages of Fear”) which is out on Blu-ray and played at KVIFF. Due to the raves accompanying the remastered suspense thriller, on August 5 Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is issuing a remastered DVD version and a Digital Download. Anne Thompson: You are the living example of how the new digital universe favors the long tail. William Friedkin: It’s a transition period. Not simply for the delivery of films — you know, in which there are many more ways to show a film. On the iPad, on a cell phone. Films have a greater afterlife than they ever did in the period when I was making so many of them. We never thought about an afterlife for these films. I’m sure Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton never thought their films would be seen again; they’d play in a theater somewhere, be very successful, and then be gone, because there weren’t all these other media. But with the invention of all these media, there are entrepreneurs who go around and start production companies or don’t, and they want to take meetings or do this and that in a way that I’ve never seen before. There used to only be so many places where you could make a movie. The major studios, if you were in America; the government, if you were in Europe or somewhere. Now… [Laughs] there’s a lot of films I hear about. They don’t come out, you don’t see them, except a news item that it’s being shown on iTunes or Netflix. So, speaking of a long life, you have these anniversaries now. The studios are exploiting these milestones. Well, they exploit films on every level — that’s what they do. That’s what distribution means: it means exploiting the film as much as you possibly can. So first with the advent of DVD, now Blu-ray and streaming, there are all these other opportunities. So, “The Exorcist,” 2013 was the 40th anniversary, so they naturally re-released it, put out a brand-new Blu-ray — same with “The French Connection” a year or two before — and that’s happening with all kinds of films. Warner Bros. have acquired many of my films for redistribution; they acquired, for domestic, “Sorcerer.” It was originally made for Paramount and Universal. Universal only had a 25-year lease that has run out, so Paramount controls all the European and other foreign rights, and Warner Bros. has domestic… Paramount controls the theatrical. The film is appearing, theatrically, everywhere, and it’s going to be released widely in theaters; it’s already started. That’s controlled by Paramount. Warner Bros. has all the home video in America and streaming; they paid for the whole thing. That’s a new model. With Warner Archives, it seems to make more sense for the studio to have control over their library. Well, they have a great many of my films. They acquired “Cruising” and have already put it out as a DVD, and there’s more stuff coming, and it’s been streaming. It’s all over these websites. They have “Rules of Engagement,” they have “Blue Chips,” they have “Jade.” That was Paramount, right? Yeah, but they were not in the same league as Warner Bros. in terms of home video. Mostly Paramount is interested in new films for home video, whereas Warner Bros. relishes what you would call “legacy films.” William Friedkin What was the most difficult part of the “Sorcerer” restoration? Negotiating the rights. I had received many thousands of requests over the years of “when can we see ‘Sorcerer,’ and how?” There’s a group in Los Angeles called Cinefamily. They ran it for years, and they got a letter from Paramount saying, “We don’t own the rights.” So the guy who ran Cinefamily contacted me, and I said, “Well, try Universal,” and they said, “We don’t own the rights.” So I sued them only to determine the rights. Not for money; I sued them for discovery, and the judge held that I was entitled to discovery, at which point I learned that Paramount still owned rights; Universal had none. They had to go deep into the vaults. And both studios have been sold three times since I made that film for them, and Warner Bros., for a long time, wanted to reacquire the rights to redistribute it everywhere, but the only thing they could get was Universal’s rights, which was home video and then streaming — which was a new thing. So that was the most difficult part of making it. The negative was in great shape. It wasn’t deteriorated or broken or screwed up. So was it in one of the vaults at Paramount? Or Universal? A lot of the negative was in Universal vaults, because we recently found that they had some behind-the-scenes stuff — which I didn’t even remember — in the Universal lot. The Blu-ray is still selling all over the place. The Blu-ray opened after a couple of weeks out after #1 and #2 on Amazon, with basically no publicity — just word of mouth. It was #1 in drama and #2 in action-adventure for a long time, which I thought should have been reversed. But who knew? So that’s still out, so I’m not about to ask anybody to issue, at this time, a version just for the behind-the-scenes, but the next version will contain that. I’ve got to edit it, which I haven’t done. I loved “Sorcerer” when it came out. Oh, you’re the one! [Laughs] I was the one. The Tangerine Dream score was one of my favorite scores of all time. Back then you suffered slings and arrows, because it wasn’t commercially successful. What was wrong? Were you ahead of the curve? Anne, I don’t know. It’s the mystery of fate. Timing, right? But you can’t control that. I never knew if “The French Connection” was going to have one week and be done. You don’t know, and you don’t make them for that reason. But you were always a little ahead of the curve, aesthetically. You were pushing the envelope. Not necessarily on purpose. I was attracted to subjects that turned out to be controversial. They obviously weren’t to me. “Sorcerer” came out at another transition period, when the zeitgeist was changing completely for what was thought of as a Hollywood film. But I don’t feel that’s what affected the film in terms of its commerciality. What’s happened, of course, is that it’s been rediscovered by new critics, new film historians, and new audiences in a new media, basically: the digital print. And I loved it. It took me much longer to make the digital print than to make the 35. It took me about five months to produce a digital print of “Sorcerer” — including the time spent remixing the soundtrack into 5.1 stereo. It had more TLC in post-production than the original. And, now, it looks great. It looks the way I remember looking through the camera at each shot. There’s no dirt on the screen, there’s no scratches, there’s no splices. I’m a big supporter of the new medium, as I am of CD sound. Have you ever heard Caruso’s voice on an original recording? It sounds like this: [makes garbling sounds]. Oh, it’s Caruso! Well, I’d rather hear Caruso singing than the needle scratching the company’s recording. And I think, really, those people who are nostalgic for it — and I know I’m going to get a lot of heat for this — it’s like the people who are nostalgic for the horse and carriage. They never want to drive in a motor car. Have you made the transition to shooting to digital? Yeah. I shot “Killer Joe” on digital. I love digital; I prefer it to 35, which was an imperfect medium that lasted for a long time. You know, it came out of safety film, and it came out of film where you had to hand-crank the camera, and I think the DCP — or the digital prints — are far superior in every important way. There is no dirt, no scratches. As an exhibition medium, I will not argue with you, but what about the quality of the original image? You can always go to a digital master? Well, I shot “Killer Joe” with one of the great cameramen in America: Caleb Deschanel. We lit it like a movie. We would not have lit it any differently for 35. We made no adjustments for 35, because what a lot of people don’t realize is that there are more powerful lights that are smaller now, and the film — or the “digital rate” — is now faster. So you don’ t need arc lights any longer, as we used to have. Which looks fake, anyway. I think there’s a new aesthetic now that is much more naturalistic. You were always a very stylized filmmaker, but you always sought to create a world that was authentic — like “Sorcerer.” Well, “French Connection” was shot with handheld cameras, no dolly tracks. I happened to have a great cameraman who photographed the Cuban Revolution at Castro’s side, and so he didn’t need a lot of rehearsal; he was ready to shoot in whatever light. The director of photography, Owen Roizman, understood that aesthetic, but that was considered away from the norm at the time. We took little cameras that anyone could hold and shot the whole picture that way. On the technological side, I totally get where you’re coming from. But I talked to Mel Gibson the other day, over in that corner, and he was sounding nostalgic for the day when studios would support him. Well, I’ll tell you what I loved about the studios: the great films that they made in the ‘30s and ‘40s would sort of taper off later because there were other sources of distribution and finance. But in the ‘30s and ‘40s — and into the ‘50s — there was Hollywood for an American filmmaker, and some of the directors of that period — many of them, if not all — made 3, 4, 5 films a year. A guy like Michael Curtiz made “Casablanca” in 1941, and he did two or three or four films that year. Victor Fleming did “Gone with the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz” in the same year. But, the way that the studio system worked, other directors were on-staff. They’d shoot scenes for each other. Victor Fleming didn’t direct every scene in “Gone with the Wind”; George Cukor did many. Clarence Brown did many. It’s well-known. There were others. I think Selznick himself may have supervised the burning of Atlanta. They just burned old sets. The genius of the system. The studio system, for all of the negativity that surrounds it — they would tell actors what to do; they would tell Bette Davis what to do and she broke her contract — they made Bette Davis. They made Joan Crawford. They made Clark Gable. They made all the movie stars. These guys who were the moguls of that period, they found all the material. If I have any regret about my career in Hollywood, it’s that I wasn’t a studio director. But people say the ‘70s and the ‘80s were the golden period. They weren’t there! In the ‘70s and ‘80s most of my colleagues, and me, were influenced by the European films of the ‘50s and the ‘60s — Antonioni, Fellini, Rossellini, Alain Resnais. There’s an endless list of filmmakers whose works were widely available to us from Europe, that influenced us more than American films — although I still have a fondness for the musicals. My other regret is that I was never able to do one of the great MGM musicals, because those are really the films that —now, see, that’s gone. That was the popular of the music of the period: Gershwin, Rogers & Hammerstein, Cole Porter. That was what people heard on the radio and bought in recording. It isn’t anymore. And that music produced Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Ann Miller, Cyd Charisse, Debbie Reynolds. Those talents are gone; they’re not in the DNA anymore. What worries me is that so many of those skill sets have been lost. As the studios abandon all these genres, people don’t know how to make them anymore. They don’t dance anymore. Well, they can’t, because you can’t dance to the modern music. I mean, you can boogie to hip-hop and rap. I remember all of the music from “My Fair Lady,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” “The Bandwagon” and “Gigi.” These are great, great, timeless films, but it’s a period that can’t come back in anything similar as a form.

So, where are you now in filmmaking? Well, I’m working on a musical for HBO with Bette Midler playing Mae West. Doug McGrath is writing it now in New York. Did you see “Beautiful,” the Broadway musical about the Carole King songs? This is about a brief period in the life of Mae West, from the roaring ‘20s to the crash, about when she wrote a play for herself — when she was making a transition from vaudeville into theater. She was offered scripts by the Ziegfelds and the Schuberts. She didn’t like any of the scripts, and her mother — who was her closest advisor — said to her, “Why don’t you write your own script?” And she said, “What would I write about?” This is in her autobiography, which we’re using as a source. And her mother says, “What is the one thing that most people are thinking about all the time?” Sex. That’s right. You had to whisper it, didn’t you? And so did they, at the time. You couldn’t use that word in an ad. You could only refer to the male sex or the female sex; you couldn’t use it in a sexual context, so they couldn’t advertise it, they couldn’t put it in a newspaper, and nobody wanted to produce it. So she wrote this play for herself, and she took it to New Haven, Connecticut, and there was a nearby naval base, and the sailors all showed up, and they loved it. She played a prostitute, and it was a huge hit with the sailors, and then she took it to Broadway, where it was a smash. And they arrested her off the stage and took her to Riker’s Island. She went to the women’s section in her silk underwear, followed by three open limousines filled with white roses; she had dinner with the warden and his wife every night. But then she was living with the female population of the prison. I think they reduced her sentence to ten days. For pornography. Yes, and offending the public morals. There was a vice commissioner in New York under mayor Jimmy Walker. This is the period we’re doing it. Mae West lived into the ‘70s. She did a lot. She was in “Myra Breckenridge.” She started making films in 1931. We’re going to end with her going to Hollywood. “She Done Him Wrong” was the first one. The thing is, I don’t want to have to try to duplicate Cary Grant. I would not do this film, except with Bette Midler. I would not do it with anybody else. And it was my idea to do it when the guy who runs the Mae West estate — he also runs the Sinatra estate; he’s a friend of mine — Bob Finkelstein, he sent me Mae West’s autobiography and said, “You should read this. You’d love it.” I said, “What? What for? Why would I want to read Mae West’s autobiography. It was probably ghost-written.” He said, “Take a look at it.” I couldn’t stop reading it, and I said, “If I can get Bette Midler, I’ll try to do this on HBO.” I took it to HBO, they immediately were excited about it. She’s going to sing three or four songs. Mae West introduced songs like “Frankie and Johnny” and “All of Me,” and Bette Midler will perform those and other songs. ...  Read More

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BetteBack March 1, 1986: Will Bette Play In “Down And Out” Series?

Winnipeg Free Press March 1, 1986 310870_223688351038143_221327031274275_541552_1881756475_n Ingenuity, as well you know, never lets up in Hollywood or its environs. Down and Out in Beverly Hills — about a wealthy hanger-maker with a wife, a daughter, a son, a dog and a free-loading bum — has done well in moviehouses since it opened a few weeks ago. Already, the three U.S. networks are fighting to acquire the rights for a sitcom. We doubt very much that Bette Midler or Mike The Dog would want to do a series but money does talk.
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bette Midler Visits Her Former Harlette Linda Hart & the Cast of Piece of My Heart

1.170501   8.202672   8.202673 Bette Midler took a field trip to the Pershing Square Signature Center to catch Piece of My Heart and visit a dear friend—Linda Hart, who appeared in Midler’s trio of backup singers, the Harlettes, in the ‘70s and ’80s. Composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman were also on hand to catch the new musical and reunite with Hairspray alum Leslie Kritzer. Click to see the stars’ visit on July 29, 2014!
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BetteBack January 31, 1986: Roger Ebert Reviews “Down And Out”

Roger Ebert January 31, 1986 large_mr3XR3HYwNDznpEKSIMYT9qi9IU Buddy Hackett once said that the problem with Beverly Hills is, you go to sleep beside your pool one day and when you wake up you’re 75 years old. “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” understands that statement inside-out. It tells the story of a rich family that lives in the timeless comfort of a Beverly Hills mansion – in the kind of house where they use Architectural Digest for pornography. One day a bum wanders down the alley and into their backyard and tries to drown himself in their swimming pool. After he is saved, he changes their lives forever. In its broad outlines, this story is borrowed from Jean Renoir‘s classic film “Boudo Saved from Drowning.” But this isn’t just a remake. The director, Paul Mazursky, makes his whole film depend on the very close observation of his characters. Mazursky knows Beverly Hills (he lives there, on the quiet cloistered flatlands below Sunset Boulevard), and he knows the deceptions and compromises of upper-middle-class life (his credits include “An Unmarried Woman” and “Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice“). With great attention and affection, he shows us the lives that are disrupted by the arrival of the derelict – this seedy failure whose whole life is an affront to the consumer society. The film’s heroes are the Whitemans, Dave and Barbara (Richard Dreyfuss and Bette Midler), and the bum, Jerry Baskin. He is played by Nick Nolte as the kind of guy who didn’t set out in life to be a failure, but just sort of drifted from one plateau down to the next one, until finally he was spending most of his time talking to his dog. It is, indeed, the dog’s disappearance that inspires Nolte’s suicide attempt, and it will be the Whitemans’ own amazing dog, named Matisse, that gets some of the loudest laughs in the movie. Maybe Mazursky is trying to tell us something about the quality of human relationships in Beverly Hills. The Dreyfuss character is a coat-hanger manufacturer. He didn’t set out in life to be rich (one of his favorite conversational gambits involves his own good luck and assurances that it could have happened to you as easily as to him – nice if you are him, but not if you are you). Here he is, living in a manicured mansion, exploiting wetback labor, sleeping with the Mexican maid, driving a Rolls convertible, selling 900 million coat hangers to the Chinese, and yet, somehow, something is missing. And almost from the first moment he sets eyes on the Nolte character, he realizes what it is: the authenticity of poverty. The movie has a quiet, offhand way of introducing us to the rich man’s milieu. We meet his wife, whose life involves long sessions with masseurs, yogis and shrinks (even her dog has a doggie psychiatrist). We meet his daughter (Tracy Nelson), a sunny-faced, milk-fed child of prosperity. We meet the Whiteman’s neighbor, played by Little Richard with an incongruous mixture of anger and affluence (he complains that he doesn’t get full service from the police; when he reports prowlers, they don’t send helicopters and attack dogs). We meet Carmen (Elizabeth Pena), the maid, who greets her employer lustily in her servant’s quarters but who grows, during the movie, from a soap opera addict into a political radical. We also meet the extended family and friends of the Whitemans, each one a perfectly written vignette, right down to the dog’s analyst. “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” revolves around the fascination that Dreyfuss feels for Nolte’s life of dissipation and idleness. He is drawn to the shiftless sloth like a moth to a flame. A bum’s life seems to have more authenticity than his own pampered existence. And, indeed, perhaps the last unreachable frontier of the very rich, the one last thing they cannot buy, is poverty. Dreyfuss spends a night down on the beach with Nolte and his bum friends, and there is a breathtaking moment at sundown when Nolte (who claims to be a failed actor) recites Shakespeare’s lines beginning “What a piece of work is a man!” Certain predictable things happen. Nolte not only becomes Dreyfuss’ good buddy, but is enlisted by all of the women in the household – the wife, the daughter and the maid – as a sex therapist. Dreyfuss will put up with almost anything, because he really likes this guy, and Nolte’s best hold on them is the threat to leave. Mazursky makes the most of that paradox, and gradually we see the buried theme of the movie emerging, and it is the power of friendship. What these people all really lacked, rich and poor, sane and crazy alike, was the power to really like other people. The movie should get some kind of award for its casting. Dreyfuss, who has been so good in the past as a hyperactive overachiever, succeeds here in slightly deflecting that energy. He has the success, but is bedazzled by it, as if not quite trusting why great wealth should come to him for doing so little. He channels his energy, not into work, but into enthusiasms – and Nolte becomes his greatest enthusiasm. For Bette Midler, Barbara Whiteman is the perfect character, all filled with the distractions of living up to her level of consumption. Nolte in some ways has the subtlest role to play, although when we first see it, it seems the broadest. His shiftless drifter has to metamorphize into a man who understands his hosts so deeply that he can play them like a piano. The supporting roles are so well filled, one after another, that we almost feel we recognize the characters before they’re introduced. And Mike, the dog, should get an honorary walk-on at the Oscars. Perhaps I have made the movie sound too serious. Mazursky has a way of making comedies that are more intelligent and relevant than most of the serious films around; his last credit, for example, was the challenging “Moscow on the Hudson.” So let me just say that “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” made me laugh longer and louder than any film I’ve seen in a long time.
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Today Is The Re-Release Of “Songs For The New Depression”

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Watch “Beaches” Performed By This Gay Comic In Less Than Four Minutes (Thanks Andy!)

Some queens will look for any reason to show off their Bette Midler impersonations. Add out comic performer Micah McCain to the list. The triple-threat entertainer takes aim at the gay-worshipped 1988 Midler-Barbara Hershey tearjerker Beaches and offers his singular take on the film’s highlights — except, oddly, it’s famous theme song “The Wind Beneath My Wings” — in less than four minutes. Brava! Check it out below.

  • The Top 5 Bette Midler Movies List
  • Film Review: Beaches (1988) by Garry Marshall – Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey star in a film about the arch of a friendship through love, jealously and illness
  • Gay Iconography: Bette’s Divine Legacy
  • Bette Midler Performs ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ at Oscars 2014 (VIDEO)
  • BetteBack: Two Bettes In One – Beaches
  •  ...  Read More

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    Monday, July 28, 2014

    Help Bette Reach Her Goal!

      Whew! We’ve passed the  $30,000.00 mark on our Stages For Success fundraiser and I’m absolutely thrilled with the response we have gotten so far! Matthew McConaughey, Gwenyth Paltrow, Blythe Danner, Gloria Estefan, and so many others from the entertainment community have remembered how important their own arts education was to their careers and stepped up to help our kids. I’m ferklempt! A diva’s work, however, is never done: we’re in the final week of our CrowdRise campaign, and we have to raise a total of  $50,000.00 order to complete our Far Rockaway, Queens project in time for the 2014-2015 school year. I’m just itching to give away these ukeleles! Please, help our kids to sing out and pass this on to your friends: I’m counting – and matching – every dollar raised! Love, Bette Midler Our mailing address is: The Jeckyl Foundation 700 12th Avenue South suite 201 Nashville, TN 37203.
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    **~BetteUcation~** ~ Rocky

    **~BetteUcation~** BetteVF1988 Bette was offered the role of Adrian in Rocky. “One supporting role I should have taken, if my then-manager hadn’t turned it down, was the Talia Shire role in Rocky. I’d still like to work with Sylvester Stallone. There’s something about those beefy Italians that turns me on. But when he sent over the Rocky screenplay, my manager told me it was a nice role, a nice movie, but not for me. When I saw Rocky, I was really sad that I’d lost the chance to play that girl.”
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    Sunday, July 27, 2014

    BetteBack February 14, 1986: Comedy is down but not out in new film

    Joplin Globe Comedy is down but not out in new film February 14, 1986 Picture_141 Dave Whiteman made a fortune manufacturing clothes hangers for hotels and motels. Jerry Baskin spent his time on the streets, scavenging for food and surviving the best he could. Director Paul Mazursky took those two characters and, throwing in a few cheap but delightful shots at the bourgeoisie, made a motion picture that is as varied as the main characters’ lifestyles. Throughout most of the film, Down and Out in Beverly Hills has all the class and style of Whiteman’s autos (a Mercedes and a Rolls Royce), sleek and fast with a touch of elegance. But, alas, there are too many instances where the film drags or questions remain unanswered, much like Baskin’s past. Those cases keep this from being a truly exceptional film. As it is, it must settle for good. The film opens with audiences meeting Baskin, played by Nick Nolte. Streetwise and complacent with his existence in Beverly Hills, Baskin does just fine until his dog, Kerouac, decides to run away with someone who can offer more food. Depressed, he stuffs his pockets with rocks and jumps into the Whitemans’ swimming pool. Richard Dreyfuss, playing Whiteman, saves the bum and, intrigued by his lifestyle, invites him to stay a few weeks. It’s here that Mazursky does some of his best work, and some of his worst. Dreyfuss’ character is weak and shallow, someone doing the same thing day in and day out. It is a credit to Dreyfuss that he could make someone look so incredibly bland. Nolte’s character, on the other hand, appears to have all the intelligence, sophistication and education to belong on the upper social levels. In each encounter between bum and millionaire, the bum comes out looking a winner — being better adjusted not only for his lifestyle, but for Whiteman’s as well. But things are not always as they seem, and Baskin keeps throwing in questions about his background, clouding the difference between the truth and a lie. While the encounters are humorous at first, Mazursky doesn’t seem to know when to quit. The magic between Dreyfuss and Nolte doesn’t exist when Baskin encounters the other members of the Whiteman family, each with their own peculiar problems. Indeed, looking beyond the two male leads, the best performance comes not from any of the co-stars, but from a shaggy extra named Mike. Mike plays the part of Matisse, a neurotic pooch that takes up with the Whiteman’s houseguest. If nothing else in the film seems amusing, watching Matisse roll his eyes or chase down a cheating master is sure to bring a few laughs. For her part, Bette Midler is the Divine Miss Average. Nothing in her performance fails miserably, but nothing stands out. That in itself is a shame considering the role she takes on as Mrs. Whiteman. Screenwriters Mazursky and Leon Capetanos have given her a variety of idiosyncrasies, most based in upper-middle class stereotypes. Little Richard, who provides some of the music for the soundtrack, makes a few brief appearances for his film debut. After his first, overworked scene, he proves that he can play well in a comedy. Evan Richards, who plays Max, the Whiteman’s androgynous son, contributes a few good moments on the screen as does Elizabeth Pena who plays Carmen, the Whiteman’s housekeeper. Tracy Nelson, as their daughter, spends most of the screen time away at college. She should have spent even more time there, as she adds nothing when she is in the storyline. One thing the storyline did not need was more characters dragging it to a stop. Too much of the first half of the film is spent away from the Dreyfuss-Nolte confrontations, lulling audiences to sleep. And some of the sexual situations appear to have been placed in the film only to help secure an R rating, and hence an adult audience, for Touchstone, the Disney Studio’s adult line. This is, after all, Disney’s first ever R-rated film. For those who can make it to the end, the penultimate scene, the New Year’s party, can almost make the whole film worthwhile as Mazursky finally lets the comedy flow non- . stop through the scene. It is enough, coming at the end of ; the film, to shake the audience out of its doldrums to leave the theater laughing, with a good feeling about the picture in general.
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    Friday, July 25, 2014

    BetteBack January 28, 1986: ‘You mean I won’t live forever?’

    Bette Midler in the fast track Bette Midler interviews are funny, witty, stimulating. By David Hinckley New York Daily News January 28, 1986 ...  Read More

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