BootLeg Betty

BetteBack January 3, 1986: Diabolical, Mudslinging Miss M

Farmington Daily Times
January 3, 1986

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NEW YORK (AP)Bette Midler hasn’t lost any of her punch, including the ones that land below the belt. But she may have to quit singing her theme song, “Friends,” after certain celebrities hear her new album.

The title may just say it all: “Mud WILL Be Flung Tonight.” She talked about her latest work one recent afternoon at her New York loft. There’s a new movie, “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” as well as her comedy LP, which recalls some of the wickedness of her early days when she wisecracked to a mostly gay audience at New York’s Continental Baths.

“It’s not a lot of mud, it’s just twit mud,” she said, with a mock pout.

As for having any friends left after the album’s release, she took a thoughtful pull on a cigarette, and laughed: “I didn’t have any friends when I started.”

From quips about Bruce Springsteen (“Bruce, you look good. What happened?” ) to imitations of Meryl Streep’s accent to merciless digs at Sally Field’s screeching “You like me!” Academy Award acceptance speech, Miss Midler’s album proves sh e ’s not only d iv in e , s h e ’s diabolical.

In fact, the album is just good, foul-mouthed fun, and it carries a disclaimer sticker: “This album contains material that may be deemed offensive by Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and Prince. For adults only.”

Midler also sings several songs, including a ditty about the invention of the brassiere, and reprises the Sophie Tucker routines from her “De Tour” tour of 1982-83.

But what Miss M was really up to in much of 1985 was shooting a movie with a few of Hollywood’s bad boys, appearing at benefits, including the Live Aid concert and getting to know her husband of one year.

“ I finished a film with … Nick Nolte and Richard Dreyfuss, and that was a great experience,” she said. “Dick Dreyfuss was hysterically funny and charming, and Nick Nolte was great, too. The three of us have not the best reputations in town … but we were good. We were all on real good behavior and very supportive of one another and it was tremendous.”

The movie, which opens Jan. 30, is a remake of the Jean Renoir classic, “Boudou Saved From Drowning,” with Nolte playing a bum who tries to drown himself in the swimming pool of a Beverly Hills family.

“The husband (Dreyfuss) is having a kind of crisis and he invites the bum to stay over, much to the chagrin of the wife, and that’s the character I play,” she said. “The bum sort of turns the household in­ side out and gets them to take a good, hard look at the frivolity and silliness of their ways.

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