Bette Midler: The Rose – Facts And Trivia

Bette Midler: The Rose – Facts And Trivia


What was the last question Rose asked before she died? 

Where is everybody going? ( Rose asked several different times where everybody was going. It was the last thought she had before she died.)

Where did Rose die?  

On stage ( Rose died on stage while she was performing.)

Who did Rose call just before she took the fatal overdose?

Her parents ( Rose called her parents and told them the only way to take a break and stop the endless tour was just to make up your mind and stop.)

Why did Rose’s lover leave her?  

He couldn’t handle her life-style ( Houston loved Rose, but he couldn’t handle her life and she wouldn’t give it up to leave with him.)

What was the last complete song Rose sang in concert? The Rose

Stay With Me ( Though I have seen ‘The Rose’ dozens of times, Bette Midler‘s performance of ‘Stay With Me’ still sends chills down my spine and tears down my face)

How did Rose get to her last concert? 

By helicopter ( Rose’s manager had to send a helicopter to pick her up because she was too stoned to find the stadium.)

Where was Rose’s final concert?  

Her hometown in Florida ( Rose sang her last concert in Florida in the town she grew up in.)

What event in Rose’s past was she very ashamed of? 

She got drunk and had sex with the football team ( In high school, Rose had gotten drunk and had sex with the whole football team. She passed out and woke up on the 50 yard line, much to her shame. She never got over it.)

What bad habit had Rose been able to overcome which came back to haunt her? 

Heroin ( Rose had kicked a heroin addiction but the stress of her life-style eventually pushed her back into using drugs.)

What was the name of the man Rose fell in love with?

Houston ( Rose fell in love with a limo driver named Houston.)

What desire did Rose express to her manager several times throughout the film? 

She wanted to take a year off ( Rose was very tired and felt she needed time off but her manager was insistant that she would lose her career if she took a break.)

What did Rose frequently drink while on stage? 

Southern Comfort ( Like Janis Joplin, Rose drank Southern Comfort while performing.)

What was the nickname of the real-life person the movie is based on?

Pearl ( Janis Joplin was often called the ‘Pearl.’)

What actress played Rose? 

Bette Midler ( A very young Bette Midler played ‘The Rose.’)

Whose life was the movie ‘The Rose’ based loosely on? 

Janis Joplin ( While not completely biographical, ‘The Rose’ is based loosely on the life of Janis Joplin.)

What are Rose’s last words? 

“Where’s everybody going?” ( People in her life were always leaving her. She says, “Where are you going?” several times during the movie. In the end, it was too much for her and she overdosed on drugs, tragically collapsing on stage.)

What experience did Rose have in high school which would haunt her for the rest of her tragically short life?

She got drunk and took on the entire football team. ( After Rose and Dyer’s first intimate encounter, she confides in him that in high school, she got drunk and took on the entire football team. She woke up on the fifty yard line. This would be the first of many hardships Rose would endure that eventually cost her her life.)

During which song does Rose collapse on stage?

Let Me Call You Sweetheart ( The last complete song she sings is “Stay With Me”, but Rose collapses in the middle of an a capella rendition of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”.)

What actor played Mal, Rose’s personal bodyguard/masseur? 

David Keith (. David Keith’s other works include “Independence Day” and “Daredevil”. Harry Dean Stanton played Billy Ray, Frederic Forrest played Huston Dyer, and Alan Bates played Rudge Campbell. Mal was one of the few characters who never left Rose’s side. I don’t think she every fully acknowledged and appreciated that.)

What is the name of Rose’s manager, played by Alan Bates? 

Rudge ( Rudge is Rose’s ruthless manager who would not let Rose take a break. This causes Rose to be very physically and emotionally worn out, adding fuel to fire that is her chaotic life.)

The film was originally conceptualized as being a biopic of the late Janis Joplin. However, this did not happen and the script was rewritten to be about the fictionalized Rose. What was the original title for the script before the changes were made? 

Pearl ( “Pearl” was Janis Joplin’s nickname. Her family did not give the filmmakers the rights to her life story, thus the story was changed. However, many elements of the original script still remain in the finished product.)

Who directed “The Rose”?

Mark Rydell ( Mark Rydell’s other works include “On Golden Pond” and “For the Boys”. Ken Russel directed The Who’s “Tommy,” Rob Reiner directed “This Is Spinal Tap,” and Martin Scorsese directed “The Last Waltz”.)

What is the name of Rose’s cab driver boyfriend? 

Houston Dyer (. He introduces himself as “Houston Dyer”. Rose asks if he is from Texas, to which he answers that he is from Waxahachie, Texas. They begin an on-off relationship for the remainder of the movie.)

What is Rose’s full name?

Mary Rose Foster ( Mr. Leonard, a store owner from her home town, finally recognizes her, and says her name. He didn’t even know she was a rock and roll star.)

The movie was originally entitled “Pearl”, which was a biographical movie based onJanis Joplin‘s life. When approached with the script for “Pearl”, Bette Midler believed it was too soon after Joplin’s death to portray her life in a movie. Rewrites were then made, with Midler’s guidance, that deleted some portions of the original script and embellished other parts of the story. Then the rewritten script was named “The Rose” and Midler agreed to the lead role.

Mal is seen applauding Rose from the wings during her singing of Stay With Me Baby, though it wasn’t in the script. David Keith simply spontaneously applauded Bette Midler’s heart-wrenching performance. Director Mark Rydell felt it was a good touch and decided to include the scene.

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”.

Mark Rydell would only agree to direct if he could cast Bette Midler in the lead. Up to that time, Midler had only appeared in bit parts in films, and was known primarily as a nightclub singer.

The post-premiere party was held at New York’s Roseland Ballroom and featured three thousand roses, the 3000th being clenched in the teeth of Bette Midler.

According to the book “The Academy Awards: The Complete Unofficial History”, Bette Midler “nixed” parts in Rocky (1976), Nashville (1975) and Foul Play (1978) in order to play the lead character in this film which would make her “an instant screen icon”.

When Rose (Bette Midler) asks Dyer (Frederic Forrest) where he came from, he says “Waxahachie, Texas”, which is Frederic Forrest’s real home town.

Bette Midler performed the film’s soundtrack album, the title song track “The Rose” was one of the biggest selling vinyl singles of 1980.

Ken Russell was offered the director’s job but turned it down instead to direct Valentino(1977). Russell later said that this decision was the biggest mistake of his career.

Actors Bruce Dern and Nick Nolte turned down the lead role of rock promoter Rudge Campbell which in the end went to Alan Bates.

Start of the film, there was a photographer going to take a picture, you will see a picture of a little girl, it was Midler as a little girl when she was growing up in Hawaii

Actress Bette Midler played another Rose-named character, Mama Rose in the remake of the classic Gypsy (1993), the name being similar to ‘The Rose’ / Mary Rose Foster in this movie. Midler was first touted to appear in Gypsy (1993) as early as 1980 when this film was in post-production and Midler reportedly held off signing until after she had seen the final cut of The Rose (1979) and the public’s reaction to it.

Bette Midler‘s earlier film “The Thorn” [aka The Thorn (1971)] has associations with “The Rose” as rose bushes are thorny stemmed plants. “The Thorn” was made five years before “The Rose”. Midler’s 1974 film “Divine Mr. M” resurfaced in theatrical releases and on home-video during the early 1980s under its original title of “The Thorn” in an attempt to cash in on the box-office success of The Rose (1979).
This was the first of two American music movies in a year to feature the word “Rose” in the film’s title, the picture was followed in 1980 by Honeysuckle Rose (1980).
One of five of films directed by Mark Rydell which have a title prefixed by the word “The”. The films are: The Fox (1967), The Rose (1979), The River (1984), The Reivers_ and _The Cowboys (1972).



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