BetteBack Midler Sings To Hundreds Of Marines For ‘For The Boys’

Cedar Rapids Gazette
January 18, 1991

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The Gulf crisis came crashing onto the soundstage where “For the Boys” is filming. On Tuesday, Bette Midler sang a World War II vintage love song to hundreds of extras – among them U.S. Marines utilizing leave before leaving for Saudi Arabia.

“It’s an element of reality we never anticipated.” says director Mark Rvdell, “a terribly moving moment, but the boys were thrilled that they could have this kind of sendoff.”

The drama in which Midler and James Caan play U.S.O. performers from World War II through the Korean and Vietnam conflicts has been in the works since early ’90 – when the thought of war seemed more distant than it had in decades.

“It’s an unusual picture, with musical numbers thrust between scenes of people dying in conflict,” says Rydell. “It’s very special, with a very substantial message that makes it clear the concept of warring nations is lunatic.”

â–  “For the Boys,” made by Midler’s All Girl Productions and planned for unveiling by 20th Century Fox at year’s end. marks Rydell’s first turn in the director’s chair since his award winning “The River” of 1984.

E x p la in s th e e s te e m e d filtnmaker, “1 spent over five years developing movies I ended up not making.

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