May 4, 1974
P a tric ia L a n ig a n of E Meadow. N Y., askes if Bette Midler has a “religious” flick due; yes, more irreligious, however: it s a cheapie ($30,000) in more ways than money: it s an meptie. too – titled originally “The Greatest Story Ever Overtold.” a candidly sacrilegious story of Jesus and Mary, so bad it wasn t released, nor even escaped since it was slapped onto celluloid three years ago.
Meanwhile, back at the footlights. Bette Midler’s campy nonsense got hot which makes the cheapie a fiscally viable property The name’s now changed to “The Divine Mr. J.,” a takeoff on the already campy Bette-billing and with her neostardom all the way from the homo-baths to the Palace Theater. La Midler now wants to keep it buried No way.
Ifs boon edited to moke Bette seem the star – she was a prominent afterthough as first filmed – and it was previewed at a drag ball and pronounced rotten but financially promising It’s an alldirections insult (it’s billed as “A Metro Golda-Meier Production”), noisily trumpeting its afterthought-star os “The Virgin Midler,” and a prime favorite for the year’s prise in the Age of Vulgarity: marijuana is smoked at the Last Supper, john the Baptist baptises with low-comedy seitser water in the face, Christmas is a tourist promotion of theÂ Bethlehem Merchants Assn , et.