- Rudge (Alan Bates) to Dyer (Frederic Forrest) when Rose (Bette Midler) has a breakdown
New York Times - 11/07/1979
"...So many finely drawn episodes, so much brittle, raunchy humor and such an unexpectedly alluring performance from Bette Midler in the title role..."
Rolling Stone - 11/27/2003
"...Bette Midler nearly jumps off the screen..."
In this authentic, entertaining, and tragic film, Bette Midler plays Rose, a talented but exhausted, alcoholic rock star whose entire life is controlled by her cutthroat manager, Rudge (Alan Bates). Taking a bleak look at the downside of the music industry, THE ROSE chronicles the precipitous fall of this fictional rock & roll diva (modeled after Janis Joplin) as she nears a concert date in her home town that she hasn't been to in years. Pulled down by raging alcoholism and drug addiction, as well as her own insecurities, Rose's life begins to deteriorate to the point of complete self-destruction, all the while begging Rudge for a break in her grueling tour schedule. This raw, uncompromising, witty, and ultimately heartbreaking film includes several incredible musical performances by Midler in actual concert settings. THE ROSE is Midler's first role as an actress, and she embodies the alternately frenetic, worn-out, enraged, and sweetly insecure star with an almost inconceivable power, especially when interacting with her love, the faithfully adoring Dyer (Frederic Forrest).
In director Mark Rydell's THE ROSE, loosely based on the life of Janis Joplin, Bette Midler plays a talented but troubled rock star who is caught up in the heady world of professional success and heartbreaking love affairs.
Character Study |
Rock And Roll |
Tear Jerker |
Theatrical Release |
Theatrical Release: November 7, 1979.
THE ROSE was originally titled THE JANIS JOPLIN STORY.
Director Mark Rydell originally envisioned Bette Midler, whom he had seen performing in New York, for the role of Rose, but the studio turned him down. Years later, the project fell under his control again, and he got the go ahead to use Midler.
For the concert sequences, Rydell staged an actual live concert with an audience of extras in period garb. Midler performed all of the numbers several times over, wowing the audience, who had no idea who she was.
All of the music in the film was recorded live, with no prerecorded music used.