81 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2002
Those of us of a certain age well remember the ultra-talented and ultimately doomed 60s icon, Janis Joplin.
In this thinly disguised Joplin biography, Bette Midler outdoes herself as an out-of-control, incredibly talented, self-destructive singer who turns to the bottle, sex, and anything else she can to hide from her intense inner pain. It sounds like a cliche, and by now it is, but that was Janis--and Bette does her one better. Her angst shines through with great poignancy, even when she is belting out hit after hit, responding to her audience as though she is making love.
Hard living, hard boozing, and bent on destroying herself, the singer has us riveted to her story. Her tearful phone call to the father who never approved of her is one of the high points of the film: Bette pulls out the stops.
Alan Bates is divine as always as the singer's manager, but this film belongs to Bette. If you are not aware of Midler's incredibly wide-ranged talent, this is the perfect movie. It can make you a lifelong fan.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2000
Bette Midler is heartbreaking as the woman who becomes known to the world and herself as, The Rose. Her life takes many unexpected twists and turns before the unforgettable and shocking ending is revealed. Bette Midler pours her heart and soul out in her Oscar nominated performance, for Best Actress of 1979, and her dedication shines through, Enjoy! This film also won a Golden Globe for best song and best actress in a comedy/musical movie- Bette Midler, Congratulations! 11
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2000
This 1979 film, for which star Bette Midler received an Oscar nomination, is a jolting, intense, and hypnotic portrayal of a famous rock star named The Rose. In this film, the viewer witnesses firsthand her life and death struggles with drugs, alcohol, and her vile manager, Rudge. (played by Alan Bates) This film in no way glamorizes the life of rock stars-it does precisely the opposite. It is a commentary on the sad life of someone who appears to have everything, but who in reality has nothing. The end will stun you, and Midler gives a stellar performance that you will NEVER forget. HIGHLY recommended.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Actually, as a movie simply taken as that (a movie) the film isn't so great, but as a concert film, its one of the greatest of all times... tied together buy the tragic rise to fame/pressures of success in "da biz" story... as a showcase for the Divine Miss M's enormous talents and a great rock and roll films with incredible high energy its probably the best ever made. The onstage scenes are among the best ever captured on film... Bette Middler, the band, and the entire production company were obviously in top form. At the time and even now no one accept maybe Tina Turner) was anything like her... Most of the shooting even puts to shame the "live concerts" you see on MTV today, even with the latest state of the art technology ! ! !
Loosely based on the life of Janis Joplin, the film doesn't really go much into her upbringing, origins and rise to stardom, but moreso shows her demise at the hands of her greedy manager who simply won't let her quit... She does her best to "get away" (acting out, escaping, wreaking havoc, falling in love, going on drinking binges) between the concernts, but can never quite escape... and always winds back on the stage, which is where she shines and perhaps the only place she was meant to be... and with a band like that, why not ? I remember playing the soundtrack over and over again as a child. Incidentally two other great "concert films" were made in this era, THE JAZZ SINGER (starring Neil Diamond as a rock and roll singer who marries a shikseh and decides to strut his stuff on Yom Kippur to the aghast of his alte kakker father) and the (deservedly) much forgotten WAY OF THE WORLD, featuring live concert footage of Earth Wind and Fire... The BLUES BROTHERS would follow a few years later...
This was an era when THE CONCERT was a major part of American life (pre VCR, DVD, digital audio and cable) and that going to concert was part of the American experience... this movie was more than aware of America's fascination with the whole scene from what was going on backstage and the "glamour" of what was happening behind the scenes... and it did it unforgettably well. My only dissapointment is that this film doesn't yet have the true cult status it deserves.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2005
This is Bette Midler's film debut-unless you are counting the movie she had been an extra in.
This is one of my favorite movies, and it also was Bette Midler's first Academy Award nomination! Well deserved!
This movie centers on a successful singer, but her life is far from happy. There is so much story to this movie, and I couldn't recommend it enough to people who have never seen it.
The music is wonderful, and Bette Midler truly gives the music and the movie her all!
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2003
THE ROSE, for its bravura performance by Bette Midler in a Joplinesque tale of the excesses and pitfalls of fame, has difficulty finding its own legs some 25 years after its release. While the movie packs a wallop by the end in emotional intensity, the lead in is far too predictable to keep this from being entirely riveting. The other problem with this film, and perhaps its biggest flaw, is the overuse of concert scenes. While these are full of energy and excitement, they tend to drag the plot down considerably. Yes, we have some clue that Rose works her [tail] off, but the extent to which we see this tends to hurt the film's pacing. THE ROSE is not a classic movie but a classic PERFORMANCE by Midler. Her acting career has been a spotty one at best and THE ROSE is by far her greatest achievement. Midler's performance is full of paradox: touching yet abrasive, sensitive yet ribald, comic yet tragic. THE ROSE is BETTE MIDLER...the only reason this film hasn't passed into "forgotten Hollywood".
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 1999
Almost everyone I know, including those who only recently first watched it, is simply blown away. The concert sequences are so jump'in and Bette Midler is so great at rock and roll that you actually ask if the Rose was a real person. But the video quality is so poor that I cannot give a final 5th but highly deserved star. The year 2000 is the 30 anniversary of Janis Joplin's death. Mayber something by then?
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2000
When I first saw this movie it hit me very hard, I was down for the rest of the day (yes movies influence me a lot). Bette Midler is absolutely fantastic (as always) and her songs are pure energy. I'd say an alternative title would have been 'Forces of Nature'. For me the best part ever is the last one, from when she's left alone in her home town and makes a stop at a bar she used to sing. After she's dragged out and takes all the pills she is so out of it and how can't you feel for her. She drives to the old school where she makes one of the most sad calls in history, to her parents, and if you have seen it before, you know it's the last time their parents will ever speak to her. Then she recollects what's left of her power and manges to call her manager, only to pull herself up to the stage and sing her last song. How can you not die when you see what happens next? And right after it, the title song, most depressing song ever, starts and plays on the end titles and on a moving bulb light. The 'Camellia' scored part where she's choppered in as well, a prelude to this sad end. One of the best movies for me, just for this part and for all of it. I hate the manager character.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2006
I just saw this movie last night for the first time ever. I was astounded and amazed by Bette Midler's performance, she is extremely talented. I have always liked her, yet this movie moved me on a level that I cannot explain. She is an incredible actress, and she deserved the Academy Award Nomination and More for this movie. Her performance as the self destructive character "The Rose" who seems to only care about "sex, drugs, and rock and roll" was just so absolutly tremendous and moving. I have never seen her in a better performance, some close, but none as touching and as moving, at least not that I have seen. This movie will also show you how Alcohol and Drugs will really mess up your life. I love this movie, and look forward to seeing Bette Midler again and again in this wonderful masterpiece.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2005
It's hard to imagine any one else but Bette Midler in this role.
What helps of course, is that Midler is so thoroughly an *honest* artist, one who brings so much truth to her performances: she has not a phony bone in her body. There is not a false note in Midler's portrayal of a neurotic, desperately needy, burned-out, over-stimulated rock star who's had too much of everything in the wrong dosages. Midler brings a buzzing, physical charge to the movie, one that carries itself over to the viewer: it can leave you exhausted long before the movie's end. Enacting the role of a rock singer, Midler is the real thing. It helps, of course, that her true calling is that of a concert singer, but she has all the vitality, hyperkinetic presence and true star quality of the greatest female performers: the audience's response to her in the concert scenes has total believability. It's entirely possible, too, to feel both revulsion and a deep pity for the character's horrifying unpredictability and destructive lifestyle. Midler is such a charismatic presence that when you see her downing all the pills and booze leading to her death, you can actually feel the force of her own personality (and unerring acting skills) transmitting through to the viewer, of the drug's increasing take over. In the end, as her Rose, in the midst of a song, teeters further into her drug-induced stupor, and topples over in death, Midler achieves a genuine horror and tragedy. How Midler manages to leave such a feeling of dread and queasiness is a testament to her genius; her voice, her body, and soul seem to be dying right in front of our very eyes - it no longer feels like a performance. It's as if a real singer was somehow caught on film in the last stages of being self-snuffed out. Bette Midler by this performance alone confirms herself as an extraordinary artist.