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Bette Midler: The Divine Bette Midler

4.1 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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(Jun 28, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

The Definitive DVD about the Divine Miss M

Bette Midler has won GRAMMY Awards, Academy Award nominations, Emmy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, a Tony Award, but the true and complete story of her life has never been told, until now.

Full of revealing interviews with Bette Midler and her closest friends and associates, The Divine Bette Midler offers an extraordinary and intimate look at Bette's amazing creative and personal journey, from being the only Jewish kid in her neighborhood in Hawaii to reaching superstar status in almost all areas of show business. This revealing account of her life, which premiered as an A&E Biography in 2004, is a must for the Divine Miss M's many fans.

Bonus Features
* Two complete performances: "From A Distance" (1997) and "Do You Wanna Dance?" (1977)
* Deleted Scenes
* Expanded Interviews

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Bette Midler
  • Directors: John Scheinfeld
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Shout Factory
  • DVD Release Date: June 28, 2005
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009OL7VI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,030 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steven Housman on September 15, 2005
There are so many words that describe Bette Midler, but one word you will never hear is "ordinary." From the first time you became conscious of this woman, she was a force to be reckoned with.

My memories of Bette Midler begin in the winter of '73 when a friend of mine played a new album for me. The first track was "Do You Want To Dance?" and though I was familiar with the more upbeat tone of this song from the early 60's, I had never heard it done quite this way. It was slow, sexy and very adult. I was barely 15 and I recall quite well how she made me aware that dancing was just a metaphor for what she was actually singing about. By the time the album had finished, Midler had taken me through a wide array of emotions. The tracks ranged from torch songs of the 30's to wartime 40's romps to 60's pop classics to original songs of the modern day. The highlights are too many to mention, BUT if I had to select a couple, they would include a breathtaking original take on the Carpenters' "Superstar," along with the haunting and sad "Hello In There." She was able to perform familiar classics and yet make them her very own. Bette Midler's first album, The Divine Miss M, had amazing range, just like the personality I came to know within that very first year I discovered her.

More times than not when an artist hits this big with their first record album, it's nearly impossible to repeat the success. In Bette Midler's case, she's repeated it several times - not just on record, but on the Broadway and concert stage, on television and on the silver screen. Through it all, she has amassed Grammy's (including her first as Best New Artist 1973), Emmy's, a Tony, Golden Globes and two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress.
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After reading the reviews about talking heads in this DVD and not enough Bette, I was surprised to see how much stuff had been crammed into this 1 time TV documentary. The talking heads were varied and informative from people most of us all know. From Barry Manilow to her husband Martin. It captures the many faces of Miss M and her unique talent. The complaints I have read about this DVD is that there is not enough showing of her talents in vary shows. Well, if she is the legend they say she is...these shows should not be rare and unheard of but released for all to adore!

It is disapointing to not have ALL of her work on DVD or VHS! Especially when they have won awards like her TV specials O'l Red Hair Is Back from 1977 and Diva Las Vegas (both winning Emmys). There were some flaws like the skimming of For The Boys because it was not a box office smash. It came 12 years after the Rose and Mark Rydell did not even mention that Boys won her Golden Globe. Instead they were not sure why it was not a hit, but I can tell you why. In spite of the fact that most people do not like war, it came across as a war movie at a time when the Gulf War was real and people were affiliating From A Distance with that war already! What marketing failed to convey was a great epic that moved through decades of time and war with a relationship between two differnt characters.

This DVD is a brief collection and mostly informative documentary on the life of Bette Midler. I hope there will be other videos to follow such as releasing her Emmy TV Specials and perhaps a music video collection of her hits like I'm Beautiful & To Deserve You (which were number 1 songs on the dance chart for her and not even mentioned here), My One True Friend, One More Cheer, Under The Boardwalk, Wind Beneath My Wings, Night & Day, From A Distance and not to mention her MTV award winner Beast Of Burden with Mick Jagger!
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I bought this over the weekend from Tower where the sales clerk told me that Bette had just been in a few hours earlier. Having seen the "Kiss My Brass" tour twice, I was hoping for a little more indepth footage but really all you get is a few classic lines from the show and 2-second clips spliced together.

The vintage footage is amazing. Particularly rare clips as her doing "Matchmaker" from "Fiddler on the Roof", "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" on Johnny Carson, and even a rehearsal doing "Sentimental Journey". The bonus material includes extended scenes of the interviews with Bruce Vilanch and others.

Most assuredly, you will probably cry during the segment when Bette sings "Wind Beneath My Wings" at Yankee Stadium after 9/11 for a benefit. Even if you're not a fellow New Yorker, the impact that this has is enthralling.

I give this only a 4 out of 5 because the film managed to skim over some parts that I felt could have had some mentioning - they manage to skim over her not-so-hot-to-trot films (although great in my opinion) "Scenes from a Mall" and "Stella" as well as her Disney works, "Hocus Pocus" and "Oliver & Company". They also skip some of her noteworthy record albums, "Bathhouse Betty", "Bed of Roses", "Thighs & Whispers", and "Songs for a New Depression". Soooo being one of the biggest Bette-heads I felt a little cheated not get everything I already knew -but the rare footage on this DVD makes it well worth it.

You also get a rare performance of "Do You Want to Dance" from her NBC special "Ol Red Hair Is Back" from the seventies (almost complete entirety) and the complete performance of "From a Distance" from her HBO 1997 special "Diva Las Vegas" (still not available on DVD...)

With this great A&E Biography, one can only hope that Bette will continue her great successes and triumph -because as a devoted fan, I will continue Kissing Her Brass.
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