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For The Boys

1991

R

Bette Midler gives the brassiest, sassiest performance of her career as Dixie Leonard, a USO singer whose electrifying stage presence, and flair for outrageous comedy, captivates troops and civilians alike. Teamed up with America's beloved song and dance man, Eddie Sparks (James Caan), the whole world becomes Dixie's stage.

Starring:
Bette Midler, James Caan
Runtime:
2 hours, 24 minutes

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The film itself is a 4 star movie...the blu ray is a 1. Unfortunately that takes a couple of stars off of my review.
I have loved this movie since seeing it in theaters when it came out. Bette Midler and James Caan are fantastic, the story is involving, the music is terrific and the cinematography is stellar. This movie deserved SO MUCH MORE than the treatment that Anchor Bay has given it on blu ray. For starters, WHO authorized the cover art? It's terrible...looks like a photoshop job that was done by a student. Unfortunately, things don't get any better when the disc is put in the player. This is another shoddy job from Anchor Bay, who USED to put out fantastic discs with loads of extras. This release didn't even get a menu...NOTHING...just like when I got their release of "The Entity." You put the disc in, and the movie just plays...no menu, no chapter listings, nothing. Zilch. Just the movie. Again, this film deserved better...it would have been nice to have had some interviews with Bette & James, an audio commentary, deleted scenes, even a trailer...but nope, Anchor Bay couldn't even spring for a freaking menu. Save your DVD...the picture and sound on the blu aren't much better. A terrible disappointment.
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Format: DVD
To tell you the truth, I love this movie. Bette Midler can act in anything-comedy or drama-anything! But I like her most in drama. This movie was Bette Midler's second Academy Award nomination. Directed by the same man who directed the movie The Rose (also with Bette Midler-her first Academy Award nomination).

I find this movie to be delightful, funny, heartbreaking, and VERY well acted!

Bette Midler sings in this movie, and it only adds to the superior quality of the film. The acting, the story, the music is worth watching over and over again. Like I said, I love this movie, and I recommend it to one and all!
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Format: VHS Tape
Musicals by the early 90s were extremely rare but this reminds one of the days when musicals were both popular and fun as Bette Midler and James Caan play two USO singers who go all the way from World War II to the Vietnam War entertaining and wowing the army boys. Along the way is the drama that they both experience as they try to court one another while James is still married. For Bette, this should have been another hit as it had a great song off the soundtrack which could have worked as a hit single EVERY ROAD LEADS BACK To YOU as well as a great performance. In fact Bette does a better job here than in BEACHES as she has to carry more of the film on her shoulders. Her sparky, brassy, witty attitude and humor are evidenced here and she and James have impecable chemistry which allows the movie to work. It also is intersting seeing them age from middle age 40-year olds to some 90 year olds receiving awards. A great movie reminding one of the old days of musicals as well as one that tugs at the heartstrings!!
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Format: VHS Tape
The only reason Miss Midler didn't win that year, (Jodie Foster won for Silence of the Lambs) was because 'For the Boys' was a box-office dud. I wish back then the marketing executives at 20th Century Fox would've sold this movie a little better. First of all the soundtrack had two possible mega hits, 'In My Life' the Beatles' tune in which Bette's renditon turned into an emotionally packed moment in the movie. I get a lump in the throat every time I see it. The other tune, 'Every road leads Back to you', like 'Wind beneath my wings' is a wonderful song reflecting on a bumpy and long, yet close and loving friendship. These songs should've been airing over the radio way before the movie was released. Secondly, 'For the boys' was pitted against 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Addams Family' when it was released. It's no wonder this movie got shoved aside. As for the movie itself, it's evident that Miss Midler poured her soul and guts into the whole project. Yes, the movie does try to cover a lot of war-history in 2 1/2 hours, but Bette as Dixie and her love-hate relationship with Caan as Eddie do have an appealing quality despite all their tumultuus bickering behind the scenes of entertaining the boys. Critics complained about how awful the aging makeup looked on Midler and Caan. Well my argumnent to them is, when you see an elderly performers win a lifetime acheivement award on TV, aren't they supposed to look somewhat gray and wrinkled...Or do all aged show biz icons have to look like Joan Collins and Dick Clark? Nevertheless, the scene of Dixies's first time singing with the troops in 1942 is the reason why people love to see Bette....I just wish more people would have done so when this was released in 1991. TL
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Format: DVD
For the Boys is truly an underrated gem. Spanning a period of 50 years and three different wars, the film tells the story of Dixie Leonard (the Divine Mrs. M), a singer who is plucked from semi-obscurity at the outset of World War II and given her big break: A USO tour of Europe with Eddie Sparks (James Caan), a song-and-dance man who's a famous star. Their first time on the stage together, Dixie steals the show, Eddie tries to fire her, and they're off and running. Through thick and thin - North Africa, the Korean war, television, McCarthyism, Vietnam - they fight and make up while the world applauds, and finally there's a climax on a live TV awards show, where Dixie and Eddie are seeing each other for the first time in years.

Bette Midler is truly fantastic in her role as Dixie. The first USO musical number is a great success, with Bette trading risque repartee with Caan and then belting out a loud number and a ballad. She has a beautiful voice, powerful and bursting with emotion. This part was written for Bette, no one else could have played Dixie quite like her. She was once again robbed at the Oscars that year, losing to non other than Jodie Foster for the terribly overrated Silence of the Lambs. Midler's performance was much more dramatic and real, and she deserved that statuette.

I am not a big fan of James Caan, but he was good in the film. He had a certain chemistry with Midler that made his character believable. Sparks isn't a particularly likeable soul, but Caan brings a certain charm to a role that's tailor-made for his talents. He's right at home with Eddie's emotional isolation and single-minded ambition, bringing to mind a used-car salesman who discovers that the marks are actually buying his manufactured sincerity.
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