The Rose

The Rise to Fame; the Stab in the Back; the Tragic Demise... With its ageless conventions and stylish history, the musical biopic is Hollywood's haiku, and the last two years have seen two of its finest examples: The Buddy Holly Story and Coal Miner's Daughter. But The Rose mixes its models and pays the price, stumbling awkwardly between a historical portrait (of Janis Joplin and other shooting stars of '60s rock) and a concert movie showcase for Bette Midler. Even her fiery mix of raunch'n'tease, though, can't make up for a bubblegum plot and sentimentality on parade. Only Alan Bates, surprisingly well cast as the Rose's ruthless manager, and Harry Dean Stanton (confirming himself as the grittiest sourpuss actor in Hollywood) raise a frown or a smile. The rest of it will just have you yawning in the aisles.

Release details

Duration: 134 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Mark Rydell
Screenwriter: Bo Goldman, Bill Kerby
Cast: Alan Bates
Bette Midler
Harry Dean Stanton
Sandra McCabe
Frederic Forrest
David Keith
Barry Primus
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Louis Burns

Bette Midler triumphs in this Oscar nominated performance as The Rose. She is larger-than-life in this Rock and Roll gem of a movie. No one but Ms. Midler could have done this movie, and pulled off The Rose with such gutsy and true musical flavor. Bette Midler is superb here. See it just to see Ms. Midler master a surprisingly wonderful rock score.

Louis Burns

Bette Midler triumphs in this Oscar nominated performance as The Rose. She is larger-than-life in this Rock and Roll gem of a movie. No one but Ms. Midler could have done this movie, and pulled off The Rose with such gutsy and true musical flavor. Bette Midler is superb here. See it just to see Ms. Midler master a surprisingly wonderful rock score.