Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1980. The Ladd Company. Screenplay by Jerry Blatt, Bette Midler, Bruce Vilanch. Cinematography by William A. Fraker. Costume Design by Dorothy Baca, Robert De Mora. Golden Globe Awards 1980.
The biggest problem with this exciting concert performance caught on film by director Michael Ritchie is just how dated it is: some of star Bette Midler‘s costumes and song selections really only belong in the early eighties. On the other hand, her excellent delivery of songs like ‘The Rose’ and ‘I Shall Be Released’, plus her incredibly hilarious monologues, are exciting and worth the watch. Only for the most dire of the divine Miss M’s fans, this one would have succeeded much better if they’d only filmed the concert available on her ‘Live at Last’ album, which is a superior performance even when only experienced on an audio recording. That said, William Fraker’s cinematography is gorgeous and Midler is never less than a steam-engine of terrific energy.