DirectorMark Rydell Featured songThe Rose CountryUnited States
Release dateNovember 9, 1979 (1979-11-09) WriterBo Goldman (screenplay), Bill Kerby (screenplay), Bill Kerby (story) AwardsGolden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy ScreenplayBill Kerby, Bo Goldman, Michael Cimino CastBette Midler (Mary Rose Foster), Alan Bates (Rudge Campbell), Frederic Forrest (Huston Dyer), Harry Dean Stanton (Billy Ray), David Keith (Pfc. Mal), Doris Roberts (Mrs. Foster) Similar moviesLucy, Valley Girl, Blood, Irreversible, Knock Knock, The Wolf of Wall Street
TaglineShe gave and gave, until she had nothing left to give
The rose trailer
The Rose is a 1979 American drama film which tells the story of a self-destructive 1960s rock star who struggles to cope with the constant pressures of her career and the demands of her ruthless business manager. The film stars Bette Midler, Alan Bates, Frederic Forrest, Harry Dean Stanton, Barry Primus, and David Keith.
The story is loosely based on the life of singer Janis Joplin. Originally titled Pearl, after Joplin's nickname, and the title of her last album, it was fictionalized after her family declined to allow the producers the rights to her story. It was written by Bill Kerby and Bo Goldman from a story by Bill Kerby, and directed by Mark Rydell.
The Rose was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Actress in a Leading Role (Bette Midler, in her screen debut), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Frederic Forrest), Best Film Editing and Best Sound.
Midler performed the soundtrack album for the film, and the title track became one of her biggest hit singles.
In late 1969, Mary Rose Foster (Bette Midler) is a famous rock and roll diva known as The Rose. Although a success, she is burnt out and lonely but is kept working by her gruff, greedy manager and promoter Rudge Campbell (Alan Bates). Though loud and brassy, Rose is an insecure alcoholic and former drug user who seems to crave approval in her life. As such, she is determined to return to her hometown, now as a superstar. After being humiliated by a country singing star named Billy Ray (Harry Dean Stanton) whose songs she performs in her show, Rose takes off with a limousine driver named Huston Dyer (Frederic Forrest) and begins a romance with him. Rudge thinks Huston is just another hanger on, but Rose thinks she has finally met her true love. Huston tells her that he is actually an AWOL sergeant from the Army, and she tells him of her past in Florida. They have a rocky relationship and her lifestyle of "Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll" and constant touring lead her to an inevitable breakdown. Huston and Rose break up and she returns to her hometown with an escort where she tells him about her past. Finally, Rose collapses on stage from a fatal drug overdose (on alcohol, barbiturates and heroin) in the opening minutes of her long-awaited homecoming concert in Jacksonville, Florida.
Bette Midler as Mary Rose Foster (The Rose)
Alan Bates as Rudge Campbell
Frederic Forrest as Huston Dyer
Harry Dean Stanton as Billy Ray
Barry Primus as Dennis
David Keith as Pfc. Mal
Sandra McCabe as Sarah Willingham
Will Hare as Mr. Leonard
James Keane as Sam
Doris Roberts as Mrs. Foster
Danny Weis as Danny, Band Leader and Guitarist of "The Rose Band"
Steve Hunter - Guitar The Rose Band
Sylvester as drag queen
Michael Greer as Emcee ("Baby Jane")
The film was originally offered to Ken Russell, who chose instead to direct Valentino. Russell has described this decision as the biggest mistake of his career. At one point, Michael Cimino was also slated to direct.
The Rose has an 86% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 14 reviews. The film earned North American rentals of $19.1 million.
Awards and honors
Golden Globes: Best Actress - Musical/Comedy (Bette Midler), Best Original Song - The Rose (Amanda McBroom), New Star of the Year in a Motion Picture - Female (Bette Midler)
National Society of Film Critics Awards: Best Supporting Actor (Frederic Forrest)
Academy Awards: Best Actress (Bette Midler), Best Supporting Actor (Frederic Forrest), Best Editing (Robert L. Wolfe and Carroll Timothy O'Meara) and Best Sound (Theodore Soderberg, Douglas O. Williams, Paul Wells, and Jim Webb)
Golden Globes: Best Picture - Musical/Comedy, Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (Frederic Forrest)
BAFTA Awards: Best Actress (Bette Midler), Best Sound (Theodore Soderberg, Douglas O. Williams, Paul Wells, James E. Webb)
César Awards: Best Foreign Film (Mark Rydell)
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
2004: AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs:
"The Rose" – #83
The Criterion Collection released the film on Blu-ray and DVD on May 19, 2015.