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A 13 Nov 1976 LAT article announced that singer Bette Midler would act in her first feature film titled The Tour, a musical comedy written by George Furth and comedienne Joan Rivers for Columbia Pictures. The singer reportedly signed a "multimillion dollar" deal with Columbia to develop four pictures over seven years and a 17 Nov 1977 HR announced Midler's $600,000 contract to appear in The Rose, a film about a 1960s rock singer inspired by the late Janis Joplin. Larry Peerce was named director on the film, which was budgeted at $8 million. A 12 May 1978 LAT article reported that when Peerce left the project, Ken Russell was considered as a replacement before Mark Rydell was signed to direct.        Although screenwriter Bill Kerby is given “Story by” credit onscreen, studio production notes from AMPAS library files noted that the film’s story was conceived by producer Marvin Worth and Michael Cimino. HR film assignments on 18 May 1978 stated that the screenplay was written by Bo Goldman “in association” with Cimino, “based on an earlier draft” by Bill Kerby. However, neither Worth nor Cimino are credited onscreen as writers and Kerby and Goldman are both listed as screenwriters.
       According to the production notes, the film had a shooting schedule that ran between ten and fourteen weeks. Principal photography began 24 Apr 1978 in New York City. Locations in and around New York City included a lower East Side police station, a luxury penthouse in a midtown Manhattan hotel, an office building near Grand Central Station and various ... More Less

A 13 Nov 1976 LAT article announced that singer Bette Midler would act in her first feature film titled The Tour, a musical comedy written by George Furth and comedienne Joan Rivers for Columbia Pictures. The singer reportedly signed a "multimillion dollar" deal with Columbia to develop four pictures over seven years and a 17 Nov 1977 HR announced Midler's $600,000 contract to appear in The Rose, a film about a 1960s rock singer inspired by the late Janis Joplin. Larry Peerce was named director on the film, which was budgeted at $8 million. A 12 May 1978 LAT article reported that when Peerce left the project, Ken Russell was considered as a replacement before Mark Rydell was signed to direct.        Although screenwriter Bill Kerby is given “Story by” credit onscreen, studio production notes from AMPAS library files noted that the film’s story was conceived by producer Marvin Worth and Michael Cimino. HR film assignments on 18 May 1978 stated that the screenplay was written by Bo Goldman “in association” with Cimino, “based on an earlier draft” by Bill Kerby. However, neither Worth nor Cimino are credited onscreen as writers and Kerby and Goldman are both listed as screenwriters.
       According to the production notes, the film had a shooting schedule that ran between ten and fourteen weeks. Principal photography began 24 Apr 1978 in New York City. Locations in and around New York City included a lower East Side police station, a luxury penthouse in a midtown Manhattan hotel, an office building near Grand Central Station and various city streets, as well the Brooklyn Bridge and the promenade in Brooklyn Heights. When two weeks of shooting in NY were completed, the production moved to the sound stages at Twentieth Century-Fox Studios in Los Angeles, CA, while some scenes located in rural Florida and downtown Memphis, TN, were replicated in the cities of Saugus, Wilmington and Long Beach, CA.
       Three nearby Southern California locations, including the Embassy Auditorium in Los Angeles, were chosen to film various rock concerts. At the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, Midler performed two concerts back-to-back for paying fans; a 12 Jun 1978 LAT news item announced that $2 and $4 tickets were available at the Roxy Theatre box office on the Sunset Strip for the two Wiltern concerts held at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on 23 Jun 1978. Proceeds from the ticket sales were donated to SHARE Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting developmentally disabled, abused and neglected children. A 16 Oct 1978 HR article reported that Rydell recruited seven “top-ranking” cameramen to film the Wiltern concerts and all took a cut in salary fro the twelve-hour shoot. The list of cinematographers included Haskell Wexler, Conrad Hall, Owen Roizman, Lazslo Kovacs, Bobby Byrne, David Meyer and Mike Margulies.
       On 10 Jul 1978, a LAT news item stated that due to confusion regarding access, the venue of Midler’s last filmed concert was switched from East Los Angeles College Stadium to the Long Beach Veterans Memorial Stadium. Producer Aaron Russo said the change in venue would cost upwards of “$250,000 in additional expenses” for the film. A Twentieth Century-Fox press release invited fans to be paid extras for the filming of the Long Beach concert on 14 Jul 1978 at 7 p.m. Participants were asked to wear blue jean pants and jackets, army surplus jackets, work shirts, pea coats, Pendleton jackets and T-shirts reminiscent of the 1960s.
       The Oct 1978 HR article stated that Midler’s concerts were backed by an eight-member band of experienced touring and session rock musicians.
       The film opened to mixed reviews. While the 9 Nov 1979 WSJ praised Midler for avoiding a sentimental portrayal of “Rose,” it noted that the film offered little commentary about the turbulent 1960s. Other reviews, including the 7 Nov 1979 NYT found Midler’s character generally unsympathetic.
       The film was nominated for four Academy Awards in the following categories: Actress in a Leading Role (Bette Midler), Frederic Forrest (Actor in a Supporting Role), Film Editing (Robert L. Wolfe and C. Timothy O’Meara) and Sound (Theodore Soderberg, Douglas Williams, Paul Wells and Jim Webb). Midler won a Golden Globe Award in the category Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, as well as for Best New Star of the Year – Actress. Frederic Forrest won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture and the title song, “The Rose,” won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song – Motion Picture.
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
17 Nov 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Nov 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 May 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Oct 1978
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Oct 1979
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
13 Nov 1976
Section II, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
12 May 1978.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 Jun 1978.
---
Los Angeles Times
10 Jul 1978.
---
Los Angeles Times
4 Nov 1979
p. 1, 31.
New York Times
7 Nov 1979
p. 23.
Time
12 Nov 1979.
---
Variety
10 Oct 1979
p. 20.
WSJ
9 Nov 1979.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Co-starring
Female impersonators:
[and]
Reporters:
[and]
The Rose Band:
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Billy Ray Band:
Club 77 Band:
[and]
Monty's Band:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
a Marvin Worth/Aaron Russo production
a Mark Rydell film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
Asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Addl concert photog
Addl concert photog
Addl concert photog
Addl concert photog
Addl concert photog
Addl concert photog
Addl concert photog
Addl concert photog
Addl concert photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
Still man
Gaffer
Key grip
Concert lighting
Photog equip
2d cam asst
Best boy
Best boy
Grip
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Const coord
Prop master
Leadman
Asst prop master
Painter
COSTUMES
Supv cost
Men`s cost
Men`s cost
MUSIC
Mus arr and supv
Mus ed
Asst mus supv
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Dolby consultant
Prod sd
Re-rec sd
Re-rec sd
Live ed eng
Concert rec by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles and opticals
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Loc auditor
Asst to Ms. Aldredge
Prod coord
Transportation coord
Asst to Mr. Rydell
Asst convert supv
Asst to prod
Concert supv
Loc equip supplied by
Concert promotion by
Worth secy
Russo exec asst
DGA trainee
Prod mgr
Unit pub
SOURCES
SONGS
"The Rose," music and lyrics by Amanda McBroom, copyright ©1979 Fox Fanfare Music Inc.
"Stay With Me," music and lyrics by Jerry Ragavoy and George Weiss
"Camelia," music by Stephen Hunter, copyright ©1979 Twentieth Century Music Corp.
+
SONGS
"The Rose," music and lyrics by Amanda McBroom, copyright ©1979 Fox Fanfare Music Inc.
"Stay With Me," music and lyrics by Jerry Ragavoy and George Weiss
"Camelia," music by Stephen Hunter, copyright ©1979 Twentieth Century Music Corp.
"The Night We Said Goodbye," music by Bill Elliott, copyright ©1979 Fox Fanfare Music Inc.
"Evil Lies," music by Greg Prestopino, lyrics by Greg Prestopino and Carol Locatell, copyright ©Prestopino Music
"Sold My Soul to Rock 'N' Roll," music and lyrics by Gene Pistilli, copyright ©1979 Twentieth Century Music Corp.
"Keep on Rockin," music and lyrics by Sammy Hagar and John Carter
"Fire Down Below," music and lyrics by Bob Seger
"I've Written A Letter to Daddy," music and lyrics by Larry Vincent, Henry Tobias and Mo Jaffe
"When A Man Loves A Woman," music and lyrics by C. Lewis and A. Wright
"Midnight in Memphis," music and lyrics by Tony Johnson
"Whose Side Are You On?" music and lyrics by Kenny Hopkins and Charley Williams
"Let Me Call You Sweetheart," music by Leo Friedman, lyrics by Beth Slater Whitson.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Tour
Release Date:
7 November 1979
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 7 Nov 1979; Los Angeles opening: 8 Nov 1979
Production Date:
began 24 Apr 1978 in New York City
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
6 November 1979
Copyright Number:
PA49896
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Dolby Stereo™
Color
Color by DeLuxe®
Lenses/Prints
Photographic equipment by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
134
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

The parents of Rose, a popular blues singer, walk into their garage with a press photographer, who takes pictures of walls that are covered with images of Rose’s life. Years earlier, an intoxicated Rose descends the stairs of her touring airplane as her promoter, Rudge Campbell, steadies her. They drive to a stadium filled with adoring fans. After the show, Rose complains to Rudge that she’s tired and wants to take a year off, but Rudge is worried about canceling $3 million worth of concerts and tells her to be tough. Backstage before her next concert, Rose removes songs from the playlist because she lacks the energy to perform a full set. Onstage, Rose drinks from several liquor bottles and her managers become angry that her alcoholism is out of control. After the show, Rose complains again to Rudge about her health and he produces a syringe filled with Vitamin B-12, which she injects. Later, Rudge introduces Rose to country singer Billy Ray, a musician she’s admired for many years, and Rose is humiliated when Billy Ray criticizes her talent. Livid that Rudge doesn’t defend her, Rose realizes that her promoter wants to work for Billy Ray. Storming out, Rose has a limousine chauffeur, Houston Dyer, drive her to a familiar club of female impersonators. There, Rose performs a duet with a drag queen of her own likeness as impersonators of Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross and Dolly Parton join her on stage. Back at a hotel, Houston and Rose make love. Later, when Rudge berates Rose for missing a recording session, Rose blames at Houston and jumps into the limousine as Houston drives ... +


The parents of Rose, a popular blues singer, walk into their garage with a press photographer, who takes pictures of walls that are covered with images of Rose’s life. Years earlier, an intoxicated Rose descends the stairs of her touring airplane as her promoter, Rudge Campbell, steadies her. They drive to a stadium filled with adoring fans. After the show, Rose complains to Rudge that she’s tired and wants to take a year off, but Rudge is worried about canceling $3 million worth of concerts and tells her to be tough. Backstage before her next concert, Rose removes songs from the playlist because she lacks the energy to perform a full set. Onstage, Rose drinks from several liquor bottles and her managers become angry that her alcoholism is out of control. After the show, Rose complains again to Rudge about her health and he produces a syringe filled with Vitamin B-12, which she injects. Later, Rudge introduces Rose to country singer Billy Ray, a musician she’s admired for many years, and Rose is humiliated when Billy Ray criticizes her talent. Livid that Rudge doesn’t defend her, Rose realizes that her promoter wants to work for Billy Ray. Storming out, Rose has a limousine chauffeur, Houston Dyer, drive her to a familiar club of female impersonators. There, Rose performs a duet with a drag queen of her own likeness as impersonators of Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross and Dolly Parton join her on stage. Back at a hotel, Houston and Rose make love. Later, when Rudge berates Rose for missing a recording session, Rose blames at Houston and jumps into the limousine as Houston drives away. Houston stops the vehicle in the middle of the street and disappears into a men’s bathhouse. There, Rose finds Houston in the steam room, and he reveals his own problems; Houston left his post as an army sergeant three weeks ago and is considered AWOL. Rose invites Houston to join her entourage. On her airplane, Rose cries that all the clouds look the same and she doesn’t know where she is. After a show in St. Louis, Missouri, Rudge introduces her to several important contacts, but Houston cuts Rose’s conversation short and Rudge warns him to stay away from Rose’s business. On the next leg of the tour, Rose and her entourage sit in an airport waiting room because of inclement weather and Rose strikes up a conversation with a few soldiers. One soldier, Mal, agrees to be her bodyguard and masseur for the rest of the tour. At a concert, Houston rescues Rose from a rush of fans storming the stage and carries her to her dressing room where she smothers him with kisses. At another show, Sarah Willingham, one of Rose’s former lovers, comes backstage and Houston walks in on their embrace carrying a bottle of champagne. When Rose tries to explain, Houston hits her and she hurls the bottle of champagne at the wall, then knees him in the stomach. Later, Houston disappears and Rose and Mal drive to her next show, which is located in her hometown. Walking into Leonard’s, the neighborhood grocery store, Rose orders a moon pie and a Dr. Pepper, triggering Leonard’s memory of her as a young girl. Leonard doesn’t realize that Rose is a famous singer and Rose becomes upset, believing that people in her hometown are not aware of her success. As roadies assemble the stage for Rose’s concert on the high school football field, Rudge worries that Rose won’t show up in time and quits upon her arrival. Rudge announces that he is cancelling the concert and leaves as Houston appears. Elated, Rose falls into Houston’s arms and agrees to go with him to Mexico. Meanwhile, Rudge hears Rose’s fans waiting for the concert to begin and believes he has called her bluff. On the road, Rose and Houston stop at Monte’s, the first venue Rose ever performed. Fortified with alcohol and drugs, Rose performs one of her songs, accompanied by the house band. However, Houston fights a redneck and drags Rose from the club before she has a chance to finish. In the car, the couple is interrupted by a phone call from Rudge, who begs Rose to perform. Houston realizes that they are not going to Mexico after all and leaves Rose at Monte’s, where Sam, a drug dealer, slips her some drugs. Later, Rose calls Rudge from a phone booth, asking him to collect her as she swallows several tablets with alcohol. When a helicopter delivers Rose to her hometown audience, Rudge helps her stagger onto the stage. The adoring fans revive Rose and she summons the will to sing, but she collapses after the first song. Back at Rose’s parents’ garage, the photographer finishes taking pictures and Mal turns off the light. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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