|DIVINE MADNESS (director: Michael Ritchie; screenwriters: Bruce Valanch/Bette Midler/Jerry Blatt; cinematographer: William Fraker; editor: Alan Balsam; music: ; cast: Bette Midler (The Divine Miss M), Irving Sudrow (Head Usher), Jocelyn Brown (Harlette), Diva Gray (Harlette), Ula Hedwig (Harlette); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Michael Ritchie; Warner Bros.; 1980)|
|"Enjoyable nonsense that makes for
by Dennis Schwartz
Ritchie ("Downhill Racer"/"Prime
Cut"/"The Candidate") directs this unique concert film
of Bette Midler in a live performance, shot over four
days, in 1980, at the Pasadena, Calif,
Civic Auditorium. It's exceptionally well-paced.
There were some 30 cameras used, but none seen. Bette
is billed as 'The Divine Miss M' and The Harlettes
(Jocelyn Brown, Diva
Gray, Ula Hedwig) are her back-up
singers--they function as her Greek chorus.
The high-energy Bette sings as many as 16 songs, such
as "Leader of the Pack," ''The Rose,''
''Big Noise From Winnetka,'' ''Boogie Woogie Bugle
Boy,'' "Shiver Me Timbers," "E
Street Shuffle" and ''Chapel of Love.'' She
does several raunchy monologues and several blue
comic routines--including one of Sophie Tucker. Bette
also goofs on the Royals, the Germans and the French.
found some of the comical material funny, others just
crude. The songs were well-performed but the music was
enjoyable nonsense that makes for titillating
entertainment. Appealing to the guys is the
zoftig Bette in a low-cut gown, with her boobs
REVIEWED ON 1/4/2016 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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