The Rose (1979) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Rose (1979)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The Rose is definitely derived from the life of the late rock singer Janis Joplin. Bette Midler convincingly portrays a hard-bitten rock singer who drowns her fame and stardom in too much drink and drugs. Frederic Forrest appears as a chauffeur with whom the Rose has a delicate affair. The Rose was nominated for three Oscar awards (Midler, for Best Actress; Forrest, for Best Supporting Actor; and Best Sound).


Alan Bates
as Rudge Campbell
Frederic Forrest
as Huston Dyer
Will Hare
as Mr. Leonard
Rudy Bond
as Monty
Don Calfa
as Don Frank
Doris Roberts
as Rose's Mother
Sandy Ward
as Rose's Father
Claude Sacha
as Female Impersonator
Michael St. Laurent
as Female Impersonator
as Female Impersonator
Pearl Heart
as Female Impersonator
Jonathan Banks
as TV Promoter
Jack O'Leary
as Short Order Cook
Luke Andreas
as Trucker
Harry Northrup
as Skinny Guy
Cherie Latimer
as Secretary
Seamon Glass
as Trucker
Pat Corley
as Police Chief Morrison
Dennis Erdman
as Billy Ray's Kid
Joyce Roth
as Waitress in Airport
Frank Speiser
as Reporter at Rose's House
Annie McGuire
as Don Frank's Wife
Sandra Seacat
as Reporter
Chip Zien
as Reporter
View All

Critic Reviews for The Rose

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (3)

It's impossible to watch this peculiarly unstirring account of the collapse of a bedraggled, bedrugged rock star... without getting many a giggle out of the abundant cliches and superfluous howlers.

May 8, 2018 | Full Review…

The Rose isn't big but enormous.

May 22, 2015 | Full Review…

The Rose wouldn't work without the full commitment of Midler, who always seems poised between a bawdy guffaw and thick mascara tears.

May 18, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

One part I always love is the script's inverted nod to Midler's bathhouse roots, a sequence where Midler bolts through a jade-colored bathhouse...the film is usually too sappy for me, but that scene hits.

January 31, 2022 | Full Review…

Script and direction are terrible, but as the booze-guzzling, lonely, foulmouthed rock star with a baroque sense of fun (aka Janis Joplin), Bette Midler is terrific.

January 27, 2020 | Full Review…

The story is well-written and executed, with the use of a contemporary informal language. Bette Midler is outstanding. [Full Review in Spanish]

August 13, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Rose


As one of the top rock stars around, Rose(Bette Midler) is starting to feel the strain which is not helped by her copious drinking. At least, she has stopped using drugs. So, she wants to take a year off after the upcoming hometown concert in Florida but her manager/promoter Rudge(Alan Bates) reminds her of all the money she will lose if she does. At least, she gets to meet one of idols, Billy Ray(Harry Dean Stanton), after a concert but the meeting goes so badly, she runs away and jumps in the first car, driven by Huston(Frederic Forrest). Even as it is too long and a little ragged around the edges like its protagonist, "The Rose" has Bette Midler's fearless and astounding performance going for it which is enough to get it through the night. Plus, there are the entertaining musical numbers and a lovely late long shot of a lighted phone booth framed against the darkness. And the movie is surprisingly gay friendly with its night club full of drag queens(one of the highlights of the film), a kiss edited out of the film and perhaps the most chaste bath house in the history of New York City. I heard this was inspired by the life of Janis Joplin but I want to remain ignorant on that note, so I can judge this movie on its own merits. What I can say is it does not go the route of the cliched self-destructive rock star and instead focuses on Rose's insecurities which simultaneously drive and destroy her, with a manager who does not have her best interests at heart.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Not bad, but a little dated. I took a whole point off this for the awful singing (of which there is a lot). This movie could have happily been half an hour shorter and better for it. The story itself is good, Bette Midler does a convincing portrayal of a rock star on the verge of self destruction. I picture her to be very much a Courtney Love style person, though obviously this movie predates her - I guess it could be based on any number of past rock stars.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Although this is another movie about a rock star, it's one of the best, it's more realistic and dramatic than others. Plus the songs are good too. I loved this movie, if you like rock movies you'll like it too.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

The Rose Quotes

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