Sunday, July 24, 2016

On Movies In General At Age 51:

On Movies In General At Age 51: “I don’t want to make a movie that doesn’t make people laugh. I’m not really interested (in drama) anymore. It’s too hard, a lot of the stories are very soap opera-esque. There’s a lot of schmaltz out there, sentiment that’s – sorry – bullshit. And I think that comedies are actually truer. They’re more helpful, more enlightening. It’s better to laugh than it is to cry, and at this stage of my life that’s what I want to do.” (New York Daily News, 1997)

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Bette Midler: Bootleg Betty's photo.
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1986 – Bette Midler – Ruthless People Interview – Hollywood Insider

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BetteBack October 8, 1996: Designer balances star egos with costumes for ‘First Wives’

Daily Herald Suburban Chicago
October 8, 1996

Bette+Midler+Goldie+Hawn++Diane+Keaton

The movie: “The First Wives Club” The setup : Brenda (Bette Midler), Elise (Goldie Hawn) and Annie (Diane Keaton) — three Manhattan former college pals all dumped by their husbands — declare war against their exes.

The costume designer: Theoni V. Aldredge, who won an Academy Award for “The Great Gatsby,” and whose other film credits include ‘Rich and Famous,” “The Rose” and “Network.” On Broadway, her work includes “A Chorus Line” and “ Dream girls” ; she won Tony Awards for “La Cage aux Folles,” “Barnum” and “Annie.”

The challenge: Dressing three big stars, each with her own distinct fashion identity. The solution? To a large extent, it meant respecting their looks as well as their sense of what is flattering. “It happens that their taste is very close to the characters, so it was no problem,” Aldredge said. “We were all lucky with that. Thank God whatever they asked for was not out of line.

“But when the chips are down, and you say that their character would require something against their personal taste, they went for it.” For example, Keaton prefers her skirts knee-length, but Annie needed a bit more oomph, so Aldredge wanted to hike them up to
just above the knee. Keaton objected until Aldredge pinned a hem and shot a Polaroid as evidence. Then Keaton agreed.

It’s no wonder that all three actresses fell in love with their wardrobes.

After filming wrapped, Aldredge said she “marched myself to the producers and said, You want to deal with these ladies?’ I think Diane took most of the stuff.”

The looks: Hawn’s Elise, playing an aging, sexy movie star, wears youthful clothes on a still-fabulous body. Think leather mini skirts, leather slacks, cropped blazers (much of them made for her) and leggings and bodysuits (Reebok).

Aldredge’s take — “Goldie loves sexy clothes … She has a great body. She’s tall, lanky. She works out. She literally doesn’t object to anything because she knows she can carry it.” Since Hawn doesn’t like to “cut up her body,” preferring one continuous line, she leans toward short ja c k e ts and slim trousers, and sweaters that are either tunic length or cropped (as in a Barneys label black and white stripe).

Keaton’s Annie, a wealthy housewife, is, well, an uptown version of that other Annie she once played: Annie Hall. “ Since ‘Annie Hall’ (Keaton) developed a look and it suited her and she kind of hung onto it. She’s very angular She has very good bones,” Aldredge said of Keaton ’s affinity for tailored clothes. “I said, however, we were going to make it softer, and she did not object.”

Most of her clothes, including leath er blazers and cashmere cardigans, were by Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani. (Besides his knack for making glamorous dresses for the Academy Awards, there’s another reason why Armani is favored in Hollywood. “ Armani understands proportion. You put an Armani suit on any actress and it just fits,” Aldredge said of her choice for many of Keaton’s jackets and coats, including an of-the moment long, bathrobe-style camel overcoat.)

Midler, transforming from a dumpy matron to a saucier type, finds her look in variations of fitted suits with tulip shaped skirts in a range of colors from brown to red.

(Personally, Midler prefers strong colors.) As for shape, “Bette is a bit more particular because she is smaller and full-bosomed. She knows her body.” Indeed. The flared skirts, Aldredge explained, balance out the bust line. Most of her Midler’s suits were purchased at Barneys, Saks and other New York department stores and then restyled.

Quoted: “ In a contemporary movie, the body pretty much dictates what you wear,” the designer said of creating a movie’s wardrobe, adding later: “Obviously, you want to make them (the stars) happy — they shouldn’t worry about the shoe or the skirt or the jacket. And you play mother a lot.”

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Bette Midler On That Old Feeling:

Bette Midler On That Old Feeling: “But you never know if it’s going to be a hit. I thought `For the Boys’ (her decade-spanning musical epic about USO performers) was gonna be a hit, and it was not. `First Wives Club’: big hit! But as a whole, we had no idea if it was going to work. I thought it was funny, but I didn’t think it was going to do $100 million.” (New York Daily News, 1997)

Bette Midler: Bootleg Betty's photo.
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Bette Midler – Stay With Me – Art Or Bust – 1984

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BetteBack March 17, 1973: Twice More With A Feeling

Los Angeles Times
March 17, 1973

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2016-07-19_8-47-46

By the time Bette Midler made her local debut last December at the Troubadour, there was already enough enthusiastic advance word on her to pack the West Hollywood club every night of her weeklong engagement.

Her popularity has continued so rapidly – her album, appropriately titled “The Divine Miss M,” is already at the edge of the national top 10 – that her return to Los Angeles – two shows Saturday night at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion – was sold out weeks ago.

In the midst of all this fanfare, there is a danger that the person in the center of all this attention – namely Miss Midler – would begin listening too much to the applause of her audience rather than her own sense of standards; a danger that she would tend to coast on what she has seen work rather than dig deeper into her talent, and imagination.

Happily, she showed Saturday that she is still a vital, exciting, enormously entertaining performer: one who has been able to accept the acclaim without letting it make her relax her own ambition and drive.

Miss Midler deals in emotion to the point of exaggeration. She isolates a feeling – sometimes it is the exuberance of “Chattanooga Choo Choo” or the teen-age need of “Leader of the Pack” or the underdog sentimentally of “Do You Want To Dance” – and then buries herself in it, inviting her audience to come along.

Though the obvious effect of her act is entertainment, one of the underlying goals, particularly in this age of alienation and sophistication, is to demonstrate that it is “safe” or acceptable to show emotion, to enjoy yourself.

Arriving on stage on a regal, hand-carried throne, Miss Midler, who used three costume changes, was backed by a four-piece rhythm section (led by arranger-pianist Barry Manilow) and a female vocal trio.

As before, her music and funny, effective remarks were punctuated by a continuous display of energy: arms twirling, body twisting, eyebrows arching and plenty of smiles. Most of the material was taken from her Atlantic album. She received a rousing well-deserved standing ovation.

Miss Midler, simply and surreal, is a delight and there isn’t a hall in Los Angeles big enough to hold all those who would benefit from seeing her perform. But hopefully she’ll resist the basketball arenas and stick with more intimate facilities. She’s too personal, too intimate, too vulnerable an artist to fall victim to the impersonal atmosphere of the larger rooms.

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Bette Midler On That Old Feeling:

Bette Midler On That Old Feeling: “Leslie Dixon wrote this for me. We both wanted to do something big and broad, and I’m thrilled with it. I love those kinds of characters, the fight scenes are great, the love scenes are great, and there’s a little bit of music in it and all this romance. It seems like the right thing at the right time, and I’m really proud of it.” (New York Daily News, 1997)

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Bette Midler: Bootleg Betty's photo.
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Bette Midler – For The Boys Trailer.#2

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BetteBack October 7, 1996: ‘First Wives Club’ tops box office for the third straight weekend

Hays Daily News
October 7, 1996

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The First Wives Club,” starring Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler as ex wives getting even with their husbands led the box office for the third straight weekend, earning $11.1 million.

The revenge comedy topped Steven Seagal‘s new film, “Glimmer Man,” which took in $7.6 million.

Tom Hanks‘ first effort as writer and director, “That Thing You Do!” debuted in third place with $6.6 million. The movie, which also features Hanks on screen, chronicles the rise of a 1964 rock band to teen worship.

Another new movie, Emilio Estevez’ “D3: The Mighty Ducks,” placed fourth with $6.5 million.

“Independence Day,” in its 14th week, dropped to 10th place. The sci-fi thriller has earned $295 million since its debut.

Final figures are released later today. The weekend top 10 based on preliminary estimates:

1. “The First Wives Club,” $11.1 million.
2. “The Glimmer Man,” $7.6 million.
3. “That Thing You Do!” $6.6 million.
4. “D3: The Mighty Ducks,” $6.5 million.
5. “Extreme Measures,” $4.1 million.
6. “2 Days in the Valley,”$2.3 million.
7. “Last Man Standing,” $2.2 million.
8. “Fly Away Home,” $2.1 million.
9. “Big Night,” $1.9 million.
10. “Independence Day,” $1.3 million.

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Bette Midler On Disappointment At Age 51:

Bette Midler On Disappointment At Age 51: “When I was very young and (disappointment) happened to me for the first time, I got quite sick from it. But then I toughened up. It’s just part of the job. You have to get over it and get on with it.” (New York Daily News, 1997)

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Bette Midler: Bootleg Betty's photo.
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This is a scrapbook site devoted to Bette Midler. Absolutely no profits are being made from the posting of this work. It is presented here for educational and historical reasons only. If, however, you are the owner of this work and would like it removed from this website, please contact me and I will comply as soon as I get the message. Thank you for your time and patience. No disrespect intended. Just a huge admirer and collector of all things Bette Midler. You can contact me at: misterd@bootlegbetty.com