She and her shallow and disagreeable womanising co-star, comedian Eddie Sparks (a seriously miscast James Caan) – a character clearly based on Bob Hope – make sure the show goes on across 50 years, through good times, hard times and tragedy. Along the way, they also enjoy success on American television.
The McCarthy Blacklist is thrown in for good measure.
Bette Midler’s singing, acting, dancing and characterisation are flawless, and she deservedly received her second Best Actress Oscar nomination for her commanding performance in this sincere, insightful and touching – if a touch overlong at nearly 2½ hours – film.
Her standout performances included a scene where she sings PS I Love You at an airbase in England during a blackout in WWII and a version of The Beatles‘ In My LIfe that she performs in Vietnam – a war that ultimately costs her her son.
The supporting cast is rather bland, with the notable exception of George Segal as Dixie’s uncle and agent, Art Silver – and the inclusion of director Mark Rydell’s son Christopher as Dixie’s adult son, Danny, was a major faux pas.
The ageing makeup also is particularly poor, especially in closeup shots.
Maj. Gen. Scott