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Outrageous Fortune (1987), starring Shelley Long & Bette Midler

I saw this aged ten. At the time I thought it was the funniest movie I'd ever seen, even though some of the adult humour went over my head. It still holds up pretty well & Shelley wears some mighty impressive shoulder pads with her pink bow-blouse.

What does DL think of this "classic"? Did Bette & Shelley get along?

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 7109/01/2014

Bette has stated:

[quote] I hated working with that cunt!

when asked about Shelley and this film.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 110/13/2012

Shelley's irritating, Bette is obnoxious, not my idea of a good time personally.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 210/13/2012

At least Shells supports gay rights, unlike that fuckin' phobe Midler.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 310/13/2012

Classic with some great lines and gags. I still chuckle at the "pencil dick...the bug fucker" and "Fuck you, Gilroy" lines.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 410/13/2012

Love that movie as well. I too saw it age 10 or 12, and the adult humour went over my head, predictably.

Love the soundtrack, especially the Eurythmics song at the end.

It does hold up well.

Bette was great in the 80s. There's no denying that.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 510/13/2012

Both Shelley Long and Bette Midler were promised top billing when they signed to do the film.

Neither one wanted to give up top billing to the other. So west of the Mississippi River, Long got top billing and Midler got top billing east of the Mississippi.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 610/13/2012

I loved it, although it was hard to buy Bette as an ex– porn star.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 710/13/2012

I remember that top billing snafu, but as far as I can remember, it really was Long's movie, with Bette playing Sancho Panza to Long's Don Quixote, even if Bette had become a huge Disney star by then.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 810/13/2012

[quote]Neither one wanted to give up top billing to the other. So west of the Mississippi River, Long got top billing and Midler got top billing east of the Mississippi.

They should have chosen the diagonal "Laverne and Shirley" option.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 910/13/2012

Bette Midler has had a career past 1993, unlike Shelley Long.

She and Billy Crystal are in a new movie coming out.

Where's Long's new film?

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 1010/13/2012

That's wild, R6! I would have thought Bette would get the top billing because she'd had a couple of hit movies already.

R1 - wow. Well, that answers that question! The shoot must have been tough; they're in almost every scene together!

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 1110/13/2012

It was well known that they loathed each other. Midler made sure Long looked like the lunatic, because she's a more conniving, PR-savvy bitch (as everyone in the business knows). Long was both naive and full of herself, and had those "issues" that finally caught up with her when she attempted suicide in 2004 (long after she shitted her career away and destroyed her marriage). But at the time of OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE Long wasn't the raving twat Midler always has been.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 1210/13/2012

Shelley could be difficult, but a lot of it was blown out of proportion.

Bette has had fights on just about every movie she's done. She is not well liked in the industry, and it's a miracle that she still gets movie work. Not much, though. The list of people who won't work with her is quite big.

And yes, she fought with Shelley over everything. Not just billing, but the size of the font that was used on the posters, (Bette thought hers should be a bigger size than Shelley's) and the placement of their characters dangling over the cliff (Bette wanted to be on the left).

Bette blasted Shelley in interviews promoting the movie, but Shelley never publicly badmouthed Bette.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 1310/13/2012

There's something about Bette Midler I just can't stand. I watch her old movies and all I see is a fat cunt with a big nose and frizzy hair who thinks she's drop dead gorgeous.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 1510/13/2012

The difference between Barbra and Bette is Babs never says anything bad about co-workers and Bette talks trash about almost every one of them...

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 1610/13/2012

The filmed hasn't aged well at all.

How humbling it must have been for Shelley to watch her film career implode within a decade, thanks to choosing inferior films picked more by ego than ability...

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 1710/13/2012

Even though I haven't seen it I disagree.

Without question Shelley is the star and I believe Bette was pregant at the time of filming...

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 1810/13/2012

My favorite bad Shelley Long movie is Troop Beverly Hills.

My favorite bad Bette Midler movie is Big Business.

This one is ok if I come across it on TBS or Lifetime, but I prefer the other two.

Plus there are gays in Big Business. Stereotypical, yes, but funny.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 1910/13/2012

I loved George Carlin's line, "The 60s were sure good to you."

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 2010/13/2012

Shelley's movie nadir was [italic]Hello Again.[/italic]

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 2110/13/2012

I love Lily Tomlin but she's notoriously difficult as well. "Big Business" must have been sheer hell to film since they each played two characters.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 2210/14/2012

Best line from this movie:

"Nine years of ballet, asshole!"

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 2310/14/2012

I loved that movie. Bette was funny.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 2410/14/2012

I was in middle school in the late 80s and loved this movie, as well as "Ruthless People" which could be a whole other thread. Not surprising I turned out to be gay. I thought Bette's "freeze needle dick/bugfucker" line was the filthiest thing I had ever heard when I was 12. I haven't seen Outrageous Fortune in over 20 years, but I can still remember a lot of the great one-liners. It was a fun comedy. They don't make these kinds of movies anymore, and that's a shame.

This thread reminded me of what a big star Bette Midler was in the late 80s. Her career was in a slump for the first half of the decade, but she was HUGE in the second half.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 2510/14/2012

That's the biggest piece of crap I ever heard. That deserves something.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 2610/14/2012

I liked seeing Christopher McDonald's plump ass in spandex in the beginning of the film.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 2710/14/2012

Was this the movie where maybe Bette was riding some guys dick as the camera looked thru the window? I forget the actor's name, kind of a dork but famous. I was in about 7th grade and I rewound it a few times, it gave me a boner.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 2810/14/2012

I didn't know Bette and Shelley didn't get along until this thread. I love Bette Midler, I always have, but I have no trouble believing she has a rotten cunt streak in her.

R25, I will start a Ruthless People thread.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 2910/14/2012

TONS of cuntesssas

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 3010/14/2012

Best line of the movie when they're riding in the cab through a bad neighborhood "oh look there's a white guy, oh wait no, they got him".

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 3110/14/2012

I like the part where they have to go to a rundown part of town with a scary-looking taxi driver. Bette: He (taxi driver) won't hurt us Shelley: How do you know? Bette: Cos we're gonna be raped and murdered in this building.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 3210/14/2012

This was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid. Shelley Long was basically playing Diane Chambers in a female buddy comedy and Bette Midler was her second banana. It's a total 80s forgotten gem. Thanks for starting this thread!

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 3310/14/2012

The scenes with Bette in the acting class are hilarious.

Why all the Bette hate? There's no way she's an out and out homophobe, even if her gay marriage statement was very naive and misguided.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 3410/14/2012

I liked when Shlly played "bad cop."

Shelly: "Yeah...I got me period."

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 3510/14/2012

Bette discusses working with Shelley (and NOT working with her again) on a 1988 OPRAH episode.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 3610/14/2012

Bette dropped out of Phil Spector bio-pic for HBO after a week of shooting. The rumor is that she was intimidated by Pacino. The official reason was chronic back pain. She was replaced by Mirren, who jumped in at a moment's notice, behaved like a total pro and was loved by the whole crew.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 3710/14/2012

Bette would have been more interesting as the trashy looking Linda Kenney Baden though. I've never seen Mirren be laugh-out-loud funny in a film, or even that amusing.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 3810/15/2012

I totally related to the scene in the movie when they walk into Midler's apartment and the place is just trashed, and Long thinks that someone has been there and turned the place upside down, but Midler assures her it always looks that way.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 3910/15/2012

I love that scene R39! Always stuck in my mind that she had a bicycle in the bathtub. It's a great apartment too.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 4010/15/2012

This is sub-par Shelly Long, and that's saying something.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 4103/21/2013

I think Shelley Long should replace Bette Midler on Broadway in I'll Eat You Last.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 4205/30/2013

I enjoyed both OF and RP, but I love Bette's performance in "Down and Out in Beverley Hills" which is, imho, among the best comedies of the 80s.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 4305/30/2013

From a Sneed column in a Chicago paper in 1986...

"How Shelley Long and Bette Midler get along, Part 2, courtesy of a Los Angeles magazine interview with Long:

Q: ``Bette Midler was pregnant while filming `Outrageous Fortune.` You just had a baby. Were you able to advise her about her forthcoming arrival?``

A: ``I was hired to act in the film, not be a counselor.``

Warm. Real warm. . . ."

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 4402/03/2014

[all posts by tedious, racist idiot removed.]

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 4502/03/2014

"Down and Out in Beverley Hills" gets better and more clever every time I see it.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 4602/03/2014

[quote]I liked when Shlly played "bad cop."

I liked that too. I burst out laughing when she bellowed, "NICE BUNS, BOYS!"

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 4702/03/2014

I'm watching this now, haven't seen it in years. What stoner thought Peter Coyote was the best choice for playing a studly fuck toy?

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 4808/31/2014

Ruthless People from the same era was much better.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 4908/31/2014

[quote]In Shelley Long's defense, Bette Midler is well-known to be a total cunt from hell on movie sets, and everybody who's ever worked with her has had problems with her. She's one of the worst nightmares in the business.

Wasn't Shelley not well-liked on the set of [italic]Cheers[/italic]?

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 5008/31/2014

R50 - I thought she was likeable on the set.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 5108/31/2014

R50, Long was not liked because she was a cunt but because she was a professional. The rest of the cast loved to pull pranks and ruin takes and delay production, whereas Long was always prompt and just ready to film her scenes. In short, she didn't mesh well with the cast, which worked wonders with the Diane/Cheers bar dynamics, but the others saw Long as a stick in the mud and Long didn't enjoy working in that environment. After she left she became a scapegoat because there was no telling how well the show would go on without her. But it survived and in fact did much better in the ratings. Nowadays, Ted Danson admits that Long was not in the wrong and that he and the others were immature and unprofessional.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 5208/31/2014

I read that Long would hold up production on CHEERS with endless questions and attempts at discussions.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 5308/31/2014

Why did Midler get the Golden GLobe nom for Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical? I thought Long was better and funnier.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 5408/31/2014

That female screenwriter and Touchstone pretty much were the bane of 80s filmmaking. Horrible formula stuff. Watch John Hughes instead.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 5508/31/2014

[quote]That female screenwriter and Touchstone pretty much were the bane of 80s filmmaking. Horrible formula stuff. Watch John Hughes instead.

Disney make formula films? Color me surprised!

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 5608/31/2014

R54 Hollywood Foreign Press has always loved Bette. And they probably thought Shelley was just doing a variation of Diane on Cheers. I thought they were both equally funny in Outrageous Fortune.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 5708/31/2014

Pauline hated it which made me feel less alone.

The only funny joke in the whole movie was when they thought Bette's apartment had been vandalized because it was so destroyed and messy and Bette says, "It always looks like this." A joke that has been repeated and re-used in every single sitcom since then, including "The Middle" a season or so ago.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 5808/31/2014

The only things Touchstone ever touched under Michael Eisner that still hold up are [italic]The Golden Girls[/italic], [italic]Who Framed Roger Rabbit[/italic], [italic]Sister Act 1[/italic] (I'm afraid to rewatch 2), [italic]What About Bob[/italic] [italic]Noises Off[/italic], and some of the Bette Midler comedies. This was honestly never one of my favorites, but she's done far, far worse.

Bette's judgement at picking movie roles is inconsistent at best. She turned down the chance to be Miss Hannigan in [italic]Annie[/italic] and did [italic]Jinxed![/italic] instead. [italic]Isn't She Great[/italic] wasn't. [italic]Drowning Mona[/italic] was so awful I actually liked her sitcom better than that awful mess. Give her the right script and the right director and she can be great on screen, but that rarely happens and apparently her negative reputation from co-stars has made that difficult.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 5908/31/2014

Shelley walked away with the movie. I don't think there is a single person who has worked with Bette that would work with her again. When Shelley is difficult it's to make the work better. When Bette is difficult it's difficult for difficult's sake. Though not a lot of people are warm besties with Shelley they'd work with her again. Cheers would have been nothing without her.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 6008/31/2014

You people are all ignoring the obvious - how the hell did Peter Coyote get cast in this?

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 6108/31/2014

[quote] Cheers would have been nothing without her.

You're why I eat my feelings! (Runs off to Burger King sobbing)

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 6208/31/2014

Loved Big Business. Especially that guy who was in love with Lily Tomlin. Nearly creamed my teenage jeans in the theater when he was doing his pushups. Now we need a thread on Baby Boom. LOL

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 6308/31/2014

[quote]I don't think there is a single person who has worked with Bette that would work with her again.

I remember when Katey Sagal was interviewed by Howard Stern, she talked about her days working as a backup singer for Bette and you got the impression she did not like working for her because she was so insane.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 6408/31/2014

I really liked this film and thought Shelley and Bette were both great in it. It's funny, 'cause, yes, Bette does better with good material, but one of her worst performances was in that terrible TV movie version of Gypsy where she hammed it up to a nearly nightmarish extent. God knows the material was there, but she failed to deliver. I go back and forth on her. I really like her in these Touchstone comedies and Hocus Pocus, but that's about it.

Actually, she was one of the few decent things about that dreadful Stepford Wives remake. She got the Bobbie character perfectly. She was funny in that.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 6508/31/2014

[quote]She turned down the chance to be Miss Hannigan in Annie and did Jinxed! instead.

So, she chose one turkey over another. She would have made a terrible Miss Hannigan. You just have to look at the mess she made of Mama Rose to see she wasn't cut out for musical theatre.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 6608/31/2014

Agree that Peter Coyote was odd casting - why not some beautiful '80's stud? Jan Michael Vincent, Scott Bakula, Mark Harmon.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 6708/31/2014

R59 I'm pretty sure Burnett was always for first choice for Miss Hannigan. Warbucks had a few other contenders but from what I've read Ray Stark et al always wanted Burnett.

Long and Midler were/are two different types of "difficult": Long was difficult because she always took her work very seriously (which isn't so bad) and herself very seriously (which can rub people the wrong way very quickly), and was insecure and spent too much time in the hair and makeup chair. So she wasn't making palsy Walsy with the cast and crew on sets and these people talk and talk and talk and word gets around soon enough....

Midler is "difficult" because she's just a generally nasty woman. Big difference, IMO.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 6809/01/2014

[quote]Midler is "difficult" because she's just a generally nasty woman. Big difference, IMO.

What does she do to people?

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 6909/01/2014

[quote]Agree that Peter Coyote was odd casting - why not some beautiful '80's stud? Jan Michael Vincent, Scott Bakula, Mark Harmon.

I think it was smart actually. If he was some uber-stud it would be odd for him to be fucking Shelley Long and Bette Midler. Actually, I still find it pretty unbelievable he'd want to fuck Midler.

by Shelley was top-billed!reply 7009/01/2014
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