San Francisco in Cinema: Beaches

SF General, 1001 Potrero Ave.
In spite of the fact that Hillary Whitney (Barbara Hershey) is rich, she's taken to a public hospital, San Francisco General, after collapsing at her home in Atherton - thirty miles south of here. San Francisco audiences always get a chuckle when young Hillary (Marcie Leeds) explains that she says she's from San Francisco because Atherton is just outside the City. Beaches is one of the great tear jerkers of all time. As such, it is extremely manipulative. Hershey and Bette Midler are friends to the end. Widely known as the Bette Midler ego movie (aren't they all?) the star delivers a tour de force. She even upstages Hillary's death scene which appears to have been filmed without Hershey altogether! The 1988 comedy/drama with Midler songs including the radio hit "Wind Beneath my Wings" was directed by Gary Marshall from the novel by Iris Rainer Dart and screenplay by Mary Agnes Donoghue. Mayim Bialik, who went on to TV stardom as "Blossom," has charm to spare as the younger version of Midler's character, C.C. Bloom.

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