They don't make 'em like this anymore. Well, John Waters might, if he ever had a big enough budget. A steamy "inside look" at the alternately sleazy and glamorous world of catfighting, backbiting show-biz starlets, this Hollywood hit from the bestselling novel by Jacqueline Susann is a high-gloss camp artifact--a time capsule (or some kind of capsule, anyway)--from the screwy '60s, when a broad was a broad, a bitch was a bitch (whether "her" name was Neely O'Hara or Ted Casablanca), and a "doll" was a prescription drug. These dames of whine and poses obsessed over their bust lines, booze, and barbiturates. The once-shocking and scandalous language and behavior of these Broadway babes has been eclipsed by Dallas
, and Melrose Place
, but time has only enhanced the stature of Valley of the Dolls
as a classic--and it still puts Showgirls
to shame. With Patty Duke, Susan Hayward, Sharon Tate, Lee Grant, Barbara Parkins, and Martin Milner (and juicy, scene-chewing dialogue such as the infamous: "They drummed you out of Hollywood, so you come crawling back to Broadway. But Broadway doesn't go for booze and dope--now get out of my way, I've got a man
waiting for me!"), Valley of the Dolls
is the Mount Rushmore of backstage movie melodramas. --Jim Emerson
Lured by their dreams of fame and fortune, three ambitious young women enter the world of show business and discover how easy it is to sink into a celebrity nightmare of ego, alcohol and 'pills' - the beloved "dolls." A prim New Englander (Barbara Parkins) unexpectedly skyrockets from her job as secretary in a talent agency to a glamorous TV model. A determined singer (Patty Duke) finds that Hollywood success can also spell self-destruction. And a beautiful sex symbol (Sharon Tate) is torn between the money commands and the shame of feeling exploited. Based on Jacqueline Susann's phenomenal best-seller about the underside of Hollywood, this fascinating melodrama was once seen as a shocking behind-the-scenes look at how show business creates instant stars, destroys romances and changes personalities forever.