Valley Of The Dolls
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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.
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, Dynasty, 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I bought this deluxe DVD set in 2006 and recently re-watched it again for the first time in ten years and it really does the film justice. The transfer is great and the extras plentiful and fun. My only complaint has to do with the sound mixing of the musical numbers. The orchestra is so far in the background you can hardly hear the big, brassy arrangements in all their '60s splendor. When I recorded this off the late show back in the '80s the music was so bold and captivating; it can't be appreciated on the DVD, you need to soundtrack album to experience it as it was intended.
2017 will mark the 50th Anniversary of VALLEY so I hope someone at Fox will make sure the film receives the celebratory Blu-Ray release it deserves complete with extras carried over from the 2006 DVD release and some new ones added. For example, it would be great to have contain Judy Garland's version of I'LL PLANT MY OWN TREE. And for God's sake, don't mess with the freakin' music!
P.S. RIP Patty Duke/Neely. The way you snarled, clawed and screeched your way through the movie has made it one of my all-time favorites since that first late show viewing in 1981.
Just one of a myriad of oh-so-quotable lines from the classic VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, based on Jacqueline Susann's steamy pulp-fiction bestseller of 1966. The acting is pure cheese, the script is a paler, watered-down imitation of Susann's text and the songs are God-awful. But there is something about this little gem that draws me in time after time. I could easily watch it once or twice a day and never get bored with it.
The story recounts three girls in New York: Anne Welles (Barbara Parkins - BEAR ISLAND), Neely O'Hara (Patty Duke - THE MIRACLE WORKER) and Jennifer North (Sharon Tate).
Anne has just arrived from small-town Lawrenceville, and landed a job as secretary in an entertainment law-firm. This leads Anne to the acquaintance of Neely, a young up-and-coming Broadway singer who's just been dumped from the new musical starring Helen Lawson (Susan Hayward - I WANT TO LIVE). The reason?...Neely would easily steal the show, and the only star of a Helen Lawson show is Helen Lawson...!
Anne also meets Jennifer, a sweet but by her own admission, talentless showgirl/model. Anne's boss Lyon Burke (Paul Burke) arranges for Neely to sing on a charity telethon, and she quickly lands her own revue at a prominent nightclub. Jennifer marries handsome crooner Tony Polar (Tony Scotti) against the wishes of his sister/manager Miriam (Lee Grant - VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED). Anne then gets discovered by a cosmetics firm and becomes the glamorous 'Gillian Girl'.
The story moves to Hollywood where both Neely and Tony are turned into movie stars. Success comes too fast and easily for Neely who disappears into a heady world of dolls and alcohol.Read more ›
"I wanted a marriage like mom and dad's, but not yet. First I want new experiences, new faces, new surroundings. Lawrenceville will be there foreveah."
"I remember the night I told them I was going to New York. They said it was a dreadful place for a vacation. I announced I was going to work there."
"George Washington didn't sleep there but he did dip a bucket of water from our well."
"I can still see them standing there waving. Aunt Amy, Mama and Willie. Poor Willie, he didn't know I was leaving his life forevah."
"Queenie's pregnant again. My Siamese. Drat! I hope its not that beat up black Tom."
"Black Siamese should be very pretty. I'm Anne Wells."
"Oh yes, the agency phoned about you. A BA in Radcliffe. Mr. Bellamy will like that. He will thin it will gives the office tone."
"Don't give her that I loved you when I was a little girl routine or she'll stab you in the back."
"Neely never had that hard core like me. She never learned to roll with the punches."
"Find yourself a wife. Have kids. Or one day you'll wind up alone like me. I wonder what the hell happened?"
The book, of course, has not been violated: that it was ever anything but subliterate, jaw-droppingly horrible, and as common as kitty litter would never occur to my or any mind. The actors are given so little to work with that they shouldn't be faulted for giving performances of unbelievable badness, but dear little Patty Duke goes above and beyond the call of duty: her Neely O'Hara must rank as the funniest essay in sheer tastelessness in all of cinema.
Even she is exceeded by Susan Hayward, who exhibits not so much a lack of any discernible talent whatsoever - though that too - as an illiteracy of the soul.
If I had the pen and wit of Bernard Shaw I'd try to describe the "songs" and "music" - if one may use those terms for courtesy.
Enough said. If you're in a mood to laugh yourself silly over one of the worst, most tasteless exhibitions ever committed to celluloid - and at that an adaptation of a truly tacky piece of literary offal - do rent this. You may need a barf bag!
Most recent customer reviews
Patty Duke's performance is outstanding. Also Sharon Tate. If you want to catch a glimpse of the 1960s, this is the movie to watch. (I've watched it about 3 times!)Published 11 months ago by Maxoomi
A very explicit and avant-guard picture of the 60's, I loved it and could related to it. I have to watch it once a year, it's a cult film for me.Published 15 months ago by Deodora
Great to see it again. Read the book when it was first out. Loved Parkins, and Duke and Sharon Tate.Published 22 months ago by barbara Forhan
Hate the movie. However,Valley of the Dolls love the actress Sharon Tate <3 A very memorable performance. She makes the film worth watching time and time again.Published on Dec 20 2013 by Brian
I saw this movie long ago in the 70's when it was shown on British TV. Then, like now, I was into anything that had something to do with those halcyon 60's. Read morePublished on Oct. 31 2012 by Stingray
Unfortunately this film skims over all the critical parts of character development found in the book. Read morePublished on March 5 2011 by Dax
Loved the book, wasn't so fond of the movie. Interesting to compare and note the similarities/differences between the book and the movie, but not even close to being as good as the... Read morePublished on Dec 25 2009 by Summer_Nights