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Valley of the Dolls (1967)

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Film version of Jacqueline Susann's best-selling novel chronicling the rise and fall of three young women in show business.

Director:

Mark Robson

Writers:

Jacqueline Susann (novel), Helen Deutsch (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,682 ( 157)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Parkins ... Anne Welles
Patty Duke ... Neely O'Hara
Paul Burke ... Lyon Burke
Sharon Tate ... Jennifer North
Tony Scotti ... Tony Polar
Martin Milner ... Mel Anderson
Charles Drake ... Kevin Gillmore
Alexander Davion ... Ted Casablanca (as Alex Davion)
Lee Grant ... Miriam Polar
Naomi Stevens ... Miss Steinberg
Robert H. Harris ... Henry Bellamy
Jacqueline Susann ... First Reporter
Robert Viharo ... Director
Joey Bishop ... MC at Telethon
George Jessel ... MC Grammy Awards
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Storyline

Anne Welles, a bright, brash young New England college grad leaves her Peyton Place-ish small town and heads for Broadway, where she hopes to find an exciting job and sophisticated men. During her misadventures in Manhattan and, later, Hollywood, she shares experiences with two other young hopefuls: Jennifer North, a statuesque, Monroe-ish actress who wants to be accepted as a human being, but is regarded as a sex object by all the men she meets, and Neely O'Hara, a talented young actress who's accused of using devious means by a great older star (Helen Lawson) to reach the top, pulling an "All About Eve"-type deception in order to steal a good role away from her. Written by filmfactsman

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the Valley of the Dolls, it's instant turn-on... dolls to put you to sleep at night, kick you awake in the morning, make life seem great - instant love, instant excitement, ultimate hell! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements involving substance abuse, some sexual content, partial nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

9 February 1968 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Valley of the Dolls See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Red Lion See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.40 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Judy Garland was gifted the sequined pantsuit she was to wear in the movie after she was fired from the film, along with her salary. Since Garland was more petite than Susan Hayward, who replaced her, the other costumes were re-worked to fit Hayward. Travilla said of Hayward "she made me take everything out - the lining, the pads, everything. That way, she thought she'd look thinner. I argued that the gowns would fall out of shape. In the end, I had no choice but take it all out; only the beads stayed." Garland liked her sequined pantsuit so much that she commissioned costume designer Travilla to make her additional copies-one in white and one in red, at a cost of $1,500 apiece. The Hayward pantsuit later showed up worn by Kay Medford in the "Murder at Sea" episode of "Starsky and Hutch." See more »

Goofs

When Helen goes into the ladies room to escape Neely's grand entrance, just before their cat fight, the position of her hands changes between shots as she sits at the table smoking. See more »

Quotes

Western Union Boy: A telegram for a Miss Polar. One second, you have to sign this. Thank you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Film Review: In Cold Blood/Glossies (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Impossible
Music by André Previn
Lyrics by Dory Previn
Performed by Patty Duke (uncredited) (dubbed by Gaille Heideman)
See more »

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User Reviews

"My beautiful little dolls. Just one...and one more."
5 May 2001 | by Vince-5See all my reviews

The film adaptation of Valley of the Dolls is stupid, empty, overly melodramatic...and a lot of fun!

Jacqueline Susann's 1966 novel is my all-time favorite, and her gritty, glossy pulp material was severely diluted for the big screen. That is the main problem. Too many punches are pulled, the characters are sweetened up, and a completely ridiculous happy ending (which Jackie hated) is substituted for the book's bleak, satisfying conclusion. Mark Robson's film has none of the spirit of its basis.

With that out of the way, the movie is very enjoyable for what it is: An unintentional laugh riot. The dialogue is hilarious and eminently quotable--"Boobies, boobies, boobies! Nothin' but boobies! Who needs 'em? I never had any! Didn't hurt me none!" Most of the supposedly "dramatic" and "touching" scenes are a scream. Patty Duke is priceless as the speech-slurring, tantrum-throwing, self-destructive Neely O'Hara. Watch her flailing around during the "It's Impossible" number; notice the embarrassing position of her beads. Barbara Parkins seems to have taken one Seconal too many before shooting, as she appears to be completely anesthetized. Susan Hayward gets to bellow a lot, fight with Duke, and get her wig thrown into a toilet in the most famous scene. The only one who comes off really well is Sharon Tate, a talent who never got the attention she deserved in life. Hers are the only genuinely affecting moments in the film, especially her final scene.

The candy-colored photography is good, beautifully capturing the glossy red capsules taken at every turn. The hair and fashions are glamorous--and so is the hairspray can! Dionne Warwick sings the beautiful theme, and the rest of the songs are enjoyably silly. I have the soundtrack LP--TWO copies! In conclusion, the ultimate camp classic! I'm off to take another doll now....


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