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Valley of the Dolls (23 Apr. 2001)

TV Episode  -  Documentary
7.8
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AMC special with rare interviews and footage...perfect for diva "Dolls"
15 October 2011 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

This excellent cable special from American Movie Classics aired once or twice in 2001 and then disappeared. Thankfully, the two-disc DVD release of Fox's 1967 camp potboiler "Valley of the Dolls" has resurrected the program as a bonus feature. The audio snippet of Judy Garland's original version of the song "I'll Plant My Own Tree" (the last song she recorded for a film) has been excised (probably for legal reasons); however, Garland's press conference alongside "Dolls" author Jacqueline Susann is here, as well as her wardrobe tests. Several seconds of Patty Duke's screen test for the role of Neely O'Hara are included, and they look promising; Duke is also interviewed for the special, talking almost-positively about the picture and the current fashion in which it has been been embraced (by gay audiences as a camp classic), which is rare indeed. Co-stars Barbara Parkins and Robert Viharo (Helen Lawson's "Hit the Sky" director) are also interviewed, with Viharo (surprisingly) chiming in with some cutting remembrances about the production ("Everybody was comparative with everybody...this was the vehicle that was going to make them stars."). A must for "Dolls" addicts, this well-researched and produced special is nearly as much fun as the movie itself.


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