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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 »
Reviews
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 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 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:

The nation's most startling and hotly discussed best-seller now on the screen with every shock and sensation intact 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:

El valle de las muñecas See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$44,432,255

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$50,000,000, 31 January 1973
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Red Lion See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Dionne Warwick's Scepter rerecording of the movie theme would peak at number two on "Billboard"'s Hot 100 chart in February 1968. Dionne's 45 held the second slot for a month. Without Miss Warwick's presence, the soundtrack album, released by 20th Century Fox Records, entered the "Billboard" pop albums list in January 1968, and the LP then climbed to eighth place. See more »

Goofs

While recovering in bed at the hotel after her biopsy, Jennifer's hair flip flops from hanging down her back to hanging down front of her nightgown. See more »

Quotes

Neely O'Hara: I started playing checkers with this real cute looking little girl. All of the sudden, she leans over and gets a half-nelson on my hair and accuses me of telling the rest of the inmates that she's a latent homosexual.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in RuPaul's Drag Race: Once Upon a Queen (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme from Valley of the Dolls
Music by André Previn
Lyrics by Dory Previn
Sung by Dionne Warwick
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Yes, it is fun, but it is Also Well Made
4 August 2010 | by Jay RaskinSee all my reviews

I stayed away from this movie because generally it is considered a terrible movie that is so bad that it is funny. In fact, I think the film is engrossing and quite well made. It is not quite as good as Robson's "Peyton Place," but not too far from it.

I think most people now agree that the early critics were wrong about the performances, Susan Hayward is sufficiently Betty Davis-like cunning, Barbara Parkins is innocently sexy, and Sharon Tate is charming and radiant. The controversy, I think, still centers around Patty Duke's performance. The criticism is that it is "over the top". However, she is supposed to be addicted to drugs, so the "over the top" performance is quite appropriate. If you have ever known people in that condition, you will realize that they act in exactly that style. As often happens, people cannot distinguish between the role and the actress. That is actually a sign of good acting. While it is not an Oscar worthy performance, it is quite competent. I think it is really a shame that her association with the movie ultimately hurt her movie career. We should remember that it was the biggest grossing movie of 1967, grossing more than "The Graduate" and "Bonnie and Clyde" Obviously, people could not have found Duke's performance that bad or the movie couldn't have been so successful.

Incidentally, I think the studio made a terrible mistake by firing Judy Garland. Apparently, the first scene she shot did not go well, but this is normal for a film. It takes a while for an actor to get into a role. The studio should really have showed some respect for her talent and at least filmed a few more scenes before making a decision. Studios were experiencing lots of financial difficulties at this time, so I think that caused some unfounded fears that the film wouldn't recoup its cost if it had to spend a few days re-shooting a few scenes. Judy should not be blamed for bad studio decisions regarding her.

I hope people will stop putting this film on their "so bad, it's funny" list and recognize it as an enjoyable and well told 1960's story about the light and dark sides of life in Hollywood. Like "The Betsy" or "Inside Daisy Clover," it is well made and fun film with some powerful scenes and performances.


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