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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
3,241 ( 1,067)
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

Despite its strong box office performance, the general consensus was that audiences had difficulty accepting the clean-cut Patty Duke in the role of a pill-popping prima donna. The irony was that Duke in real life had become addicted to drugs because her guardians fed them to her to help her with her acting. See more »

Goofs

When Jennifer and Mel are discussing Neely at the poolside, Mel is about to light a cigarette. He has the cigarette and lighter in his hand. The next second while still saying the same sentence, the camera cuts to a close up of him and he has the lighted cigarette between his fingers. See more »

Quotes

Mel: The studio wants her to find out why she's so exhausted. They say they think it must be emotional conflicts. Conflicts, my foot! There aren't enough hours in the day. The head shrinker said she's - insecure. She needs mass love.
Jennifer North: Maybe I'm lucky I don't have any talent.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Inside the Actors Studio: Martin Scorsese (2002) 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

Oscar Time!
7 June 1999 | by GothickSee all my reviews

One of the great landmarks in the history of American cinema. This is one of those movies that tells it like it is, takes it on the chin, and really shows some SPARKLE. Oh yeah, the wigs and gowns are fab, too, especially that sequined poison-green trapeze minidress Patty Duke is too trashed to get into towards the end.

There is a kind of sublime awfulness about the performances that elevates every sentence in the screenplay to some scriptural stratum of indelible elegance. Lines like "Gee, honey, that ole witch oughta be boiled in oil," "You're not the BREADWINNAH either," and "SPARKLE, Neely, SPARKLE" ring with poetic resonance in one's mind long after viewing the film. Especially when you find yourself compulsively watching it over and over and over again...

The montage sequences are unbelievably powerful. Forget Medium Cool, you haven't experienced the true tacky splendor of the Sixties till you've seen Barbara Parkins' Gillian Girl Commercial. Get the soundtrack and use the jingle composed by master artiste Andre Previn on your answering machine. Why, all your friends will be ringing the phone off the hook just to have a listen.

As Superstar Helen Lawson, Susan Hayward is head and shoulderpads above the rest of the cast, especially when she's attempting to lipsynch her way through "I'll plant my own tree" while dodging the giant translucent fake Calder mobile (probably built by Monsanto) that's slowly revolving around her. The symbolic-castration wig-in-the-loo sequence has to be seen to be believed. "I'll go out the way I came in" admirably sums up the sentiments of everyone connected with this movie after it was released. See Patty Duke's autobiography for some anecdotes about the filming.

This movie pretty much destroyed Director Mark Robson's career, but it made pots and pots of money for the studio, and was still playing drive in theatres around the country years after its release. And curiously enough, many women I have known now in their fifties and sixties felt drawn to this film, felt that it spoke to them (if not for them) in a way nothing else up till that time had done.


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