Cutthroat careerism, wild sex, and fierce female protagonists are all on offer in this adaptation of Jacqueline Susann’s sensational and wildly popular novel. Patty Duke, Barbara Parkins, and Sharon Tate star as three friends navigating the glamorous, pressurized world of big-time show business.
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Rousseau-ist tale. Culture (City, Hollywood, Power, Money) corrupts while Nature (Heartland, Church, Memories, Mom and Dad) stays virginal. About almost the same themes, Richard Brooks's The Happy Ending (1969) is really more mature. This one, although watchable, is not worthy of the Criterion Collection.
robson's attemps to transcend the original text are moving / it's so kitchy that it almost looks experimental with its technicolor vulgarity, arresting pop-art visuals + gorgeous slow motion prologue + patty duke's colossal maddening performance (almost "possession"-like)
"Goodbye, pussycat, meowwww!" So many great scenes, but I think my favorite has to be when Neely is in the mental hospital singing "Come Live with Me" with Tony in the wheelchair. I laugh just thinking about it.
Surprisingly square for a camp classic. The incomparable Helen Lawson is a fucking goddess and Neely O'Hara's meltdown is jaw droppingly hysterical but much of the movie is simply dull, sappy and dorky unlike Russ Meyer's delirious "sequel"
3 1/2 out of 5 stars. Valley of the Dolls felt like the lurid cinematic lovechild of Douglas Sirk and Stanley Donen. Yes, its campy and often tragic to the point of silly (namely Sharon Tate's storyline) but grossly entertaining (namely the fantastic asshole that is Keely O'Hara) but there's something about this movie that just digs in and doesn't let up. I really wish I had catty gay friends to watch this with.
While "Valley of the Dolls" isn't necessarily cinematic brilliance, the ending was a pleasant surprise in contrast to the book, illustrating the changing social climate for women between the 1940s-1950s (when the book was based) and the 1960s (when the film was released).