Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Valley of the Dolls

1967 American Feature

Cast: Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke, Sharon Tate, Paul Burke, Tony Scotti, Susan Hayward, Martin Milner, Charles Drake and Lee Grant
Director: Mark Robson
Writers: Helen Deutsch, Dorothy Kingsley and Harlan Ellison (uncredited), based on the novel by Jacqueline Susann

Three ambitious young women endure failed romances, drug addictions and other scandals in their quest for show business stardom.


  • Internet Movie Database: 5.4/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 38% / Audience: 62%
  • OMG rating: 6 /10

  • DVD: Available
  • Soundtrack: Available
  • Book: Available


  • Academy Award nomination for Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment.
  • Golden Globe Award nomination for Most Promising Newcomer - Female (Tate).

  • Originally published in 1966, Jacqueline Susann's novel Valley of the Dolls (loosely based on her own experience as an actress) was a huge best seller and has sold more than 30 million copies to date. It was the first roman à clef by a female author to be so successful, leading the way for other authors such as Jackie Collins to depict the private lives of the real-life rich and famous under a veneer of fiction.
  • The character of aging Broadway actress Helen Lawson is based closely on Ethel Merman, whom Jacqueline Susann had known personally and reportedly had been sexually involved with. Judy Garland was originally cast in the movie as Lawson, until her tardiness and behavior led to her dismissal; Susan Hayward replaced her in the role.
  • Casting Call: Ann-Margret, Lucille Ball, Candice Bergen, Petula Clark, Bette Davis, Tammy Grimes, Jill Ireland, Marlo Thomas and Raquel Welch.
  • Cameos include original author Jacqueline Susann as a reporter, Joey Bishop as the telethon emcee and a pre-fame, uncredited Richard Dreyfuss, in his film debut, as a stagehand.
  • Due to her recording contract with Scepter Records, Dionne Warwick's hit title song "Valley of the Dolls" was not included on the film's original soundtrack album. The album version was sung by Dory Previn, the song's lyricist, while Warwick's was released on her album titled Dionne Warwick in Valley of the Dolls. Patty Duke also released her own Dolls album, titled Patty Duke Sings Songs from Valley of the Dolls and Other Selections.
  • The film's sole Academy Award nomination, for Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment, was composer John Williams' first of a record 48 nominations to date.
  • Remade for television in 1981 as Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls, starring Catherine Hicks, Lisa Hartman, Veronica Hamel, Jean Simmons and Carol Lawrence.
  • In 1994, a loosely adapted syndicated television soap opera version of Valley of the Dolls, starring Sally Kirkland, ran for one season. Another TV adaptation is reportedly being developed for NBC by director Lee Daniels.

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