Sunday, 20 February 2011

"Boobies, boobies, boobies. Nothing but boobies. Who needs them? I did great without them."

Based on Jacqueline Susann's best-selling novel (<- read my review here!) Mark Robson directed VALLEY OF THE DOLLS (1967).

In a nutshell:

Three girls and their way to fame - and additcion of downers (which are called dolls in here.)

Anne (Barbara Parkins) is a New England Lady who starts her carreer as a secretary and becomes a famous model - with a not so fabolous love-life with her ex-boss Lyon Burke (Paul Burke).

Jennifer (Sharon Tate) is a showgirl who will be earnig fame by acting in European (speak: nudie-) films. (boy, these Europeans! ...) - and all because her beloved husband - a poor man's Frank Sinatra - Tony Polar (Tony Scotti) has a serious medical condition.

Neely (Patty Duke) is a talented singer - with an enormous ego - and a never ending feud with Broadway-Star Helen Lawson (Susan Hayward).

And all three of them have to deal with their liability to grab some "dolls"...


  • Sharon Tate received a Golden Globe for best Newcomer in 1968.

  • Judy Garland was first casted as Helen Lawson, but was fired (accordingly she showed up at the set drunk) - so Susan Hayward received her part. Another actress was supposed to replace Miss Garland: Bette Davis! Nonetheless Judy Garland kept her costume and would go on wearing it during her concerts. Gee - that gal had chutzpah! ;")

  • There is a 1981 remake for Television called JACQUELINE SUSANN'S VALLEY OF THE DOLLS with Jean Simmons as Helen Lawson.

  • Susan Hayward's resp. Helen Lawson's singing voice was deliverd by Margaret Whiting, but because she was under contract at another label Eileen Wilson is heard on the soundtrack album.

  • 1994 a TV Series was started but lived only for 65 episodes - here Helen Lawson was also Jennifer's mother. (I guess when they make another series Anne will be Jennifer's uncle..)

  • After the murder of Sharon Tate in 1969 this film was re-released - with enormous success...

  • Raquel Welch tested for the role of Jennifer North which would eventually go to Sharon Tate.

  • Patty Duke was the youngest actrice ever to have a TV series with her own name in the title: THE PATTY DUKE SHOW (1963-1966) - Patty Duke was 16 back then.

  • Lucille Ball was originally supposed to play the Helen Lawson-part.

A nodding acquaintance:

  • .Costume designer Diana Eden appeared as one of the dancers.

  • Richard Dreyfuss has his debut as assistant stage manager. It was not credited.

  • Barbara Parkins played Betty Anderson and Lee Grant acted as Stella Chernak in TV-series PEYTON PLACE (1964-1969).

  • Joey Bishop has a cameo as Telethon emcee.

  • Martin Milner is amongst others known as Karl Robinson from THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON (1975-1976)

  • Jacqueline Susann has a cameo as a journalist after one of the main character's death. (No, I won't spoil it for you.)

  • George Jessel has a cameo at the Grammy awards.

It'll stay in the family:

  • When Sharon Tate married Roman Polanski in 1968 Barbara Parkins was her maid of honor.

  • From 1972 - 1985 Patty Duke was married to John Astin (Gomez from TV series: THE ADDAMS FAMILY) and her son Sean Astin (whose father is NOT John Astin) became famous as Samwise "Sam" Gamgee in LORD OF THE RINGS. (2001 - 2003)

  • Oscar Nomination for best film score 1968.

  • André Previn received a Grammy for best score.

Sing a song

Dionne Warwick sings the Theme - on the Soundtrack album Dory Previn is singing it - because Ms Warwick was under contract at another record label.

Barbara Parkins suggested that Dionne Warwick should sing the theme - and it became one of Ms Warwick's biggest hits:

Murphy's Law:

  • There is a scene where Anne clothes become fully wet because of the ocean - when she walks into her house a few minutes later she is completely dry. - Where can I learn how to manage this with my own clothes??

  • This film is supposed to show several years in the girl's lives - but wether clothes nor the hairstyles ever change from 1967's style. ;")

Scene to see

Uhm.. Hard to say. Every scene with Patty Duke in it! :")

Quotes Corner:

"Who’s stoned? I am merely traveling incognito."

There are of course some meanderings of the book's story - but it is okay with me. It was not okay with Harlan Ellison, who wrote the original screen play: He resigned from it after so much changes - he insisted that his name was deleted from the credits.

I think Hollywood has made this picture a lot more lovelier than the book, which is more cruel - even the end is happier in the film than in the book. Actually I like the book better, because of its sadder tone - and because in the book Jennifer has more depth (if I may use this phrase..). But I do love the film. It’s incomparable!

This film is dubbed as one of the baddest films ever made - and I love to show it at my "girls' nights" - kind of a crazy twentie-somethings slumber party. - I show many films of the sixties at these occasions.. ;") This film is called trash – and we love it. It is great fun to re-enact scenes (We especially love the Neely and Tony scene in the sanitarium..) It’s our private little ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW.. ;”)

"I had a rotten night."

The End? Wait and watch!

Yours (well and) truly

Frl. Irene Palfy


  1. A warm Hello & welcome to all new followers!!

    And to each and every follower: I am so sorry that I left you alone for such a long time!

    But: here I am again!! *muhahaha!* *enwrap in creepy velvet cape*

  2. Awesome post Irene. And glad I'm not the only one who appreciates this underrated classic. I will freely admit I have seen Valley of the Dolls and with time has grew on me. Doesn't get a whole lot of love which I can understand to a certain extent but I love it. It's my guilty pleasure. Sounds like when you watch it you know how to have fun with it. But stay away from the awful sequel. UGH! It's pure crapola. Great job Irene. Welcome back.

  3. Hihi, Monty!:
    Actually I was thinking about watching the sequel! :") (but, for I trust you and I know that we have the same taste in so many other films - I won't watch it in near future.. ;")

    Thank you for your comment - you know I apreciate them very much! :")

  4. Super fantastic post Irene, such great info about the movie and cast. I just saw some of this the other day on TCM. Always one of my fav's , can watch it over & over. Love Barbara Parkins always my favorite . She was/is ? a beautiful lady. How I wanted to look when I was in high schools many many years ago. Is she still alive. Patty Duke was good in her role, really hated her character - lol. Hope your doing well dear Irene. You always have a interesting blog and put so work into each post.
    Love to you :)

  5. Hi, JANN!

    Thank you very much!! :")

    I made an extra entry just for you! I hope you enjoy the pictures I have chosen! ;")


I really appreciate your comments - I'll read them all and if I can think of an answer I'll post it. :")