Valley of the Dolls Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 29, 2015
Although obviously not also from a thematic point of view, the film's execution feels tremendously dated today - as I imagine it was just as well back in the 1960s -, like a mawkish vintage soap-opera that is not ashamed of its laughable dialogue and absurd situations.
Super Reviewer
September 1, 2011
A fairly good take at the life of the 60s but I didn't care for it very much.
Super Reviewer
January 17, 2009
Valley of the Dolls follows the lives of three young women as they struggle to succeed in the cutthroat world of show business. Along the way they contend with drug abuse, alcoholism, adultery, abortion, Huntington's disease, suicide and Susan Hayward. In 1967 it's racy, risqué and controversial. In 2011 it seems exaggerated, sensationalized and preachy.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
Maybe it's a bit slow and we've seen this theme often, but this movie has something, it's very timely for the late sixties, and the cast is great. It's a good drama, even though some people think of it as campy now, I still like it.
Super Reviewer
½ October 7, 2010
This is campy in a gentler way that most fans of camp are probably accustomed to, but the ridiculousness crackling beneath the surface is impossible to deny. The cast's incredible conviction in their material, all of them oblivious to how roundly awful it actually is, is what truly sells Valley of the Dolls. Patty Duke in particular is a delight; never in a million years would you believe that this ham beyond hams was an Oscar winner, hollering her name at the top of her lungs in a filthy alley and clamoring feverishly for her "dolls." You have to commend her dedication, because she truly does embody the character. Unfortunately, that character is less an actress on the fringes of self-destruction as she thinks it is, and mostly just a ridiculous woman with a pill problem. Sharon Tate offers us a woman who the film is trying to tell us, against all visual and inscribed evidence, is not mentally retarded; the challenge we have believing it is its other exciting bit of characterization.

The plot is ordinary and sort of tired, honestly, but the excitement comes out in how the little details interface with the big picture. I kind of love its woozy tightroping between luridity and prudishness. The film's total chagrin at nudity, breasts and sex in general (the total disdain for the French "nudie flick") seems kind of hilarious when it's exploiting feminine suffering in just about every other way possible. It's like, don't pretend you're too good to whip out some hoots every now and then. The movie's not misogynist, necessarily, inasmuch as any film with a female character encountering difficulty is, but its portraits aren't particularly flattering either. The only stable female character is a numbingly boring one, as if to suggest that a career-minded, anhedonistic woman is the only kind that can be successful. Gender politics aside, I don't really know if Valley of the Dolls was a very incisive look at Hollywood back in 1967, but I think its relative toothlessness in this day and age is pretty apparent. There's no doubt in my mind that shit like this still occurs, but the problems here feel endemic and our heroines are so chronically up against the wall that these people aren't really relatable. Poor Jennifer North runs across one of the most brutal streaks of bad luck ever committed to celluloid, but when you step back and look at it, it just reads as exploitative. And that's what I love about Valley of the Dolls: despite its delusions of grandeur, it isn't afraid to treat its characters like complete shit for no real reason.

All this said, I still prefer Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. All the verve, twice the bizarreness.
Super Reviewer
July 14, 2009
The more I watched the campier it got. Patty Duke's theatrics are hysterical; she always always reminds me of Helen Keller no matter how old she gets. Watching Sharon Tate makes me sad about her murder. Barbara Perkins' hair has a life of its own. But my goodness are all of them gorgeous or what. This is...not a great movie by any shakes of the word but I really liked it anyhow. Although it IS sad how phenomenal the book was and how not phenomenal this film version is.
Super Reviewer
½ April 1, 2007
Susan Hayward is great, tough as nails, Sharon Tate is touching, Lee Grant is fine in a small role, everything and everybody else is a mess. that can be very good or very bad depending on your mood.
Super Reviewer
½ October 13, 2007
Very much a product of its time. This movie is stuck in the 1960's and feels very soap-opera'ish; interesting for that element alone. The styles and fashions date it. The ladies' performances and situations are to be witnessed.
Super Reviewer
November 9, 2006
Really sad but I loved it.
Super Reviewer
April 5, 2008
So bad, it's good! I love this tacky trash. The book is one of my all time favourites.

I've always wanted a remake of this with Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears in the lead roles. How much fun would that be!
Super Reviewer
½ April 21, 2008
Pretty boring for the most part - it just didn't interest me in the least.
October 9, 2014
My lifelong attraction to Patty Duke (don't ask), the clear allure of the late Sharon Tate and this film's cult status couldn't get me to care one second about this campy look at Hollywood starlets and what I hope are exaggerations, though I admittedly couldn't stop thinking about Lindsay Lohan. If the book is as long and drawn out as the film, I happily admit to only seeing the movie. It was beating enough.
June 4, 2013
Introductory note: Why the heck did I choose to watch Valley of the Dolls out of all the movies that exist? Blame Mad Men and the internet for the "Megan Draper is Sharon Tate" theory. I've spent a lot of time internet-sleuthing Sharon Tate and Helter Skelter over the past couple days after the theory piqued my interest, and it only seemed natural to watch a Sharon Tate movie.

But holy shit, this movie. TNT doesn't know drama, Valley of the Dolls knows drama. It's like TMZ: the movie and it's just as good-bad as that concept suggests. Sex? Check. Drugs? Check. Pornography? Check. Affairs? Check. Breast Cancer? Check. Huntington's disease? Check. (okay this is starting to get weird...) Ageism? Check. Appreciation for Revolutionary War era architecture? Check. What else could you possibly want?

If the movie wasn't so cliche, I don't think it would work. But given the themes of emptiness and corruptive power of fame, the over-acted and cliche execution is perfect and warrants some consideration that the filmmakers knew exactly what they were doing in making such a subpar movie. It's an empty Hollywood film telling us how empty Hollywood is. Poetic, really.
½ August 5, 2011
It's dated 60's style and the beautiful women in it makes this charming to watch, but this movie is unnecessarily long and laughably melodramatic. It's psudo-sequel is way, way better.
June 3, 2011
Aren't you curious about Sharon Tate???(Murdered & Baby Cut out of her by Charlie Manson Minions).The Performances Hold their own too, Patty Duke was the "It" Girl of the Time after all, & Oh Yea, the Movie is great too
February 1, 2007
This movie is not a bad film as historians have said. I love this film. Sharon Tate steals this film.

All the lead actors do a phenomenal job, especially Sharon Tate and Patty Duke.
June 19, 2008
If they had kept Judy (Garland) in then maybe I would have liked it more. lol Nothing personal Patty Duke!
November 27, 2007
July 13, 2007
I have watched this movie over and over again. It always makes me feel good to realize we can make our dreams come true and that drugs have been around a long time and still are not good for us. A chick flick for sure.
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