Of all the camp classics
available for your derision and laughter, Valley of the Dolls is surely
one of the campiest, the kind of movie whose promotional stills are reproduced
on T-shirts for sale in your finer gay gift shops, the kind of movie that has
close to 30 memorable quotes listed online, the kind of movie so delightfully
absurd that even Roger Ebert (of all people) was moved to pen an even more campy
farce of a sequel.
A lurid '60s sensation about three young women who come New York to make it on big, bad Broadway, Jacqueline Susann's steamy bestseller was rushed to Hollywood and put on the screen fast. The result is one of those unwatchable/irresistible messes that's even more fun once you memorize the dialog and sing along with the musical numbers.
Virginal Anne Wells (Barbara Parkins) lands work as a secretary where she runs into volatile and supertalented Neely O'Hara (Patty Duke, putting a flamethrower to her child star image), who has been bounced from a Broadway cast for outshining the star, arch-bitch Helen Lawson (Susan Hayward, replacing Judy Garland, who got fired). As stevedore-tough Helen puts it, "The only hit that comes out of a Helen Lawson show is Helen Lawson, and that's me, baby, remember?" Right. Rounding out the trio is Jennifer North (the lovely but doomed Sharon Tate), who is so beautiful and na´ve that you know she's just going to get chewed up.
Theatrical Release: December 15th, 1967
DVD Review: 20th Century Fox (2-disc Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
|Distribution||20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 6.21 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0) English (Mono) , DUBs: Spanish (Mono)|
|Subtitles||English, Spanish, French, None|
by actress Barbara Parkins and E!'s Ted Casablanca
Excellent transfer from Fox on this camp classic from the late 60's. Detail is excellent, colors are fairly vivid, black levels and contrast are exceptional. Audio is clear and the subtitles well appointed. I'll be honest - I did not wade through all these extensive extra features but the ones I did seemed to keep that high level of nostalgia that the film uniquely supports. The commentary was nothing exceptional but I surprisingly lasted through the entire thing. If you really are into this film's pointed appeal then this DVD will surely suffice - it is stacked, including a 2nd disc of further featurettes.
NOTE: I'd heard a rumor that there might be a Judy Garland screen test - but no such luck, although there are screen tests for Sharon Tate and others in the cast.