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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Directed by Mark Robson
USA 1967

 

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 naïve that you know she's just going to get chewed up.

Excerpt from Don Willmott's review at FilmCritic.com located HERE

 

 

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 15th, 1967

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Comparison:

20th Century Fox (2-disc Special Edition)  - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) 20th Century Fox (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC  LEFT

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

   

  

   

Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Criterion Collection - Spine #835 - Region 'A' Blu-ray
Runtime 2:03:02 2:03:33.447
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.21 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 49,958,027,272 bytes

Feature Size: 26,885,947,392 bytes

Total Bitrate: 25.00 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) English (Mono) , DUBs: Spanish (Mono)  DTS-HD Master Audio English 2220 kbps 3.0 / 48 kHz / 2220 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 3.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None English, (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by actress Barbara Parkins and E!'s Ted Casablanca
• New documentary "Gotta Get Off This Merry-Go-Round: Sex, Dolls and Showtunes"
• "The Divine Ms. Susann" featurette
• "Hollywood Backstories: Valley of the Dolls" featurette
• "Valley of the Dolls: A World Premiere Voyage" documentary
• "Jacqueline Susann and Valley of the Dolls" documentary
• Still galleries
• Trivia Overdose: A Pill-Popping Guide to Valley of the Dolls
• "You've Got Talent" Karaoke
• Star screen tests

DVD Release Date: June 13th, 2006

Double Slim Keep Case inside cardboard slipcase
Chapters: 28

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
2.35:1

Disc Size: 49,958,027,272 bytes

Feature Size: 26,885,947,392 bytes

Total Bitrate: 25.00 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 Video

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary from 2006 featuring actor Barbara Parkins and journalist Ted Casablanca
• New interviews with writer Amy Fine Collins about author Jacqueline Susann and the costumes in the film (21:49 + 7:37)
• New video essay by critic Kim Morgan (17:11)
• Footage from Sparkle Patty Sparkle!, a 2009 gala tribute to actor Patty Duke at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco (16:09)
• A World Premiere Voyage and Jacqueline Susann and “Valley of the Dolls,” two promotional films from 1967 (48:12) (50:31)
• Episode of the television program Hollywood Backstories from 2001 on the film (25:06)
• Screen tests (28:06)
• Trailers + TV Spots (4:53)

• Radio Spots (19:54)
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Glenn Kenny

Blu-ray Release Date: September 27th, 2016
Transparent Keep case

Chapters: 13

 

 

 

Comments:
NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - August 16': The Criterion is cited as a "New 2K digital restoration" and colors appears much darker and richer in the dual-layered Blu-ray transfer. It may have a blue-teal leaning at times but looks quite strong in the 1080P rendering. There are nice textures, realistic flesh tones and it looks significantly better than the DVD.

Criterion use a DTS-HD Master 3.0 channel (duplicating the Westrex Recording System?) at 2220 kbps (24-bit) and it sounds impressive. Such music as André Previn's theme from Valley of the Dolls sung by Dionne Warwick or Give A Little More, It's Impossible performed by Patty Duke (dubbed by Gaille Heideman) or I'll Plant My Own Tree performed by Susan Hayward (dubbed by Margaret Whiting) sound tight and crisp in the lossless. Dialogue is clear and audible. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray.

Criterion really pile on the extras including an audio commentary from 2006, found on the 2-disc DVD, featuring actor Barbara Parkins and journalist Ted Casablanca. There are interesting new interviews with writer Amy Fine Collins about author Jacqueline Susann and a second about the costumes in the film running about 1/2 an hour in total. I really appreciated the new video essay by critic Kim Morgan lasting almost 18-minutes. There is 15-minutes of footage from Sparkle Patty Sparkle!, a 2009 gala tribute to actor Patty Duke at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco and a lengthy piece entitled A World Premiere Voyage and Jacqueline Susann and “Valley of the Dolls” (as found on the old DVD) - two promotional films from 1967 running about 50-minutes each. We get a 25-minute episode of the television program Hollywood Backstories from 2001 on the film, the fascinating screen tests - almost 1/2 hour's worth, plus trailers, TV and Radio Spots. There is a liner notes booklet featuring an essay by film critic Glenn Kenny.

There are so many fascinating elements to Valley of the Dolls and they don't seem to diminish over time. Still so watchable and maintaining relevant themes. Criterion's Blu-ray is the best way to see this and the substantial extras only add further value. Recommended!

***

ON THE DVD 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.

Gary W. Tooze

 





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Disc 2

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


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Subtitle Sample

 

1) 20th Century Fox (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Screen Captures

 

1) 20th Century Fox (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 


Box Covers

   

  

   

Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Criterion Collection - Spine #835 - Region 'A' Blu-ray




 

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