Thursday, July 7, 2011

Valley Of The Dolls (1967)

I had a sleepover party last week to celebrate mine and my friend's birthday which are just a week apart. We drank a bunch, gossiped and listened to records. We had a great time. The next morning, in a semi--hungover daze, my friend suggested we watch "Valley Of The Dolls", which I'd actually never seen before. 

This movie is total eye candy. The great looking sets, kool clothing and an amazing opening credit sequence with its pill-form theme. We have 3 fantastic looking women: Barbara Perkins, Patty Duke and the late Sharon Tate. This movie reminded me of "Mommie Dearest" for some reason. Maybe the same tone and fame-hungry psychotic tendencies. 

The jazzy numbers sung by Patty Duke (apparently overdubbed) and Tony (in a crazy looking burgundy suit) are real good, and kinda hilarious at the same time. Just watch Patty's insane moves on a telethon show early in the film. One of my friends said, "Cover her head and its Robert Plant". hahaha.

All three gals progressively become more into drugs (mostly "doll"/pill-popping and booze) and have dwindling careers as well as relationship woes. Patty's free use of the word "fag" while requesting "skim milk" without any manners and then instead of rehab, is thrown into a sanitarium. Hey, after all, I believe shock therapy was still considered somewhat normal at that time. Poor Sharon Tate admits she's only as good as her body when it comes to her career and after learning that she has to have a mastectomy, she kills herself. I had to hold back some tears as she goes to sleep and her husband (now in the sanitarium with Patty with a genetic memory loss disease) croons something like "come away with me". For what I remember, Barbara seems to get off the easiest and even gets to return home at the end with her head held up high.

Previously, my only knowledge of this movie was when Barbara (coincidence!) Barrie reads the novel before bed in "Breaking Away" (one of my favorite movies). Also, Russ Meyer's bizarre, exaggerated version called "Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls", which was penned by Roger Ebert (!). Its a must see and so is "VOTD". 

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