Valley of the Dolls Movies & Media Adaptations

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Valley of the Dolls, the 1967 movie, is now considered a camp masterpiece by many. It opens with Mr. Vesuvius sideways pumping out pills. The silly costumes and glitzy sets, especially the commercials Anne appears in with their allusions to great art, and the Calderesque set Helen Lawson swings around on in her Broadway show, belting out her pseudo-show-stopping number, are sublimely bad. They come full circle and become art again. The whole movie has the glamorous look of a third-rate imagination running wild within the confines of its limitations.

The dialogue, for which Susann must take some credit, is preposterously self-serious. Susan Hayward as Helen Lawson hams it up. Patty Duke as Neely whoops it up (her final scene in which she screams her own name on a deserted New York street is jaw-dropping in its excess). Barbara Parkins as Anne has two expressions, dewy when she isn't on...

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This section contains 399 words
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Buy the Valley of the Dolls Study Guide
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