Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Netflix Companion: Valley of the Dolls

How did Patty get this far in life without viewing the campy, craptastic masterpiece that is Valley of the Dolls? Who knows. She did, however, finally get around to it, but found herself zipping through the unbearable Patty Duke musical numbers to each new scene with Sharon Tate as Jennifer North.  It was, in short, a painful experience for Panamint Patty: Sharon whispering, "I'm pregnant."

Sharon by the pool of a gorgeous mansion in the Hollywood Hills looking both chic and right at home at the same time.
Sharon giving in to a svengali movie director to make less-than-optimal career moves.

And finally, Sharon being taken out of a building in Beverly Hills motionless, and under a white sheet.

Sigh. She was sooooo beautiful. Her acting skills are not particularly well developed yet, likely because she was still so darned young. Or perhaps because not even Meryl Streep could have worked her magic on this absolute dog of a script. However, her screen presence is undeniable: she really is so beautiful to look at that it hurts. What a star.

Patty wonders if her family was able to watch this and other movies that she starred in after her death: was it comforting to them, or as it was to this outsider, an unsettling experience? If you have never seen it, then do. You may laugh, you may cry, you may just go, "meh." But as a student of this subject, it is an absolute must.


sunset77 said...

I must admit I've never seen "Valley of the Dolls" either, it's not really my cup of tea as a movie.

Wikipedia says "Valley of the Dolls is a novel by American writer Jacqueline Susann, published in 1966. The "dolls" within the title is a slang term for downers, barbiturates used as sleep aids."

There is an autographed copy of the soundtrack for sale signed by Tate, Parkins, and Duke:


I have seen another Tate movie or at least most of it, "The Wrecking Crew" is posted on YouTube:

The Wrecking Crew

cielodrivecom said...

Valley of the Dolls is ok. I'm more of a Eye of The Devil fan myself.

goomba said...

At 12:10 AM Eastern tonight on TCM there is a short from 1967 called "All Eyes on Sharon Tate". IMDb describes:

Promotional short film on an aspiring young actress Sharon Tate and her first film Eye of the Devil. She takes acting classes and elocution lessons and is clearly on the fast-track to become a star. She is shown both at work and at play, dancing with actor David Hemmings and frolicking with the pigeons in Hyde Park. Actor David Niven says she's a wonderful actress who has a great career ahead of her

Patty is Dead said...

Thank you, Goomba. Patty likes your screen name, btw.

A.C. Fisher Aldag said...

This was a really good book, too.

Staceey L. said...

I hadn't seen it till about a year ago when I found it on Netflix instant play. It's so bad, it's good. I love the costumes and the sets.

I found a copy of the book at a used book store I frequent sitting in the "free books" bin. I took that and also a book by the Bug called "till death do us part" haven't got around to reading either yet.

goomba said...

Here's the YouTube link to the Sharon Tate short I mentioned:

cielodrivecom said...

Isn't NBC supposedly turning Valley Of The Dolls into a TV series?

Patty is Dead said...


sunset77 said...

Here's a link to a vid Sharon Tate's wedding I hadn't seen before. Barbra Parkins can be seen at the reception, along with Candace Bergen among others:


eviliz said...

I have owned Valley of the Dolls for about 15 years and never read it yet. It may make great beach reading if I ever get a day off.