Episode 184 – Mark Robson’s Valley of the Dolls

This time on the podcast, David Blakeslee and Catherine Stebbins discuss the 1967 Hollywood blockbuster Valley of the Dolls.

Cutthroat careerism, wild sex, and fierce female protagonists are all on offer in this adaptation of Jacqueline Susann’s sensational and wildly popular novel. Patty Duke, Barbara Parkins, and Sharon Tate star as three friends attempting to navigate the glamorous, pressurized world of big-time show business—the “valley” is not a place but a narcotized state of mind, and the “dolls” are the pills that rouse them in the morning and knock them out at night. Blending old-fashioned gloss with Madison Avenue grooviness, director Mark Robson’s slick look at the early days of sexual liberation and an entertainment industry coming apart was a giant box-office hit, and has become an unforgettably campy time capsule of the 1960s.

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