Dolls! Dolls! Dolls! Deep Inside Valley of the Dolls, the Most Beloved Bad Book and Movie of All Time

Penguin. Jun. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9780143133506. pap. $17. FILM
There are movies (and books) you love, those you hate, and those you love to hate. The undisputed queen of the “so bad it’s good” genre is Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann’s runaway best seller of 1966 and the 1967 film adaptation starring Patty Duke, Barbara Parkins, and future Manson murder victim Sharon Tate. Screenwriter, author (Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho), and Dolls superfan Rebello packs tons of information into this loving look at a cultural and cult phenomenon, sprinkling gossipy bits among the stats. He tells how much money was made (and translates the figures into “today” money), who got along (and who didn’t), where things went wrong, life stories of the stars of the movie and the people upon whom the characters were based, why Judy Garland didn’t make it onto the screen, the studio (“20th,” as he refers to it) machinations, Jackie Susann’s early years and later success, and what happened to nearly every major player involved with the film and the book.
VERDICT Some knowledge of the book and definitely of the film is required, but go ahead: Indulge yourself. Fans will love! love! love!, and newcomers will enjoy the Hollywood insider aspect.

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