CHAT Valley of the Dolls

Doc1

Veteran Member
The film Valley of the Dolls was released in 1967. I was ten years old. At that age I knew nothing of the film, but I experienced its effects as adults tended to whisper about it in hushed tones and I recall my mother making several unflattering references to Patty Duke. I knew who Patty Duke was because of her old TV show, but it was a "girls show" and was the domain of my two sisters. In that approximate era, I wanted to watch Combat, Batman, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and other similar boys' TV fare. While not especially concerned about Patty Duke or Valley of the Dolls, I do recall being vaguely curious as to why the movie - and Patty Duke - was considered to be bad and why it caused a minor hubbub amongst the adults. Said adults were singularly unforthcoming with any details.

I was vaguely curious, but not curious enough to be drawn away from the latest episode of Combat.

Of course life moves on and I had more or less forgotten about Valley of the Dolls, until early adulthood exposed me to various cultural references to the film and I suppose I'd read a review or two at some point. In any case, I understood the subject matter and the film's basic plot, but was otherwise as incurious about it as I had been as a boy. The story followed the lives of three young showbusiness women in Hollywood and their difficulties in life, including the abuse of prescription medications. Decades went by. I never actually saw the film. I suppose if I'd really been interested I could've somehow managed to watch it, but I wasn't and I didn't.

A few nights ago as I scrolled through the YouTube offerings I found a free copy. I figured that at age 63 I might as well catch up on some pop culture background and decided to give it a watch. I also thought I might write a review here at TB2K. Ready? OK. Here it is:

The iconic 1960s film, Valley of the Dolls, is a relatively low budget film beset with a thin plot and equally thin acting. To describe it as mediocre would be a kindness.

There! Valley of the Dolls lends itself well to the concise review.

But a review of the movie is not why I'm writing this post. I'm writing to describe the movie through the prism of the profound cultural and societal shifts the United States has gone through since the mid-'60s. When Valley of the Dolls was released it was considered scandalous and, as far as cultural acceptance went, something akin to an X-rated movie.

Watching the film last night and trying to judge it by contemporary rating standards, it's pretty G-rated stuff, or at most PG - and it would only rate the PG for a catfight scene and some fairly innocuous scenes of prescription drug taking. The one "nude" scene was barely that, not even showing a female nipple. There was gauze and soft focus camera work to mask anything remotely graphic. Vulgar language? I recall hearing the words "fag" and "damn." You can hear sharper language on broadcast media.

What was considered avant-garde and racy in 1967 now seems almost quaintly innocent. What the film does unintentionally illustrate, with the passage of time, is how coarsened our own society has become.

Best
Doc
 

Bubble Head

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I have never seen the movie. We have noticed that several movies from the 60's that would be X rated are now considered family entertainment. Talking about that the other day and how brain washed we all have become.
Side note that Sharon Tate was in the movie and brutally murdered by Charles Manson's following. His reason for the matter was an attempt to blame it on blacks which would start a race war in the US in which his family would sit it out in the desert and then come into power after the kill off. Just thought I would throw that out not as a thread drift but to show how far we have come.
 

Meemur

Voice on the Prairie
If you want some laughs, see "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls," penned by film critic Roger Ebert.
 

jward

passin' thru
My concern pharmacological and sexually permissive behaviors has always been that humans are wired to push the envelop, so for the greater good, keeping that envelop more constricted is the best course of action.

Otherwise, in theory, I do not much care- as long as no one is breaking the babies, and everyone is showing up at work on monday, and paying their own bills.

It's delicious irony that familiarity doesn't breed contempt, but that absolutely obliterating that envelop comes from clear unimpinged senses and knowing one another so completely that the ensuing interactions are tsar bombic in nature.

Thanks for the review, I haven't seen it either, and think I'll keep it that way : )
 

AlfaMan

Has No Life - Lives on TB
It was an interesting movie, I thought. Loved the theme song, Dionne Warwick sang it.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
I recall that John Updike novels were rocking the middle class, suburban, protestant community of my pre-teen years. It was the natal sexual revolution pulling into the 1960s. Mom and Dad were taking uppers and downers in the diet craze.
 

Optimus Prime

Senior Member
“In olden days, a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking
But now, God knows,
Anything goes.
Good authors, too, who once knew better words
Now only use four-letter words
Writing prose,
Anything goes”.

Decorum is deceased, “society” murdered it.
 

WalknTrot

Veteran Member
Don't know. The book might have been racier...that's what I always figured - personally never read it or saw the movie. I was watching Combat right along with you. :)
 

TammyinWI

1st Amendment Right and Pertinent
Right when I saw the thread title, I instantly remembered that one of my babysitters had the book, and the image on the cover stuck with me to this day. I have not read the book nor seen the movie.
1603022063574.png Prescription drug pills.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
Or...is the reality of things just being portrayed more accurately?
I don't think so, at least not what was the reality with people I knew. I was shocked to hear that a daughter of one of my dad's friends had done drugs -- this would have been in '66 or '67, when I was still in elementary school, but it just was not part of the culture -- yet -- where we lived. We had the advantage of living in a very rural area; I think things do tend to stay 'behind the times' a little longer in such places.

Kathleen
 

fish hook

Veteran Member
The film Valley of the Dolls was released in 1967. I was ten years old. At that age I knew nothing of the film, but I experienced its effects as adults tended to whisper about it in hushed tones and I recall my mother making several unflattering references to Patty Duke. I knew who Patty Duke was because of her old TV show, but it was a "girls show" and was the domain of my two sisters. In that approximate era, I wanted to watch Combat, Batman, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and other similar boys' TV fare. While not especially concerned about Patty Duke or Valley of the Dolls, I do recall being vaguely curious as to why the movie - and Patty Duke - was considered to be bad and why it caused a minor hubbub amongst the adults. Said adults were singularly unforthcoming with any details.

I was vaguely curious, but not curious enough to be drawn away from the latest episode of Combat.

Of course life moves on and I had more or less forgotten about Valley of the Dolls, until early adulthood exposed me to various cultural references to the film and I suppose I'd read a review or two at some point. In any case, I understood the subject matter and the film's basic plot, but was otherwise as incurious about it as I had been as a boy. The story followed the lives of three young showbusiness women in Hollywood and their difficulties in life, including the abuse of prescription medications. Decades went by. I never actually saw the film. I suppose if I'd really been interested I could've somehow managed to watch it, but I wasn't and I didn't.

A few nights ago as I scrolled through the YouTube offerings I found a free copy. I figured that at age 63 I might as well catch up on some pop culture background and decided to give it a watch. I also thought I might write a review here at TB2K. Ready? OK. Here it is:

The iconic 1960s film, Valley of the Dolls, is a relatively low budget film beset with a thin plot and equally thin acting. To describe it as mediocre would be a kindness.

There! Valley of the Dolls lends itself well to the concise review.

But a review of the movie is not why I'm writing this post. I'm writing to describe the movie through the prism of the profound cultural and societal shifts the United States has gone through since the mid-'60s. When Valley of the Dolls was released it was considered scandalous and, as far as cultural acceptance went, something akin to an X-rated movie.

Watching the film last night and trying to judge it by contemporary rating standards, it's pretty G-rated stuff, or at most PG - and it would only rate the PG for a catfight scene and some fairly innocuous scenes of prescription drug taking. The one "nude" scene was barely that, not even showing a female nipple. There was gauze and soft focus camera work to mask anything remotely graphic. Vulgar language? I recall hearing the words "fag" and "damn." You can hear sharper language on broadcast media.

What was considered avant-garde and racy in 1967 now seems almost quaintly innocent. What the film does unintentionally illustrate, with the passage of time, is how coarsened our own society has become.

Best
Doc
Oh,the progress we have made.I remember T V when you couldn't even say the word pregnant,and now they practically show the way you get that way.
 

Ogre

Veteran Member
I was in high school in the mid 50's when the movie "Battle Cry" came out. And all the talk was about how they actually showed someone giving a one-finger salute. Oh, the horror of it.

I think that was also around the time that Mickey Spillaine was writing his Mike Hammer detective series. The line "She was stark naked!" was really pushing the limit.

I always enjoyed a line from one of his (I think) other books. "The darkest hour is just before dawn, or haven't you ever left a warm bed to go home?"

Of course it does appears that our parents were right, Elvis Presley was going to cause all of us to go to hell.
 

skwentnaflyer

Veteran Member
I remember that, it was so horrifying that I wasn’t even tempted to sneak the book. I did read it much later, and cant remember it now, just the feeling of “ick” from my childhood.
About the same feeling I got in the nineties, having coffee with a group of women, and discovering I was the only one of 13 not taking an antidepressant.
 

Sacajawea

Veteran Member
The irony is, that while all sex & violence are welcomed onto the screens nowadays... with a virtue signaling "acceptance and tolerance" of "it's just humans being people"; the brutality of the neo-puritan mind police who make sure you adhere to the purity of intersectional dogma is absolutely WORSE than anything that was shown in those movies or tv shows back then.

Clockwork Orange and The Prisoner, perhaps being two notable exceptions. The Twilight Zone; certain episodes.
 

Catnip

Veteran Member
The film Valley of the Dolls was released in 1967. I was ten years old. At that age I knew nothing of the film, but I experienced its effects as adults tended to whisper about it in hushed tones and I recall my mother making several unflattering references to Patty Duke. I knew who Patty Duke was because of her old TV show, but it was a "girls show" and was the domain of my two sisters. In that approximate era, I wanted to watch Combat, Batman, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and other similar boys' TV fare. While not especially concerned about Patty Duke or Valley of the Dolls, I do recall being vaguely curious as to why the movie - and Patty Duke - was considered to be bad and why it caused a minor hubbub amongst the adults. Said adults were singularly unforthcoming with any details.

I was vaguely curious, but not curious enough to be drawn away from the latest episode of Combat.

Of course life moves on and I had more or less forgotten about Valley of the Dolls, until early adulthood exposed me to various cultural references to the film and I suppose I'd read a review or two at some point. In any case, I understood the subject matter and the film's basic plot, but was otherwise as incurious about it as I had been as a boy. The story followed the lives of three young showbusiness women in Hollywood and their difficulties in life, including the abuse of prescription medications. Decades went by. I never actually saw the film. I suppose if I'd really been interested I could've somehow managed to watch it, but I wasn't and I didn't.

A few nights ago as I scrolled through the YouTube offerings I found a free copy. I figured that at age 63 I might as well catch up on some pop culture background and decided to give it a watch. I also thought I might write a review here at TB2K. Ready? OK. Here it is:

The iconic 1960s film, Valley of the Dolls, is a relatively low budget film beset with a thin plot and equally thin acting. To describe it as mediocre would be a kindness.

There! Valley of the Dolls lends itself well to the concise review.

But a review of the movie is not why I'm writing this post. I'm writing to describe the movie through the prism of the profound cultural and societal shifts the United States has gone through since the mid-'60s. When Valley of the Dolls was released it was considered scandalous and, as far as cultural acceptance went, something akin to an X-rated movie.

Watching the film last night and trying to judge it by contemporary rating standards, it's pretty G-rated stuff, or at most PG - and it would only rate the PG for a catfight scene and some fairly innocuous scenes of prescription drug taking. The one "nude" scene was barely that, not even showing a female nipple. There was gauze and soft focus camera work to mask anything remotely graphic. Vulgar language? I recall hearing the words "fag" and "damn." You can hear sharper language on broadcast media.

What was considered avant-garde and racy in 1967 now seems almost quaintly innocent. What the film does unintentionally illustrate, with the passage of time, is how coarsened our own society has become.

Best
Doc
Life was quite leisurely and innocent in the '60s compared to now, where anything goes. I prefer the 60s. People were nicer to each other and life was fun. Jobs were plentiful. A silent moral code was followed and parents taught their children to behave.
 

Catnip

Veteran Member
I was in high school in the mid 50's when the movie "Battle Cry" came out. And all the talk was about how they actually showed someone giving a one-finger salute. Oh, the horror of it.

I think that was also around the time that Mickey Spillaine was writing his Mike Hammer detective series. The line "She was stark naked!" was really pushing the limit.

I always enjoyed a line from one of his (I think) other books. "The darkest hour is just before dawn, or haven't you ever left a warm bed to go home?"

Of course it does appears that our parents were right, Elvis Presley was going to cause all of us to go to hell.
Which is why Ed Sullivan would only let Elvis only be viewed from the waist up on his TV show.
 

CaryC

Veteran Member
When Valley of the Dolls was released it was considered scandalous and, as far as cultural acceptance went, something akin to an X-rated movie.
Nothing "akin" about it. It was rated X, as was Clockwork Orange.
 
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