The Dolls in the Valley - Stars & Stripes, Dec. 1, 1967. Jan 20, 2015 0:10:39 GMT -5 Mrs_Toni likes this
Post by Christine on Jan 20, 2015 0:10:39 GMT -5
The Dolls in the Valley
by Sam Bauman...Staff Writer
IN THE MAGIC world of show business, nobody has time to bother with details. Those who make the decisions haven't the time to read a book or see a play before deciding if it's worth doing. When a producer is told about a project, he wants it in terms he can grasp in a hurry — he knows that all the lovely words the novelist or playwright forged will be replaced in any version he does, so he wants the basics.
Thus, in the shorthand of show business, a flip, bright comic with a rapid delivery becomes "like Bob Hope, you see, only younger."
A sweet, innocent girl-next-door type (a neat bit of shorthand in itself) comes out as "like Doris Day, huh, with no filters."
SO WHEN 20th Century-Fox bought the screen rights to the booming best seller "Valley of the Dolls," Jacqueline
Susann's bitter study of show business types all mixed up with booze and those red and green "dolls" that come out of prescription bottles, how did they sum things up? You guessed it — in the same old terms.
The character of Anne Welles, poor little good girl who made bad, comes out in prototype as a Grace Kelly. (Will Princess Grace sue, assuming that she still reads Hollywood chatter?)
Singer Neely O'Hara is to be modeled after singer Judy Garland (post "Wizard of Oz" image, of course).
The tragic international sex symbol, Jennifer North, victimized by everyone, is a carbon copy of the tragic international sex symbol Marilyn Monroe (a clear case of original thinking).
Since the film was to be fleshed out with a considerable amount of n u d e scenes, naturally there was a rush by
the more serious actresses of Hollywood for parts.
Barbara Parkins, who climbed the road to starletdom by the traditional method of daytime usherette and nighttime
dance student in Hollywood, was picked for the crucial role of Anne — Grace Kelly. A one-time exhibit in classic
terms in Playboy magazine, she said happily to a Look Magazine interviewer, "When I heard I had two nude scenes in this movie, I was terribly excited."
But, Miss Parkins continued, "I worry too much. I'm trying to instill in myself the attitude 'C'est la vie,' but it's hard because I'm a deep thinker. What I really want is to be a sex symbol. "I would like all the people to be attracted to me - especially men. Like Marilyn Monroe. Everyone loved her.
(Miss Parkins tends to forget she's supposed to be the Grace Kelly type in "Dolls.")
BLYTHE, buxom and blonde Sharon Tate (of "Don't Make Waves" fame, in which she co-starred with Tony Curtis), an experienced sexpot, won out in the battle for the North-Monroe role. But she's not sure she's got the right image.
"People look at me and all they see is a sexy thing," she wails, as she checks to make sure that her quaint habit of
appearing without underwear is included in press releases. "I mean people see sexy. I mean sexy is all they see," she said brightly, apparently convinced she had clarified things.
"I'm trying to develop myself as a real person. Well, like sometimes on weekends I don't wear makeup."
(Apparently, real persons don't wear makeup.)
Sharon tripped into show business when she met actor Richard Beymer in Italy, where her father, then an Army captain, was stationed with the Southern European Task Force at Verona. She was 18 and Beymer thought she might have a future in films.
When she returned to the United States, Beymer put her in contact with his agent, and soon she was walking the path to movie fame.
AS THE OBVIOUS choice for the Judy Garland-type — well, obvious to somebody, somewhere, at least—the "nice kid
turned lush," as the casting script neatly put it, ex-child star Patty Duke was tagged. Of course, there was a problem — she is a talented actress, but in the "make-do" spirit that made Hollywood what it is, the producers forged ahead.
(Those who saw Miss Duke's stunning performance in "The Miracle Worker" can appreciate the stumbling block she must have presented.)
A hard-bitten pro, Patty (now a ripe 20) said, "Sure, I identify with Neely. I identify with her loneliness."
(Patty had a bitter childhood, with an alcoholic father who deserted the family when she was only 6. Living in a Brooklyn apartment, Patty began work as a show-biz tot at 7—"You know, commercials, extras, that junk. I hated it.")
Not surprisingly, Patty is not required to play a nude scene, as do the other two. "I have too much on the ball," she stated. "1 don't need to do that."
With that kind of comment, life must have been pleasant on the set for director Mark ("Payton Place") Robson.
JUST to show that the old favorites aren't being neglected, the studio added Susan Haywurd to the cast, which also
includes Paul Burke, Tony Scotti and "guests" from New York show-biz Joey Bishop and George Jessel.
Will the Panavision, DeLuxe - color version of "Valley of the Dolls" win the same wide audience the novel did?
(More than 6.7 million soft-cover copies alone have been sold.)
If you plan to hold your breath until you find out, take a deep one and wait until Friday when the completed film is scheduled to be premiered in New York.