Filmed in New York, California, Twentieth Century Fox Studios, Connecticut
Valley of the Dolls, a 1967 Mark Robson film, tells the story of three women and their quest for fame, fortune, and love. Based off of Jacqueline Susann’s novel of the same name, the film created as much commotion among moviegoers as Sussan’s book did among readers. Like the story upon which it is based, Valley of the Dolls became a cult classic. Its camp qualities serve as a sort of funhouse mirror on the women’s movement of the 1960s, reflecting back images of emotionally unstable, male-dependent female characters. Each of the women in the film undergoes a physical and mental transformation, but show little sign of success. Costumes by William Travilla serve as a focal point, cluing the viewer in to the film’s narrative even more so than the screenplay. A sense of superficiality pervades Valley of the Dolls, the costumes and physical environments tell the story; they create, rather than compliment, the characters.