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Valley of the Dolls

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Patty Duke in Valley of the Dolls, 1967.

Image credit: Valley of the Dolls, 1967.

It was only a matter of time before I got around to this booze and pill-laden masterpiece of 1960’s camp. Valley of the Dolls (DVD/Download) is that special film that becomes even more enjoyable the more you drink. The crappy dialogue just SPARKLES, I tell you. But beyond the pills and swimming pools and teased hair, there are simply three gorgeous ladies trying to make it in the cutthroat business of Hollywood.

Valley of the Dolls stars Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke, and Sharon Tate as three friends looking for love and fame. Based (perhaps a little too loosely) on the fantastic Jacqueline Susann novel of the same name, the film version is a musical featuring rather forgettable songs by Andre Previn (most of which I find skippable). Give me scenes of Patty Duke in her underwear emptying a bottle of scotch into the deep end of her swimming pool. Sharon Tate looks lovely as always and is relatively believable as Jennifer North, star of French “art films” and Barbara Parkins, well, she knows how to pull off a lot of eyeliner and frosted lipstick. Special congrats to Richard Dreyfuss, who scored his first-ever film role in this. Way to start at the bottom.

As I said, there’s a lot of alcohol and pills in both the book and the movie. “Dolls” is short for dolophine, a popular narcotic at the time. I like to substitute Hot Tamales for the pills, and luckily Fireball Whiskey pairs quite well with this candy. Obviously this drink needs to be strong enough to put you into a stupor, but pretty enough to be held while you sit in your peignoir wearing false eyelashes (don’t mock the way I spend my Saturday nights). While watching Valley of the Dolls, I recommend drinking a Burning Doll.

Burning Doll

1.5 oz Fireball Whiskey

3 oz champagne

Splash of orange juice

Combine chilled ingredients into a coupe glass and enjoy!

burning doll

There’s a lot of sarcasm in this post, and much of that comes from jealousy. I mean, who wouldn’t want to take a fistful of barbiturates and wander around the beach all afternoon? And how about having a husband who’s a fashion designer named Ted Casablanca? Now that sounds genuinely fabulous. This week, come drink with me, and be my love. Cheers!

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