My Shameless Love of 'Bad' Things Continues! | Review: Dolls! Dolls! Dolls!: Deep Inside Valley of the Dolls, the Most Beloved Bad Book and Movie of All Time by Stephen Rebello

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With my binge reads and rereads of books such as Gossip Girl and V.C. Andrews' entire archives, you had to expect this one. I'm on a 'bad book/film/show' binge and does it get anymore "bad" than Valley of the Dolls?


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

The unbelievable-but-true, inside story of Jacqueline Susann's pop culture icon Valley of the Dolls --the landmark novel and publishing phenomenon, the infamous smash hit film ("the best worst movie ever made"), and Dolls 's thriving legacy today

Since its publication in 1966, Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls has reigned as one of the most influential and beloved pieces of commercial fiction. Selling over thirty-one million copies worldwide, it revolutionized overnight the way books got sold, thanks to the tireless and canny self-promoting Susann. It also generated endless speculation about the author's real-life models for its larger-than-life characters. Turned in 1967 into an international box-office sensation and morphing into a much-beloved cult film, its influence endures today in everything from films and TV shows to fashion and cosmetics tributes and tie-ins. Susann's compulsive readable expos� of three female friends finding success in New York City and Hollywood was a scandalous eye-opener for its candid treatment of sex, naked ambition, ageism, and pill-popping, and the big screen version was one of the most-seen and talked-about movies of the time.

Dolls! Dolls! Dolls! digs deep into the creation of that hugely successful film--a journey nearly as cut-throat, sexually-charged, tragic, and revelatory as Susann's novel itself--and uncovers how the movie has become a cherished, widely imitated camp classic, thanks to its over-the-top performances, endlessly quotable absurd dialogue, outr� costumes and hairdos, despite the high aspirations, money, and talent lavished on it. Screenwriter-journalist-film historian Stephen Rebello has conducted archival research and new interviews to draw back the velvet curtain on the behind-the-scenes intrigue, feuds and machinations that marked the film's production. In doing so, he unveils a rich, detailed history of fast-changing, late 1960s Hollywood, on screen and off.
 

Dolls! Dolls! Dolls!: Deep Inside Valley of the Dolls, the Most Beloved Bad Book and Movie of All Time by Stephen Rebello
Rating: ★★
  As always, a copy of this book was provided by the authors in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.  

Ah, Valley of the Dolls. The true original. The book that was ahead of its time. The film that we all love to hate and cringe through its pastel glory. To be real with you guys, I don't necessarily think that the book Valley of the Dolls is bad. The film, of course, is good-bad, but the book doesn't wholly strike me as bad.

The main draw of this book is, of course, its dishy take on behind the scene dramas and promise of old Hollywood secrets. If ever there were a time to dive headfirst into a sea of dramatic nostalgia, cringy films, and the glory of it all, it would be now. Dolls! Dolls! Dolls! proves to be a worthwhile, entertaining, glimpse behind the curtains of it all.

And I couldn't get enough!

Whether you've read the book or seen the film, or both, or neither, you likely know a great deal about this iconic and dishy story. Be it behind the scene happenings, including the eventual untimely death (ahem, murder) of one of the film's stars, Sharon Tate, or the source material itself, there is an ever enduring quality to Valley of the Dolls. It is in this mysterious quality that makes this indulgent story destined to outlive us all.

Given my undying love for Valley of the Dolls, I knew I had to get my hands on Dolls! Dolls! Dolls! to get my fill of all the dirty details involving both the film and the book. And, yes, I may or may not have obnoxiously, typically, gotten dressed up for the read. (I did. It's embarrassing, but nowhere near as embarrassing as some of the scenes from the film. So, it's fine.)

Ugh, I know, but, I couldn't help myself. You hear one mention of Valley of the Dolls and suddenly you're all long lashes and pretty pastels in the morning sun. Right? Just me? Damn. Regardless, the mere mention of this book was enough to get me bouncing around the house humming (Theme From) Valley of the Dolls into my morning coffee.

Overall, if you love reading behind the scenes happenings of iconic films and literature, you're going to eat this book up. To avoid spoilers, I'll say this: there was a lot to unpack in this book. And I mean that literally. A lot. This book was truly all-consuming and juicy, I couldn't put it down. Now, I have the sudden urge to rewatch and reread Valley of the Dolls.

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