Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)

109 mins | Melodrama | 17 June 1970

Full page view
HISTORY

With a gross of $20 million, the film adaptation of novelist Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls (1967, see entry) was Twentieth Century-Fox’s top earner in 1968, the 12 Mar 1969 Var announced. With an option for a sequel, the studio was going ahead with Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, a title selected the previous year, the 3 Jul 1968 Var noted. The 18 Jul 1968 DV reported that Miss Susann’s husband, television producer Irving Mansfield, had signed Gabrielle Upton to write the screenplay. However, when Ms. Susann finally submitted an “original screen story” to Fox, the writer was Jean Holloway. Columnist Army Archerd remarked in the 16 Jun 1969 DV that only one character, “Anne,” from Valley of the Dolls, portrayed by Barbara Parkins, would be carried over into the sequel. The 20 Aug 1969 LAT noted that the film’s budget had “reportedly been severely cut.”
       The following year, Irving Mansfield withdrew as the film’s producer, according to the 2 Jul 1969 Var, ostensibly to work on another of his wife’s projects, The Love Machine (1971, see entry), at Columbia Pictures. However, some insiders speculated that Mansfield was angry with Fox production head Richard D. Zanuck for his “less than kind” words for The Love Machine. The 15 Aug 1969 DV mentioned that Jacqueline Susann herself gave the studio “the OK to go ahead without her,” having already been paid $250,000 for the sequel, because she did not want to be involved with the project. By then, Russ Meyer, known as “King of ... More Less

With a gross of $20 million, the film adaptation of novelist Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls (1967, see entry) was Twentieth Century-Fox’s top earner in 1968, the 12 Mar 1969 Var announced. With an option for a sequel, the studio was going ahead with Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, a title selected the previous year, the 3 Jul 1968 Var noted. The 18 Jul 1968 DV reported that Miss Susann’s husband, television producer Irving Mansfield, had signed Gabrielle Upton to write the screenplay. However, when Ms. Susann finally submitted an “original screen story” to Fox, the writer was Jean Holloway. Columnist Army Archerd remarked in the 16 Jun 1969 DV that only one character, “Anne,” from Valley of the Dolls, portrayed by Barbara Parkins, would be carried over into the sequel. The 20 Aug 1969 LAT noted that the film’s budget had “reportedly been severely cut.”
       The following year, Irving Mansfield withdrew as the film’s producer, according to the 2 Jul 1969 Var, ostensibly to work on another of his wife’s projects, The Love Machine (1971, see entry), at Columbia Pictures. However, some insiders speculated that Mansfield was angry with Fox production head Richard D. Zanuck for his “less than kind” words for The Love Machine. The 15 Aug 1969 DV mentioned that Jacqueline Susann herself gave the studio “the OK to go ahead without her,” having already been paid $250,000 for the sequel, because she did not want to be involved with the project. By then, Russ Meyer, known as “King of the Nudies,” had been hired to direct, and had personally brought in Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert to write the script. The 27 Aug 1969 Var explained that with the relaxation of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) film code, “sexplicity and nudity are now familiar in commercial releases of the majors.” Meyer’s previous exploitation film, Vixen (1968, see entry), was made for less than $1 million (the 30 Nov 1969 LAT placed the budget at only $90,000), but became one of the year’s top moneymaking films. Russ Meyer told the 3 Sep 1969 Var that the “supposed sequel” would have “nothing in common” with Valley of the Dolls beyond the “title link.” He called the new Beyond the Valley of the Dolls “a soap opera for young folks” under twenty-six, whereas Jacqueline Susann’s “ideas were concerned with venerable types.” Meyer told critic Kevin Thomas of the LAT that he and Roger Ebert “came up with a 127-page treatment in 10 days—and had the first draft three weeks later.” Almost all of the film was written for “existing sets” on the Twentieth Century-Fox lot in Los Angeles, CA. With the exception of actress Edy Williams, who was already under contract to Fox, the actors were unknowns outside the exploitation market. Meyer claimed that actress Sandra Dee expressed interest in the role of sex novelist “Ashley Famous,” which Williams played in the film, but he turned her down because the film’s title and his own name would be enough to sell the picture. “Using unknowns you avoid highly exaggerated salaries and prima donnas,” he said.
       Principal photography began 1 Dec 1969, according to the 12 Dec 1969 DV production chart. The 14 Jan 1970 DV noted the feature was “nearing completion.”
       The MPAA’s Production Code Administration gave Beyond the Valley of the Dolls an X rating. The day after its 17 Jun 1970 premiere at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, CA, DV called Fox’s “trashy, gaudy, sound-stage vulgarity” “the most derisible, most hootable film made by a major studio in years,” while the 18 Jun 1970 LAT felt the Zanucks “ought to have their studio washed out with soap.” Jacqueline Susann tried to hold up the film’s release in Los Angeles Superior Court, but Judge Richard Schauer, after watching both Valley of the Dolls and its “sequel,” denied the injunction. Still, Susann continued to pursue a $10-million lawsuit against the studio, claiming the film would damage her reputation and besmirch the original Valley of the Dolls novel. As shown in an advertisement in the 5 Jul 1970 LAT, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls carried a disclaimer: “This is not a sequel. There has never been anything like it!” In the 27 Jun 1970 NYT, critic Vincent Canby began his review with: “Any movie that Jacqueline Susann thinks would damage her reputation as a writer cannot be all bad,” and continued by taking more jabs at the writer than at the film. However, Canby did follow up his review with a 5 Jul 1970 NYT article in which he referred to the film as “The Valley of the Junk,” and regretted that “junk films” were taking too much time away from the better ones.
       The film went into general release, and grossed $427,232 in its first three weeks. By the end of Aug 1970, according to the 2 Sep 1970 ^DV, both Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and Fox’s similarly-X-rated Myra Breckenridge, released a week afterward, had “a combined domestic gross” of over $14 million.
       In Baltimore, MD, the state censor board demanded that several scenes be trimmed or cut before the film’s release there, according to the 22 Jul 1970 Var. The board objected to scenes of violence more than sex, but insisted they had “sexual connotations.” Clips of a head rolling on the floor and of a murderer placing a gun in the mouth of a victim were excised.
       The 17 Feb 1970 NYT announced that Russ Meyer had signed a contract with Twentieth Century-Fox to produce and direct three more movies, but he made only one, The Seven Minutes (1971, see entry). However, in 1979, he created his own sequel to both Vixen and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls with Russ Meyer’s Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens (see entry). More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
18 Jul 1968
p. 4.
Daily Variety
16 Jun 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
15 Aug 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
19 Aug 1969
p. 3.
Daily Variety
12 Dec 1969
p. 12.
Daily Variety
17 Dec 1969
p. 6.
Daily Variety
31 Dec 1969
p. 3.
Daily Variety
14 Jan 1970
p. 1.
Daily Variety
20 May 1970
p. 6.
Daily Variety
18 Jun 1970
p. 3.
Daily Variety
17 Jul 1970
p. 3.
Daily Variety
2 Sep 1970
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
20 Aug 1969
p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
13 Sep 1969
View, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
30 Nov 1969
View, p. 18.
Los Angeles Times
18 Jun 1970
View, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
22 Jun 1970
View, p. 20.
Los Angeles Times
5 Jul 1970
View, p. 21.
Los Angeles Times
19 Jul 1970
View, p. 1.
New York Times
17 Feb 1970
p. 34.
New York Times
27 Jun 1970
p. 19.
New York Times
5 Jul 1970
p. 49.
Variety
12 Mar 1969
p. 4.
Variety
16 Apr 1969
p. 7.
Variety
2 Jul 1969
p. 3.
Variety
27 Aug 1969
p. 7.
Variety
3 Sep 1969
p. 5.
Variety
17 Jun 1970
p. 2.
Variety
22 Jul 1970
p. 26.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Story
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Fashions
MUSIC
Mus supv
Additional mus
Voc coordinator
SOUND
Music ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
Asst to the prod
Prop master
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
SOURCES
SONGS
"In The Long Run," words and music by Stu Phillips and Bob Stone
"Look On Up At The Bottom," words and music by Stu Phillips and Bob Stone
"Come With The Gentle People," words and music by Stu Phillips and Bob Stone
+
SONGS
"In The Long Run," words and music by Stu Phillips and Bob Stone
"Look On Up At The Bottom," words and music by Stu Phillips and Bob Stone
"Come With The Gentle People," words and music by Stu Phillips and Bob Stone
"Sweet Talkin' Candy Man," words and music by Stu Phillips and Bob Stone
"Find It," words and music by Stu Phillips and Lynn Carey
"Once I Had Love," words and music by Stu Phillips and Lynn Carey
"A Girl From the City," written by Paul Marshall, performed by The Strawberry Alarm Clock
"I'm Comin' Home," written by Paul Marshall, performed by The Strawberry Alarm Clock
"Incense And Peppermints," written by John S. Carter and Tim Gilbert, performed by The Strawberry Alarm Clock
"Beyond The Days Of Now And Then (Theme From Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls)," written by Bob Stone and Stu Phillips, performed by The Sandpipers.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
17 June 1970
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 17 June 1970
Production Date:
began 1 December 1969
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
26 June 1970
Copyright Number:
LP38187
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
109
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Tired of playing to high school audiences, Kelly, Casey, and Pet, members of a rock trio, travel to Hollywood, California, accompanied by Harris Allsworth, the band's manager and Kelly's lover. There, they are befriended by Kelly's Aunt Susan, an advertising executive, who, despite the misgivings of her lawyer, Porter Hall, decides to share with Kelly the family fortune. At an orgy the band is discovered by the effeminate entrepreneur host, Ronnie "Z-Man" Barzell, who rechristens them "The Carrie Nations." Among lovers quickly acquired at Ronnie's party are Lance, a boorish gigolo, who enters into a liaison with Kelly; Emerson, a law student who wins Pet's love; and Roxanne, a lesbian designer who captures Casey's heart. As the celebrated trio perform on national television, Harris, distraught by Kelly's infidelity and Casey's impregnation by him, hurls himself from the catwalk. He is rushed to the hospital, where Dr. Scholl informs Kelly that Harris can look forward to life as a paraplegic. Realizing that Harris is her true love, Kelly devotes herself to his care. Touched by Casey's plight, Roxanne arranges an abortion. Ronnie invites Lance, Roxanne, and Casey to a private party, at which costumes are distributed. Dressed as Superwoman, Ronnie attempts to seduce Lance, who is attired in a loin cloth. Rejected, Ronnie binds the gigolo. After revealing that he is, in fact, a woman, Ronnie bears her breasts, brandishes a sword, and chops off Lance's head. She then plunges a gun into the sleeping Roxanne's mouth and fires. Terrified, Casey phones her friends, who rush to her rescue but arrive too late. As Emerson and Kelly attempt to subdue Ronnie, the gun discharges, killing the transvestite. During the fray, ... +


Tired of playing to high school audiences, Kelly, Casey, and Pet, members of a rock trio, travel to Hollywood, California, accompanied by Harris Allsworth, the band's manager and Kelly's lover. There, they are befriended by Kelly's Aunt Susan, an advertising executive, who, despite the misgivings of her lawyer, Porter Hall, decides to share with Kelly the family fortune. At an orgy the band is discovered by the effeminate entrepreneur host, Ronnie "Z-Man" Barzell, who rechristens them "The Carrie Nations." Among lovers quickly acquired at Ronnie's party are Lance, a boorish gigolo, who enters into a liaison with Kelly; Emerson, a law student who wins Pet's love; and Roxanne, a lesbian designer who captures Casey's heart. As the celebrated trio perform on national television, Harris, distraught by Kelly's infidelity and Casey's impregnation by him, hurls himself from the catwalk. He is rushed to the hospital, where Dr. Scholl informs Kelly that Harris can look forward to life as a paraplegic. Realizing that Harris is her true love, Kelly devotes herself to his care. Touched by Casey's plight, Roxanne arranges an abortion. Ronnie invites Lance, Roxanne, and Casey to a private party, at which costumes are distributed. Dressed as Superwoman, Ronnie attempts to seduce Lance, who is attired in a loin cloth. Rejected, Ronnie binds the gigolo. After revealing that he is, in fact, a woman, Ronnie bears her breasts, brandishes a sword, and chops off Lance's head. She then plunges a gun into the sleeping Roxanne's mouth and fires. Terrified, Casey phones her friends, who rush to her rescue but arrive too late. As Emerson and Kelly attempt to subdue Ronnie, the gun discharges, killing the transvestite. During the fray, however, the crippled Harris is miraculously cured. In a triple wedding ceremony, Kelly and Harris, Pet and Emerson, and Aunt Susan and an old love are united. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.