Valley of the Dolls follows a trio of women who fall from grace and become addicted to prescription pills, called dolls, and booze due to the pitfalls of stardom and fame. The movie follows the life of the classy, Anne Welles, the rising star, Neely O’Hara and the starlet, Jennifer North (played by Sharon Tate) who is reduced to being in nude films due to her ‘apparent lack of talent.’ Yet she shines beautifully in the films and gains fame as a result.
(Sharon Tate pictured above playing Jennifer North)
The story follows a line of failed relationships, danger and death. Neely O’Hara becomes burdened by fame and her addiction to pills or dolls as she calls them leads her on a path of self-destruction. Her rival is the famous Helen Lawson who once axed her from performing on Helen’s show, causing Neely O’Hara to have a deep-seeded vengeance for the older star. Soon, Neely is spiraling out of control. Anne and Jennifer are spiraling into dangerous situations as well all thanks to pill-popping.
(Neely O’Hara played by Patty Duke)
The movie is set in the 1960’s and based on a book written by Jacqueline Susann. Neely O’Hara is allegedly based on Judy Garland…the book being originally set in the 1940’s. However, the movie takes place in the 1960’s. The movie is a wonderful, yet tragic story. Who will make it out of the valley of the dolls and which starlets won’t survive?
(Anne Welles played by Barbara Parkins)