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Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

Main Details

  • Released in 1970 | Color
  • Running Time: 109 Min.
  • Production Co: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
  • Distribution Co: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation (1970) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Directed by Russ Meyer
  • Written by Russ Meyer & Roger Ebert
  • Starring Dolly Read, Cynthia Myers, Marcia McBroom, John Lazar, Michael Blodgett
  • Produced by Red Hershon, Eve Meyer, Russ Meyer
  • Original Music by Stu Phillips/Additional Music by William Loose
  • Cinematography by Fred J. Koenekamp
  • Film Editing by Dann Cahn, Dick Wormell

Taglines

  • The Closer They Get to The Top...The Nearer They Get to The Bottom.
  • This time... they've really gone
  • This Is Not A Sequel. There Has Never Been Anything Like It!
  • The world is full of them, the super-octane girls who are old at twenty. If they get to be twenty.
  • The first of the shock rock!

Background

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls was originally intended as a straightforward sequel to the 1967 film Valley of the Dolls. Jacqueline Susann, author of the novel Valley of the Dolls, had been asked to write a screenplay but declined. Susann herself had come up with the title while she was writing her second novel The Love Machine. 20th Century Fox rejected two screenplay drafts, and the final version, written by director Russ Meyer and novice screenwriter Roger Ebert in six weeks, was not only a spoof of the original film, but, in Ebert's words "a satire of Hollywood conventions, genres, situations, dialogue, characters and success formulas, heavily overlaid with such shocking violence that some critics didn't know whether the movie 'knew' it was a comedy." Meyer's intention was for the film to "simultaneously be a satire, a serious melodrama, a rock musical, a comedy, a violent exploitation picture, a skin flick and a moralistic expose (so soon after the Sharon Tate murders) of what the opening crawl called 'the oft-times nightmarish world of Show Business.'" As a result, the studio placed a disclaimer at the beginning of the film informing the audience that the two films were not intended to be connected. Posters for the movie read, "This is not a sequel——there has never been anything like it". Upon its initial release, the film was given an X rating by the MPAA; in 1990, it was re-classified as NC-17. Meyer's response to the original X rating was to attempt to re-edit the film to insert more nudity and sex, but Fox wanted to get the movie released quickly and wouldn't give him the time. Ebert said that Beyond the Valley of the Dolls seemed "like a movie that got made by accident when the lunatics took over the asylum." (Wikipedia)

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