Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
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While Roger Ebert’s screenplay contains overt jabs at Hollywood’s culture of exploitation, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls cannot be called anything but sincere regarding its penchant for buxom female anatomy.
The madcap, sexy, borderline-surrealist film is impossible to summarize, but calling it a fast-and-loose Hollywood fantasia on A Midsummer Night’s Dream would not be totally inaccurate.
With his first movie for a major studio, Meyer simply did what he'd been doing for years, only bigger and better. That's to say, he turned the homely story of an all-girl rock band's rise to fame under their transsexual manager into a delirious comedy melodrama, soused in self- parody but spiked with dope, sex and thrills.
TV Guide Magazine
Russ Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is an outrageously entertaining cult classic, and probably one of the most bizarre movies ever produced by a major Hollywood studio.
The A.V. Club
Together, Ebert and Meyer produced an unhinged spoof of soapy melodramas and hippie iconography, so over-the-top in its violence and libertine sexuality that no one in 1970 quite knew what to make of it.
It's quite funny at times, and the expert direction is never less than vigorous, though in retrospect it seems to have marked the end of Meyer's most appealing period—his comic spirit was more expansive before he learned the word camp.
Not a sequel to the bland film of Jacqueline Susann’s trashy best-seller, this is more like a demented remake, alternating modish psychedelia with deliberately square moralising.
The New York Times
Any movie that Jacqueline Susann thinks would damage her reputation as a writer cannot be all bad. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls isn't—which is not to say it is any good.
This trashy, gaudy, sound-stage vulgarity about low life among the high life is as funny as a burning orphanage.
As bad as Ebert’s screenplay is, Meyer’s direction is just as choppy. The film also looks ugly.
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