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Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

Screening on Film
Directed by Russ Meyer.
With Dolly Read, Cynthia Myers, Marcia McBroom.
US, 1970, 35mm, color, 109 min.
Print source: HFA

E is for Exploitation!

Three girls come to the big city with dreams of rock stardom. Under the tutelage of a mysterious yet hedonistic business manager they become the Carrie Nations and experience all of the excesses of Hollywood. With a screenplay penned by film critic Roger Ebert, soft-core auteur Meyer’s first major studio production provides an outrageous satire on the obsession with celebrity in mainstream society and the freewheeling indulgences of the hippie counterculture. Designed as a sequel of sorts to Jacqueline Susann’s best-selling novel and its film adaptation, Meyer’s movie turns the soapy conventions of its predecessor inside out. Rather than simply exploiting provocative material such as drug addiction, alternative sexualities, and suicide for entertainment value, the film raises serious questions about society’s lurid fascination with these topics.

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