A to Z Challenge: V (John Williams’ film scores)

*Read John Williams’ biography here

Valley of the Dolls
This 1967 drama was directed by Mark Robson and is based on the bestselling 1966 novel by Jacqueline Susann. The movie stars Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke, Sharon Tate and Susan Hayward and is about three girls who come to Hollywood to make it big but find only heartbreak, addiction and tragedy.

There are two versions of theme song (below). The theme song has lyrics and was originally intended for Judy Garland, however she was fired from the film. This version was written by Andre and Dory Previn. Jacqueline Susann (the author of the book the movie is based on) wrote her own lyrics because she didn’t believe Previns’ lyrics established the story’s background. The title track was instead sung by Dionne Warwick, however because she was signed to a different record company, her version isn’t included on the soundtrack album. Because of this, when Warwick released a version of the song with her record company it differed from the John Williams’ version.

Williams’ received his first Academy Award nomination for this movie (for Best Music (Scoring of Music – Adaptation or Treatment)) but was beaten by Camelot.

I haven’t seen the movie and it doesn’t sound like one I’d enjoy. I’m also not a huge fan of the music. What do you think – thumbs up or thumbs down?

15 comments on “A to Z Challenge: V (John Williams’ film scores)

  1. Giggling Fattie

    April 25, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    I’ve never seen it either but it sounds kind of interesting? Lol

    • It doesn’t sound very happy though, and these days I only do movies which have a happy ending.

  2. Whose voice is that? I think that you have to admire Williams for the large variety of stuff he has written.

    I haven’t seen the film or read the book, but Jacqueline Susan wrote one delightful book that I’m not sure too many people have heard of. It was a science fiction romance in which the heroine is taken accidentally to a planet not unlike Vulcan with the control of emotions. They were after Einstein so they could warn about a danger to the Earth, and got her instead. She falls in love with the ruler. You can guess where it goes from there. It was a lot of fun.

    • I’m not sure who that is singing this version, Sue. I think it is Dionne Warwick but can’t be certain.

      The book you have read sounds more my cuppa tea than this one!

  3. You know how they say “interesting” or “something different” as code for “I don’t like it”? Yeah… ;-))))


  4. Giggling Fattie

    April 25, 2019 at 11:13 pm

    Haha yeah I try to stick to happy ending movies myself!

  5. Dory Previn sang the theme song for the movie. Not quite as good as Dionne Warwick, but who is?

    I’ve neither seen the movie or read the book, but I remember Mom read the book and hid it from her inquisitive 10-year-old son because it was “dirty.” One day, I tell myself, I should read it. It was a cultural phenomenon in the ’60’s, the best-selling novel of 1966.

    • Thanks for answering, John =)

      I wonder how the book would read now? After 50 Shades I can’t imagine it would even come close to being considered a “dirty” book.

  6. From what I understand, it’s a very campy movie. I’ve heard of it, but I’ve never actually seen it.

  7. I’ve heard of the book (and movie), though I’ve never been interested enough to give it a try. The music is a bit meh in my opinion, but then this is the time of day when I listen to hard rock/metal while working 😉

    Ronel visiting with the A-Z Challenge music and writing: Various Artists”

  8. Interesting theme with films.

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