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New book digs into making of 'Valley of the Dolls'

"Dolls! Dolls! Dolls!" by Stephen Rebello takes a

"Dolls! Dolls! Dolls!" by Stephen Rebello takes a look at the creation of "Valley of the Dolls." Credit: Penguin Books

Drug, sex, booze, Broadway, Hollywood — Jacqueline Susann's 1966 bestseller "Valley of the Dolls" had all of that and then some. It's no wonder in its review Time Magazine referred to it as "the Dirty Book of the Month," a reputation enhanced by the outrageously campy 1967 film version.

In his new book “Dolls! Dolls! Dolls!: Deep Inside Valley of the Dolls, the Most Beloved Bad Book and Movie of All Time" (Penguin, $17), "Hitchcock" screenwriter Stephen Rebello salutes the making of both movie and film in loving detail.

Rebello, who critiqued the screen version in "Bad Movies We Love," his 1993 book with Edward Margulies, explores how Susann drew upon her own experiences as a budding actress for inspiration for her brainchild. He also details her brilliance at self-promotion which turned the book into a publishing phenomenon. Devotees of the trashtastic movie will revel in the tales of backstage drama from the firing of Judy Garland to the clashes between director Mark Robson with stars Patty Duke and Sharon Tate, Duke and Susan Hayward, Duke and Barbara Parkins, Duke and … you get the picture.

In the movie, Parkins utters the immortal line "You've got to climb Mount Everest to reach the Valley of the Dolls." When it comes to great bad works of literature and film, "Valley of the Dolls" is Mount Everest.

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