Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Media Guide - Valley of the Dolls DVD


Barbara Parkins was portraying Betty Anderson on Peyton Place when she landed the plum role of Anne Welles in "Valley of the Dolls", the cult favorite movie based upon Jacqueline Susann's international best seller. Her co stars were Sharon Tate (Jennifer North), who sadly met a tragic end in real life at the hands of Charles Manson and his "family", and Patty Duke (Neely O'Hara), Academy Award and Emmy winner who went on to have a notable career. Ms. Parkins, who has since retired from acting. has appeared in many TV shows and mini series, and has lent her commentaries to documentaries on Sharon Tate and Valley of the Dolls.

2. The director of this film is Mark Robson, also directed the movie of Peyton Place in 1957.

3. There are interesting comparisons to be drawn between authors Jacqueline Susan and Grace Metalious and the scandalous page turners they wrote one decade apart.

4. The DVD of this movie was released in 2006 and is chockful of interviews and behind the scenes looks. It can be purchased at essential video
They don't make 'em like this anymore. Well, John Waters might, if he ever had a big enough budget. A steamy "inside look" at the alternately sleazy and glamorous world of catfighting, backbiting show-biz starlets, this Hollywood hit from the bestselling novel by Jacqueline Susann is a high-gloss camp artifact--a time capsule (or some kind of capsule, anyway)--from the screwy '60s, when a broad was a broad, a bitch was a bitch (whether "her" name was Neely O'Hara or Ted Casablanca), and a "doll" was a prescription drug. These dames of whine and poses obsessed over their bust lines, booze, and barbiturates. The once-shocking and scandalous language and behavior of these Broadway babes has been eclipsed by Dallas, Dynasty, and Melrose Place, but time has only enhanced the stature of Valley of the Dolls as a classic--and it still puts Showgirls to shame. With Patty Duke, Susan Hayward, Sharon Tate, Lee Grant, Barbara Parkins, and Martin Milner (and juicy, scene-chewing dialogue such as the infamous: "They drummed you out of Hollywood, so you come crawling back to Broadway. But Broadway doesn't go for booze and dope--now get out of my way, I've got a man waiting for me!"), Valley of the Dolls is the Mount Rushmore of backstage movie melodramas. --Jim Emerson

Product Description
Lured by their dreams of fame and fortune, three ambitious young women enter the world of show business and discover how easy it is to sink into a celebrity nightmare of ego, alcohol and 'pills' - the beloved "dolls." A prim New Englander (Barbara Parkins) unexpectedly skyrockets from her job as secretary in a talent agency to a glamorous TV model. A determined singer (Patty Duke) finds that Hollywood success can also spell self-destruction. And a beautiful sex symbol (Sharon Tate) is torn between the money commands and the shame of feeling exploited. Based on Jacqueline Susann's phenomenal best-seller about the underside of Hollywood, this fascinating melodrama was once seen as a shocking behind-the-scenes look at how show business creates instant stars, destroys romances and changes personalities forever.

If you are interested in any of the stars or subjects in this post, you can use the google powered blog search below to learn more.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Media Guide - Beyond Peyton Place - New Book by Ed Nelson - Dr. Rossi

Ed Nelson has written his auto-biography.

Beyond Peyton Place: My Fifty Years on Stage, Screen and Television

Product Description
Beyond Peyton Place, although based upon the life and times of Ed Nelson, is much more than the biography of an actor who claims, in his own words, to have clawed and scratched his way to the middle. It is a fascinating recounting of the professional career of someone who has climbed to professional heights far greater than the middle, and who did it while always giving top billing to his wife and six children. There was not a performance genre in which Ed Nelson did not excel. He began doing high school and college amateur theater, became a floor director for a local TV station, accepted small movie roles filmed in and around New Orleans, and then moved his then-small family to Hollywood, without even enough money to own an automobile. He took whatever roles he could get in film, TV, and theater, and never looked back. Over the next fifty years he appeared in 40 movie roles, over 1,500 TV productions, 30 major stage appearances, and although best known for his starring role for five years as Dr. Mike Rossi in Peyton Place, was a resounding hit as Harry S Truman in the marvelous one-man show Give em Hell Harry! which toured the United States for almost a year. He succeeded Academy-Award winner James Whitmore, who originated the role. Ed Nelson will tell you that his life story is as much about those luminaries, both male and female, with whom he has shared the stage and camera, as it is about himself. Blessed with a phenomenal memory, he offers up stories, some amusing and some sad, but always with an underlying message that will give aspiring actors guidance and encouragement in their quest for a successful career.

It is available at Word Association Publishers or Amazon.

It is chock full of many pictures and not just in a middle section but within the chapters.

Look for a review in the future when I have finished reading the book.

Season 1, Episode 1 The Pilot

Episode Guide

Dr. Michael Rossi arrives in Peyton Place from New York City and is met at the train station by Rodney Harrington and his girlfriend, Betty Anderson. He has been summoned to town by Rodney’s father Leslie, manager of the Peyton Mill. Leslie’s sister, Laura Brooks, is a recent widow, and Leslie has asked Rossi to take over her late husband’s medical practice. Rodney drops him off at the Colonial Post Inn and he and Betty proceed toward the mill.

Allison MacKenzie, returns home from the library with Rodney’s brother, Norman. Friends from childhood, she is oblivious to Norman’s true feelings toward her and does not invite him in. Her mother, Constance, is waiting in the living room. Constance wouldn’t mind if her daughter would go out with Norman. Allison makes it clear that she is holding out for Prince Charming. She tells Constance she should get rid of the picture of her father on the mantelpiece. After all, he died before she was born (almost 18 years ago). Her mother shouldn’t still be living alone. Constance reminds her that she does not live alone, but a fleeting look of concern about this discussion passes over her face.

Allison has forgotten to drop her teen topic column off at the newspaper. She must head back to the town square to see the editor of the Clarion, Matthew Swain. Matthew is her mother’s cousin and has been a constant in her life for as far back as she can remember. To Allison, he has always been “Uncle Matt”, the one person she can turn to for advice. Trying to divert her from her worries about Constance, Matt tells her that the almost full moon is meant for courting. She replies that she is going to make a wish on it tonight. But is the wish for a Prince Charming for her or for her mother?

Upon reaching the Peyton Mill, Rodney leaves Betty in the car and hurries to his father’s office. He is there to reassure him that he picked up Dr. Rossi as planned. Leslie is working late dictating notes to his secretary, Julie Anderson. Julie is Betty’s mother. He is going to New York in a few weeks and invites her to come along, but she refuses. It concerns her that Betty and Rodney are going out together. They may get married. Leslie does not want his son to settle down until he has finished college. Julie confronts Leslie. She is sure that he does not think her daughter good enough to marry Rodney. All Betty can be is a secretary like her mother. Leslie denies this and says their relationship is not casual. He passionately kisses Julie just as Rodney walks through the door.

Shocked by what he has seen, Rodney cancels his plans for an evening with Betty at the Pond (the local Lover’s Lane) and takes her home. Confused by Rod’s sudden change in behavior, Betty tries to question him but it ends in a fight.

Rod drives his convertible recklessly through the Town Square and almost mows down Allison. He takes her the short distance home, slamming his brakes and rocking the car as she is ready to get out. He apologizes. After an awkward discussion about her lack of experience, he asks her out on a date. Constance peers through the window and sees Allison and Rod kissing before they say good-bye. She makes it clear that she does not approve of Rod or where their actions might lead them.

Dr. Rossi is taking in the night air in the park across the square from the Clarion. Matthew introduces himself and gives him a few words of advice on small towns. He tells him one day he will wake up and realize he knows each and every person and each will have a definite opinion about him. Some will love him, some will hate him, but none will be indifferent. The big city doctor is hoping that is true.

Preview from the continuing story of Peyton Place:

  • Rodney asks Leslie why he had to pick on the mother of the girl he was going around with.
  • Betty tells Julie that Rodney broke off with her and asks her mother what Leslie told Rodney.
  • Allison and Constance talk about her kissing Rodney.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Continuing Story of....Peyton Place

Welcome to the Continuing Story of Peyton Place, a trip back in time and space to a small New England town whose Disneyesque Main Street belied the struggles of its inhabitants to come to terms with the challenges of the 1960's. Stay tuned for episode recaps and commentaries on the stars, the fashions, and the trends of this ground-breaking prime time soap opera which captured the imagination of viewers from 1964 through 1969.