Each week we’re recommending a movie from film lover’s favorite home video company, Criterion. The Criterion Collection is dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions of the highest technical quality with supplemental features that enhance the appreciation of the art of film. This week, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.
In 1970, Twentieth Century-Fox, impressed by the visual zing “King of the Nudies” Russ Meyer had been bringing to bargain-basement exploitation fare, handed the director a studio budget and the title to one of its biggest hits, Valley of the Dolls. With a satirical screenplay by Roger Ebert, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls follows three young female rockers going Hollywood, in hell-bent sixties style, under the spell of a flamboyant producer—whose decadent bashes showcase Meyer’s trademark libidinal exuberance. Transgressive and outrageous, this big-studio version of a debaucherous midnight movie is an addictively entertaining romp from one of cinema’s great outsider artists.
- High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- Audio commentary from 2003 featuring screenwriter Roger Ebert
- Audio commentary from 2006 featuring actors Dolly Read, Cynthia Myers, Harrison Page, John LaZar, and Erica Gavin
- New interview with filmmaker John Waters
- Episode from 1988 of The Incredibly Strange Film Show on director Russ Meyer
- Q&A about the film from 1992 featuring Meyer, Ebert, LaZar, and Read; and actors David Gurian, Charles Napier, Michael Blodgett, and Edy Williams, with host Michael Dare
- Interview with cast members from 2005
- Above, Beneath, and Beyond the Valley; Look On Up at the Bottom; The Best of Beyond; Sex, Drugs, Music & Murder; and Casey & Roxanne, five documentaries from 2006 about the making of the film, featuring the cast and crew
- Screen tests
- English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing