Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Student's Newspaper. Volume 31 Number 2. March 12, 1968
The Pill on the Gloss
The Pill on the Gloss
Valley Of The Dolls. Mark Robson (director) once upon a lime made many a jolly good movie (The Harder They Fall, From the Terrace, The Mark) and Peylon Place, which this is and more. With his merry gang of unwashed pillfermaniacs, grasping for it at every conceivable moment, he manages to make 10,000 feet of pouting film, the longest Hegelian television commercial in existence. The only safe thing seems to the unwashed screen, which the crowds attending seem to pose at, as plastic voyeurs, devoid of any thought or plebian intelligence.
Jacqueline Susann, author (and mother), conned the paperback publishers into estranging the cover so all film ads could risk reprinting it without loss of any detail. With the phrase running into extremes as "Any person coinciding with events living or denture is purely a figment . . . . " thus asuming (if one hasn't been) that somewhere amongst its pollyangst is a person called Judy Garland. It could have been the wettest musical of the year.
Menace a trois
The Young Captives. After his first successful feature, Stakeout on Dope Street, lrvin Kershner (in 1959) made this smaller, lower budgetted movie (Paramount Theatre, February 4, 5) which in its final few minutes supersedes anything he has done since. A little over an hour long, with a cast of unknown Canadians. it is an eerie and quite dustily handled yarn of two innocent youths, mouths stuffed with maple gums, who are escaping from parental aberrations. A spycopathetic killer (Steve Mario, for the record) meets the young gretna greebs on the way to their hot Mexican nest, and en route summons up enough facial erections to dump a blonde into a Cadillac boot, and flick knives around with the grace of Excalibur of Skid Row.
He frightens hell out of the kids. There's a lovely pre-coda boy scouts campfire sequence, where the now sinister menagerie a trois atmosphere becomes alarmingly real; and a cop chase in which the hero is killed by quick editing and a superb soundtrack, limited to police whistles and the young Canadians limping into one another's arms.
As in One Born Every Minute, where dialogue from a "supposed" Peyton Place was heard, we hear the opening words to a tomato sauce advertisement on a car radio, interrupted as usual by the dreadful drawl of "we interrupt this programme to bring you . . . ." It was good to notice too. that most of the violent knife movements were intact—something our censor may have thought had to do with the barbeque atmosphere, I suppose.