It may be one of the 10 best movies of the 1970s, as the critic Richard Corliss once said, or it may be saddled with a script by a neophyte screenwriter, as Gene Siskel once said, but "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" was one of the great experiences of my life. When Russ Meyer, the King of the Bs, called up in 1969 to ask me to write a screenplay at 20th Century Fox, he began an adventure later described as the maniacs taking over the studio. In six reckless weeks, starting with only a title, we created the movie from scratch. "This is not a sequel!" the ads said. "There has never been anything like it!"
On the jacket of this book you will find this information: "Julia Phillips lives in Beverly Hills." Everything else Phillips can possibly think of to tell you about herself is inside the book, the most outspoken Hollywood memoir in recent history. Reviewers have generally disapproved, finding it trashy and its author pathetic. Reading it, however, I found myself developing a kind of admiration for Julia Phillips. She is honest. And if she is merciless, at least she does not spare herself. Not even Kitty Kelly could write a more scathing portrait of Phillips than she has written of herself.
David Brown came to lunch at Chez Paul carrying a little brown paper bag, but not because he'd brought sandwiches. No, the bag contained a portable tape recorder, and Brown asked if I'd mind if he and Richard Zanuck taped part of the interview. Now THAT'S curious, I thought, since I'm the one who's doing the interview, and all I brought was my Pentel Rolling Marker.