Cinema: Beyond and Below

The Hollywood studio system operates like a game of big-stakes roulette. You miss a few, win big on one number and then, as often as not, play it again to disastrous results. Two sequels to successful 20th Century-Fox films demonstrate that from an aesthetic standpoint the whole thing is a sucker's game.

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls carries a vehement prologue stating that it is not actually a sequel to the original; indeed, the film makers have used the salable title merely as a point of departure for their own individualistic assault on...

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