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Jayne Mansfield Collection (1956-1958)

Cast: Jayne Mansfield, Tony Randall, Kenneth More, more...
Director: Raoul Walsh, Frank Tashlin
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Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Classics, Comedies, Drama, Camp, Classic Comedy, Classic Comedy, Classic Drama, Musicals, Westerns

Synopsis

Includes:

The Girl Can't Help It (1956)
The inimitable writer-director Frank Tashlin once more aims his satiric barbs at modern culture (modern 1950s culture, that is) in The Girl Can't Help It. Much of the film is dominated by Edmond O'Brien as mob boss Murdock, who while serving a term in federal prison becomes a singing sensation with his hit tune "Rock Around the Rock Pile." Once he's sprung, Murdock hires impoverished agent Tom Miller (Tom Ewell), not to promote his own career, but to turn his curvaceous lady friend Jerri Jordan (Jayne Mansfield) into a star. Alas, Jerri has no singing or acting talent whatsoever, a fact that she's eager and willing to admit. A domestic type at heart, all Jerri really wants out of life is to marry Murdock, so that she can clean his house, cook his meals and raise his children. When Murdock refuses to grant her wishes, Jerri falls in love with Tom instead.

Every so often, director Tashlin takes time out from the plot to poke fun at such technical marvels as CinemaScope and Technicolor, and to lampoon the American male's fixation on female bosoms and bottoms (at one point, Jayne Mansfield leans towards the camera, her cleavage exposed as far as the censors will allow, and plaintively asks Tom Ewell if he believes that she's equipped for motherhood). While much of the humor in the film is dated, The Girl Can't Help It is an invaluable record of the pop-music scene of the 1950s, featuring such guest artists as Julie London (playing Tom Ewell's dream girl), Ray Anthony, Fats Domino, The Platters, Little Richard and his Band, Gene Vincent and his Blue Caps, the Treniers, Eddie Fontaine, Abbey Lincoln and Eddie Cochran. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958)
Kenneth More portrays a British gunsmith who travels to the American West. After winning a rigged poker game, More is appointed sheriff of Fractured Jaw, a wide-open town where law officers are plugged and planted on a regular basis. He befriends hard-bitten saloon gal Jayne Mansfield, who doesn't give the gentlemanly More much chance of survival. Using his wits, and blessed with a generous amount of raw luck, Sheriff More escapes death at every turn, finally becoming the "blood brother" of a previous hostile Sioux tribe. With the help of his Native American friends, More brings law and order to Fractured Jaw. The film's main advantages are Kenneth More, who is superb as always, and Jayne Mansfield, giving one of her best and least mannered performances. ~Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)
Jayne Mansfield recreated her starmaking stage role in this film adaptation of George Axelrod 's Broadway comedy. Mansfield plays a Monroe-like movie queen whom adman Tony Randall hopes to sign for a product endorsement. Through a fluke, the press believes that Randall is having an affair with Mansfield; she eagerly pounces on the attendant publicity, much to the dismay of her body-builder beau (Mickey Hargitay, then married to Mansfield). At the behest of his ad agency, Randall is forced to propose to Mansfield on a coast-to-coast TV show, which breaks the heart of his true love (Betsy Drake). Both Randall and Mansfield are saved from a marriage neither one wants by the last-minute arrival of Mansfield's hometown boy friend (Groucho Marx). Director Frank Tashlin uses Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter as an excuse to take satirical potshots at everything from TV commercials to the unwieldiness of CinemaScope. ~Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

Jayne Mansfield Collection: The Girl Can't Help It (1956)
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7.50 (6 votes)
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Jayne Mansfield Collection: The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958)
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0.00 (0 votes)
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Jayne Mansfield Collection: Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)
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5.83 (6 votes)
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Jonathan Rosenbaum's Alternative List to the AFI's
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From Rosenbaum's 1998 article in the Chicago Reader: List-o-mania, Or How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love American Movies (Films were listed alphabetically only.)
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