Saturday, October 3, 2015

Jayne Mansfield: Silver Screen To Vegas Headliner

There is just something about the blonde bombshells of Old Hollywood that always spark my interest. Hollywood thought they had found another Marilyn Monroe when Jayne Mansfield busted (pun totally intended) on to the scene, but Jayne was a completely different animal. Aside from having blonde hair and a knock out figure... the two stars couldn't be farther from each other. Jayne Mansfield was over the top, larger than life... dare I say campy? That's just what made me so interested in her. She knew exactly what she wanted and what she needed to do to get it. She used her 'obvious talents' to make a name for herself. She knew what Hollywood expected of her... so she gave it to them. 

I've seen a few of of her films, so I wanted to learn more about the woman behind the camera. This post will be the first of many exploring Jayne's other talents and other sides of her career that sometimes get lost behind her bombshell, sex symbol image.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

Film | Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)

Last week, I went on a mini shopping spree online. I was feeling some kind of way and looked to my credit card to feel better. Needless to say, I now have quite a few new Classic Hollywood goodies in my collection. One of those items is The Jayne Mansfield DVD Collection. I've had this book marked for who knows how long. Amazon gets you with those 'Only 4 left in stock!' things... well they got me at least. This set includes 'The Girl Cant Help It' (1956), 'The Sheriff With The Fractured Jaw' (1958), and the film this post is about... 'Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?' (1957).

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)

 "Man, oh man, oh Mansfield!"

The Players:

Jayne Mansfield as Rita Marlowe
Tony Randall as Rockwell P. Hunter
Betsy Drake as Jenny Wells
Joan Blondell as Violet

The Story:

Jayne Mansfield teams with Tony Randall in this hilarious spoof about an ad man who nabs a movie star for his campaign -- and opens a can of worms in the process. Ad writer Rockwell Hunter (Randall) thinks he's hit the jackpot when sexy starlet Rita Marlowe (Mansfield) agrees to endorse a line of lipstick he's touting. But when the press mistakes the business partnership for an affair, it'll take some tricky maneuvers to set the story straight. [Netflix]

My Favorite Scene:

This is a hard one because I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this film. I haven't literally lol'd during a film in quite some time. If I have to narrow it down to just one scene, I will have to go with the scene where Betsy Drake's character Jenny Wells is imitating the 'oh so kissable' Rita Marlowe. Prior to this scene, she stopped into a lingerie store to buy new under garments to get the shape of Marlowe. So when we first see her in the next scene, her bosoms are pointed to the sky and her waist of non existent. And if that wasnt enough, she does a spot on impersonation of Rita's voice and squeal. I was cracking up more each time she opened her mouth. Bravo!

Trivia and Tidbits:

Jayne Mansfield originated the role of Rita Marlowe in the Broadway play that ran 444 performances at the Belasco Theatre in New York from 1955-1956.

Jayne Mansfield's character Rita Marlowe's name was a combination of 3 of my favorite Classic Film actresses... Rita Hayworth, Jean Harlow, and Marilyn Monroe.

The films that Rita Marlowe 'stars' in are actually films Jayne Mansfield starred in prior to this film being made... "The Girl Can't Help It" (1956), "Kiss Them for Me" (1957) and "The Wayward Bus" (1957).

If you didn't catch it, the film pokes a little bit of fun at fellow blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe. Rita Marlowe leaves Hollywood abruptly for New York for some personal time and to form her own production company... as Monroe did that same year.

Tony Randall was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actor – Musical/Comedy for his work on this film.

In 2000, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

My Thoughts:

'Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?' set out with one goal in mind... to satire pop culture, Hollywood hype and the ad industry. From it's over the top heartthrob obsessed teen mobs to it's celebrity driven culture... I believe it achieved just that. Let's be honest... this film's message is just as relevant today, 60 years later, than it was in 1957.

Tony Randall was so loveable and such a joy to watch. He had such a great timing for comedy. Joan Blondell snuck up on me as Rita Marlowe's assistant... forgot how wonderful she is! Jayne Mansfield was so likable and so full of that 'it' factor that you can't look away when she is on screen. I don't know about you, but I could listen to that woman talk for hours... and do not get me started on that squeal... it is everything!

Overall Rating: