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:

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Julie London's Discography

I first heard Julie London's beautiful, sultry voice a few years ago while watching the Jayne Mansfield/Tom Ewell film 'The Girl Can't Help It.' Since that time, I find myself going back to discover more of her music. Up to now it has just been listening through You Tube, but I reached a point last week where I wanted more than what I could find on there. I found that her entire discography is available on iTunes... but with 29 studio albums under her belt, I wasn't able to spend almost $300.

That is... until I saw the great deal Amazon had on physical copies of her albums. I was able to get 17 of her albums for just under $50 with free shipping... thanks Amazon Prime! So maybe I wasn't able to get all 29, but I made a pretty good dent in collecting them all. I am still in need of 'Love on the Rocks', 'Latin in a Satin Mood', 'The End of the World', 'The Wonderful World of Julie London', 'Julie London', 'Feeling Good', 'For the Night People', 'Nice Girls Don't Stay for Breakfast', 'With Body & Soul', 'Easy Does It', and 'Yummy, Yummy, Yummy.'

If you haven't discovered the music of this talented song bird... you're missing out!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Monday, September 7, 2015

Julie London "Cry Me A River"

As I sat here making a new banner for Blame Mame, Julie London's beautiful, sultry version of "Cry Me A River" came pouring through of my speakers. There is something about her voice that takes you to that place of relaxation. 

This torch song was originally written for Ella Fitzgerald for the 1955 film Pete Kelly's Blues, but was later dropped from the film. Julie recorded her version in 1955 on Liberty Records with Barney Kessel on guitar and Ray Leatherwood on bass. The song became a huge hit after being featured in the 1956 Rock 'n' Roll film The Girl Cant Help It starring Tom Ewell and Jayne Mansfield. 

You can purchase the song on iTunes here or listen below...

A New Look

Blame Mame has been given a little fact lift. It's time to remove the dust and get this blog going again... so I thought it would only be fitting to revamp the layout. Keep an eye out for new posts...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Funny Face (1957) Remastered

This past Friday, I was over at a friends house after dinner and we decided to watch a film on Netflix. Some of my favorites were being suggested to us (Mean Girls, Clueless, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion), but I was in the mood for some Old Hollywood. As soon as 'Funny Face' popped up, I knew that was what I wanted to see. Luckily for me, my friend is pretty easy going and was down to watch it for the first time. 

If I said I have seen the movie a few times that would be a lie because I've probably seen it 20-30 times. Having seen this film that many times, I wasn't prepared for what was coming. The version of the film that was on Netflix has been remastered into HD. It was like watching it for the first time. Audrey, Fred, and Kay popped off the screen. The vibrsnt colors of the costumes and movie sets looked so beautiful and fresh. If you love this film, it is definitley worth while to check this out in Full HD.

Below I have put links to my previous posts about this wonderful film: