Frank Tashlin

The Girl Can’t Help It

The Girl Can’t Help It

In 1956, Frank Tashlin brought the talent for zany visual gags and absurdist pop-culture satire that he’d honed as a master of animation to the task of capturing, in glorious De Luxe Color, a brand-new craze: rock and roll. This blissfully bonkers jukebox musical tells the story of a mobster’s bombshell girlfriend—the one and only Jayne Mansfield, in a showstopping first major film role—and the washed-up talent agent (Tom Ewell) who seeks to revive his career by turning her into a musical sensation. The question is: Can she actually sing? A CinemaScope feast of eye-popping midcentury design, The Girl Can’t Help It bops along to a parade of performances by rock-and-roll trailblazers—including Little Richard, Fats Domino, Julie London, Eddie Cochran, the Platters, and Gene Vincent—who light up the screen with the uniquely American sound that was about to conquer the world.

Film Info

  • United States
  • 1956
  • 97 minutes
  • Color
  • 2.35:1
  • English
  • Spine #1120

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring film scholar Toby Miller
  • New video essay by film critic David Cairns
  • Interview with filmmaker John Waters
  • New conversation between WFMU DJs Dave “the Spazz” Abramson and Gaylord Fields about the music in the film
  • New interview with Eve Golden, author of Jayne Mansfield: The Girl Couldn’t Help It
  • On-set footage
  • Interviews with actor Jayne Mansfield (1957) and musician Little Richard (1984)
  • Episode of Karina Longworth’s podcast You Must Remember This about Mansfield
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Rachel Syme and, for the Blu-ray, excerpts from director Frank Tashlin’s 1952 book How to Create Cartoons, with a new introduction by Ethan de Seife, author of Tashlinesque: The Hollywood Comedies of Frank Tashlin

    New cover by Jaffa the Unknown

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring film scholar Toby Miller
  • New video essay by film critic David Cairns
  • Interview with filmmaker John Waters
  • New conversation between WFMU DJs Dave “the Spazz” Abramson and Gaylord Fields about the music in the film
  • New interview with Eve Golden, author of Jayne Mansfield: The Girl Couldn’t Help It
  • On-set footage
  • Interviews with actor Jayne Mansfield (1957) and musician Little Richard (1984)
  • Episode of Karina Longworth’s podcast You Must Remember This about Mansfield
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Rachel Syme and, for the Blu-ray, excerpts from director Frank Tashlin’s 1952 book How to Create Cartoons, with a new introduction by Ethan de Seife, author of Tashlinesque: The Hollywood Comedies of Frank Tashlin

    New cover by Jaffa the Unknown

The Girl Can’t Help It
Cast
Tom Ewell
Tom Miller
Jayne Mansfield
Jerri Jordan
Edmond O’Brien
Fats Murdock
Julie London
Herself
Ray Anthony
Himself
Barry Gordon
Barry the Paperboy
Henry Jones
Mousie
John Emery
Wheeler
Juanita Moore
Hilda
Fats Domino
Himself
The Platters
Themselves
Little Richard and his Band
Themselves
Gene Vincent and his Blue Caps
as themselves
The Treniers
Themselves
Eddie Fontaine
Himself
The Chuckles
Themselves
Abbey Lincoln
Herself
Johnny Olenn
Himself
Nino Tempo
Himself
Eddie Cochran
Himself
Credits
Director
Frank Tashlin
Produced by
Frank Tashlin
Screenplay by
Frank Tashlin
Herbert Baker
Director of photography
Leon Shamroy
Music supervised and conducted by
Lionel Newman
Film editor
James B. Clark
Art direction
Lyle R. Wheeler
Leland Fuller
Set decoration
Walter M. Scott
Paul S. Fox
Special photographic effects
Ray Kellogg
Executive wardrobe designer
Charles LeMaire
Vocal supervision
Ken Darby
“The Girl Can’t Help It” and “Rock Around the Rock Pile" words and music by
Bobby Troup
Makeup
Ben Nye
Hairstyles
Helen Turpin
Sound
E. Clayton Ward
Harry M. Leonard
Assistant director
Ad Schaumer
CinemaScope lenses by
Bausch & Lomb
Color by
De Luxe
Color consultant
Leonard Doss

Current

The Girl Can’t Help It: The Fame Game
The Girl Can’t Help It: The Fame Game

Frank Tashlin directs Jayne Mansfield to her cartoonish limits in this outrageous showbiz satire that is a testament to the power of bad taste.

By Rachel Syme