This week’s Moviedrome Monday entry is a double-bill consisting of two comedies.
The Girl Can’t Help It (1956)
I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Mark Cousins introduction to cult cartoonist-turned-director Frank Tashlin’s 1956 satirical rock-and-roll musical The Girl Can’t Help It. Readers can also read Cousins intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 27, 1997 (read here). Whereas Cousins appreciates the film with reservations, I absolutely love The Girl Can’t Help It. Given his earlier background as an animation director on various 1930’s and 40’s Looney Tunes shorts at Warner Bros., it is unsurprising that The Girl Can”t Help It plays like a cartoon itself, albeit one presented in CinemaScope. The garish colors (provided by DeLuxe) emphasizes the film’s cartoonish (among many examples, think Tex Avery’s Red Hot Riding Hood) style of humor (vulgar or otherwise). In fact, the names of Tom Ewell and Jayne Mansfield’s respective characters are Tom Miller and Jerri Jordan (a la Tom and Jerry). Despite all of the numerous jokes here revolving around her body, it is Jayne Mansfield’s Jerri Jordan, who comes off (hilariously and ironically enough) as the lone rational character of the film. This is best summed up in her desire for a normal life – I just want to be a wife. Have kids. But everyone figures me for a sexpot! No one thinks I’m equipped for motherhood! Last, but not least, it features cameos from some of rock music’s biggest names of the day – Little Richard, Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent are just three of many. Read more about the film’s influence on rock music here. If any of you readers are interested, here is a list of my favorite Frank Tashlin films (read here).
Here is a youtube video link to Mark Cousins Moviedrome intro to The Girl Can’t Help It
Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer
Here is a youtube video link to cult director John Waters appreciation of the film
Also, here is a youtube video link to late director/producer Dan Ireland’s Trailers from Hell commentary for it
Also, here is a youtube video link to one of the film’s funniest visual comedic gags
Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatiana (1994)
Since I could not find a youtube video link to Moviedrome presenter Mark Cousins introduction to legendary Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki’s 1994 film Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatiana, readers will have to rely on Cousins intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 28, 1997 (read here). Since I have not seen the film, I can’t really comment here, though it does look fascinating.
Since I could not find a youtube video link to a trailer, one will have to do a search on the aforementioned site for various clips from it.
4 thoughts on “Moviedrome Mondays: The Girl Can’t Help It (1956) and Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatiana (1994) (Mark Cousins intro)”
I love ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’, and try to watch it at least once a year. It’s a wonderful window into the past, and the dawn of pop music for the masses. JM is just fabulous in it, proving that she is more than a pin-up to drool over.
I haven’t seen the other film.
Best wishes, Pete.
The Girl Can’t Help It is good for all the reasons you write about…it’s good because of it’s artistic contribution to pure pop culture, kind of like Warhol’s Campbell soup cans. The concept is perfectly executed. Not my kind of film but I appreciate its significance.
I totally agree with you Pete 🙂 The film satirizes the 1950’s rock music scene while also celebrating it. I also agree with you completely on Jayne Mansfield 🙂 Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂
Everything about The Girl Can’t Help It is perfect 🙂 I mean how awesome is it that they got some of the then biggest (or emerging) names in rock music? 🙂 It was great to see not only Little Richard, but Fats Domino as well 🙂 Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂