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      The Girl Can't Help It

      Released Dec 1, 1956 1h 39m Musical Comedy List
      82% Tomatometer 17 Reviews 69% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings Hefty hoodlum Marty "Fats" Murdock (Edmond O'Brien) employs has-been agent Tom Miller (Tom Ewell) to transform his girlfriend, Jerri Jordan (Jayne Mansfield), into a singing star because he trusts Tom not to make a pass at her. However, the more time Tom spends with the stunning blonde, the more smitten he becomes. His troubles multiply when he realizes that Jerri can't sing a note, is not in love with Murdock and wants to settle down with a nice man like himself. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (17) Critics Reviews
      Eric Henderson Slant Magazine Criterion’s set for The Girl Can’t Help It is going to look awfully smart on the shelf next to their forthcoming release of Pink Flamingos. May 11, 2022 Full Review J. Hoberman Village Voice A veritable Parthenon of vulgarity and a supremely unfunny comedy that is pure eau de Fifty-Six. Aug 22, 2006 Full Review Fernando F. Croce Slant Magazine Years before Kenneth Anger, Frank Tashlin located the decadent Babylon in Hollywood and found it not that different from the splashy Looney Tunes bonanzas he used to fashion during his salad days as an animator. Rated: 3.5/4 Aug 8, 2006 Full Review James Kendrick Q Network Film Desk delightfully weird in trying to straddle multiple generations, genres, and tones Rated: 3/4 May 24, 2022 Full Review Danielle Solzman Solzy at the Movies While aspects are certainly cartoonish, The Girl Can't Help It changed musical history as we know it and we're all the better for it. Rated: 4.5/5 May 9, 2022 Full Review Jeffrey M. Anderson Combustible Celluloid Many parodies have unsheathed their blades to skewer the world of showbiz, but this one uses a corkscrew! Rated: 4/4 Apr 23, 2022 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (108) audience reviews
      Doggyman 1 I know the goofy, surreal charm is lost on all but the fast-fading Pepsi Generation. Still, anyone interested in mid-20th century pop culture generally, and early rock n' roll in particular needs to watch The Girl Can't Help It. Enjoy it in CinemaScope and Color by Deluxe! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 10/14/23 Full Review CJ S It's of its time with some rampant misogyny, but if one can overlook that, the overacting and farce makes this a pretty a fun time with a cracking soundtrack. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 08/14/23 Full Review gregory b Jayne Mansfield is wonderful.In real life, she had a IQ of 160.Her dumb blonde personna was all an act. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member The Girl Can't Help It is a corny yet loveable film about a woman who can't help but just wanting a simple life. The film has hilarious moments where you can get a laugh or so. The beautiful Jayne Mansfield puts on a wonderful and hilarious performance. The costume designs were pretty nuanced especially for Jayne Mansfield's outfits. The costumes she wore had so much symbolism. White for purity, red for desirable, navy blue for trustworthy, and yellow for joy. Overall, Jayne Mansfield is the girl who can't help it but be loveable, beautiful, and put on a good show. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/18/23 Full Review matthew d Fantastic rock music with a charming performance from the ethereal Jayne Mansfield! Director Frank Tashlin's musical comedy The Girl Can't Help It (1956) is a brisk and funny pleasure to watch. From getting to see Little Richard and Fats Domino sing to hearing Julie London's lush voice in a dreamy scene. Let alone, the drop dead gorgeous Jayne Mansfield chewing the scenery with her hip thrusts and big smile. She looked like she was actually having fun playing with men's feelings and getting to stand up for herself. Once you actually hear her powerful and lovely singing voice, you'll wish she recorded a ton of songs. Jayne Mansfield was clearly intelligent, independent, and playful with a charming personality and effortless grace alongside her pleasant humor. She's so assertive and charismatic when she flirts, cooks, sings, or plays around. I love her soft and sultry speaking voice. How can you not love Jayne Mansfield? Script writers Frank Tashlin, Garson Kanin, and Herbert Baker's writing lets men fallen out of fame and luck try their hand at a kind of stardom once more with their pathetic manipulations of the music industry in a really fun comedy. It's got romantic tenderness and playful humor that's surprisingly refreshing to see the sexist men get made fun of by the normally dumb blonde trope, who gets what she wants for once. The Girl Can't Help It is lighthearted and very charming. Producer Frank Tashlin introduced the world to numerous rock stars like Little Richard, Fats Domino, Julie London, Gene Vincent, The Platters, and even Eddie Cochran! What a legend for getting all the best 50s artists on here in one movie. It's incredible to think that young Paul McCartney and John Lennon saw The Girl Can't Help It and figured out their skiffle sound based on Little Richard's song arrangements. So, in a way, we might not have ever gotten The Beatles if not for sweet Jayne Mansfield. Editor James B. Clark pulls slick cuts out for a fast pace and a neat 99 minutes. His fade-ins and fade-outs are ghostly when he splices in images of Julie London singing "Cry Me a River." I loved hearing her deep resonant voice full of sorrow. She gets one of the best songs in The Girl Can't Help It, not to mention Chicago costume designer Charles LeMaire's gorgeous dresses. London herself has like 10 different dresses for that alcohol dream sequence alone. LeMaire's dresses for Jayne Mansfield and Julie London are phenomenal with fashionable splendor and vivid colors. Lyle R. Wheeler and Leland Fuller's art direction certainly has style with the cool blue lighting and colorful scene designs. Leon Shamroy's pretty cinematography holds all these stunning close-up shots. His steady moving panning shots allow such easy focus on each music act and Mansfield herself. Leon Shamroy uses shadows for a moody atmosphere and these cool red and blue lights everywhere for a haunting effect. Tom Ewell is a lot of fun as the music agent, down on his luck, alcoholic to his core, and longing for genuine love. He's very funny and actually treats Jayne like a real human, instead of how gross and sexist his character was with Marilyn Monroe in Billy Wilder's awful sex comedy The Seven Year Itch the year before. Edmond O'Brien goes against his softer film noir detective type to play a boisterous Scarface type mobster. His joyful cackling and screaming rage is as funny as Ewell. Set decorators Walter M. Scott and Paul S. Fox adorns each set with antiques and charming knick-knacks for Jayne's quaint home or O'Brien's lavish manor. Composers Leigh Harline and Lionel Newman provide magnificent symphonies for The Girl Can't Help It. I love the pleasant soft and romantic melodies, especially for their love theme. Sound designers E. Clayton Ward and Harry M. Leonard bring these rock songs Ben Nye's make-up gives Jayne Mansfield that classic Marilyn Monroe style of platinum blonde locks with red lips that bring out her deep blue eyes. She already looked lovely, but Nye's make-up lets Jayne glow with a radiant warmth. To conclude, The Girl Can't Help It is a hysterical comedy and an amazing delight of iconic rock ‘n' roll stars from the 1950s. Jayne Mansfield is such a charmer that I'm sure any viewer will still love her. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Liam D A fun slice of 50s Americana this musical comedy is a quick and easy way to spend 93 minutes. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 09/08/20 Full Review Read all reviews
      The Girl Can't Help It

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Hefty hoodlum Marty "Fats" Murdock (Edmond O'Brien) employs has-been agent Tom Miller (Tom Ewell) to transform his girlfriend, Jerri Jordan (Jayne Mansfield), into a singing star because he trusts Tom not to make a pass at her. However, the more time Tom spends with the stunning blonde, the more smitten he becomes. His troubles multiply when he realizes that Jerri can't sing a note, is not in love with Murdock and wants to settle down with a nice man like himself.
      Director
      Frank Tashlin
      Producer
      Frank Tashlin
      Screenwriter
      Garson Kanin, Frank Tashlin, Herbert Baker
      Distributor
      20th Century Fox, Fox, Key Video
      Production Co
      20th Century Fox
      Genre
      Musical, Comedy
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Dec 1, 1956, Original
      Release Date (DVD)
      Aug 8, 2006
      Runtime
      1h 39m
      Sound Mix
      Stereo
      Aspect Ratio
      Scope (2.35:1)