Tag Archives: Jayne Mansfield

The Burglar (1957) Paul Wendkos, Dan Duryea, Jayne Mansfield, Martha Vickers, Film-Noir, Thriller, Drama

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Professional burglar Nat Harbin (Dan Duryea) and his two associates, Baylock (Peter Capell) and Dohmer (Mickey Shaughnessy), set their sights on wealthy spiritualist Sister Sarah (Phoebe Mackay), who has inherited a fortune – including a renowned emerald necklace – from a Philadelphia financier. Using Nat’s female ward, Gladden (Jayne Mansfield), to pose as an admirer and case the mansion where the woman lives, they set up what looks like a perfect break-in; even when Nat’s car is spotted by a couple of cops, he bluffs his way through, gets the necklace, and makes the getaway. But the trio – plus Gladden – can’t agree on how to dispose of the necklace, and soon their bickering becomes a lot less important than the fact that someone is on to what they’ve done – a woman (Martha Vickers) is working on Nat, while a man (Stewart Bradley) is working on Gladden. Equally serious, the trio kills a New Jersey state trooper while on their way to warn her. And among the cops chasing them is one with larceny in his heart and murder on his mind.
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The Girl Can’t Help It (1956) Frank Tashlin, Tom Ewell, Jayne Mansfield, Edmond O’Brien, Comedy, Music

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The inimitable writer-director Frank Tashlin once more aims his satiric barbs at modern culture (modern 1950s culture, that is) in The Girl Can’t Help It. Much of the film is dominated by Edmond O’Brien as mob boss Murdock, who while serving a term in federal prison becomes a singing sensation with his hit tune “Rock Around the Rock Pile.” Once he’s sprung, Murdock hires impoverished agent Tom Miller (Tom Ewell), not to promote his own career, but to turn his curvaceous lady friend Jerri Jordan (Jayne Mansfield) into a star. Alas, Jerri has no singing or acting talent whatsoever, a fact that she’s eager and willing to admit. A domestic type at heart, all Jerri really wants out of life is to marry Murdock, so that she can clean his house, cook his meals and raise his children. When Murdock refuses to grant her wishes, Jerri falls in love with Tom instead. Every so often, director Tashlin takes time out from the plot to poke fun at such technical marvels as CinemaScope and Technicolor, and to lampoon the American male’s fixation on female bosoms and bottoms (at one point, Jayne Mansfield leans towards the camera, her cleavage exposed as far as the censors will allow, and plaintively asks Tom Ewell if he believes that she’s equipped for motherhood). While much of the humor in the film is dated, The Girl Can’t Help It is an invaluable record of the pop-music scene of the 1950s, featuring such guest artists as Julie London (playing Tom Ewell’s dream girl), Ray Anthony, Fats Domino, The Platters, Little Richard and his Band, Gene Vincent and his Blue Caps, the Treniers, Eddie Fontaine, Abbey Lincoln and Eddie Cochran.
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Female Jungle (1956) Bruno VeSota, Lawrence Tierney, Jayne Mansfield, John Carradine

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A blonde actress is murdered across from a bar. An off-duty cop has been getting pleasantly sloshed, but becomes worried about his innocence when he finds out he was seen leaving the establishment with a blonde, but doesn’t remember. As he investigates, he interviews a columnist who was going with the actress, a caricaturist who drew the victim, the caricaturist’s wife who works at the bar, and the caricaturist’s lover, and slowly begins to put the pieces of the deadly puzzle together.
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