*The Girl Can’t Help It*. 1956. USA. Directed by Frank Tashlin. Courtesy of 20th Century Fox/Photofest. © 20th Century Fox

The Girl Can’t Help It. 1956. USA. Directed by Frank Tashlin. 99 min.

Wrongly or not, Jayne Mansfield allowed herself to be a human sight gag in her first film with a 20th Century Fox contract in hand, guided by former animation director Frank Tashlin. Jayne’s craze for fame at any cost made her the Goddess/Mascot of Club 57 members who grew up not being able to escape her image in movie fan magazines of the 1950s and ’60s. In this Cinemascope film, Jayne’s mobster boyfriend is determined to make her into a star, even if it’s in the world of jukeboxes and rock ‘n’ roll—and even if poor Jayne has no talent. From American Directors, Volume II, by Jean-Pierre Coursodon: ‘[Tashlin’s] admirers would patiently explain that the shot of Jayne Mansfield clutching two milk bottles to her bosom in The Girl Can’t Help It was irresistible precisely because it was so crude and obvious.’” (film notes by John Epperson).

  1. Saturday, December 30, 2017,
    4:00 p.m.

    The Museum of Modern Art, Theater 2
  2. Tuesday, December 26, 2017,
    7:00 p.m.

    The Museum of Modern Art, Theater 2