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Jayne throws you a curJayne Mansfield recreated her starmaking stage role in this film adaptation of George Axelrod's Broadway comedy. Mansfield plays a Monroe-like movie queen whom adman Tony Randall hopes to sign for a product endorsement. Through a fluke, the press believes that Randall is having an affair with Mansfield; she eagerly pounces on the attendant publicity, much to the dismay of her body-builder beau (Mickey Hargitay, then married to Mansfield). At the behest of his ad agency, Randall is forced to propose to Mansfield on a coast-to-coast TV show, which breaks the heart of his true love (Betsy Drake). Both Randall and Mansfield are saved from a marriage neither one wants by the last-minute arrival of Mansfield's hometown boy friend (Groucho Marx). Director Frank Tashlin uses Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter as an excuse to take satirical potshots at everything from TV commercials to the unwieldiness of CinemaScope
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? is a 1957 American satiric comedy film starring Jayne Mansfield and Tony Randall, with Betsy Drake, Joan Blondell, John Williams, Henry Jones, Lili Gentle, Mickey Hargitay, and a cameo by Groucho Marx. The film is a satire on popular fan culture, Hollywood hype and the ad industry, which was making millions of dollars off the growing revenue from television ads. The film also takes aim at television and the damage it was doing to movie attendance in the 1950s.
It was produced and directed by Frank Tashlin, who also wrote the largely original screenplay, utilizing little more than the title and the character of Rita Marlowe from the successful Broadway play Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? by George Axelrod. The play had run from 1955 to 1956 and also starred Mansfield as Rita.
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? received a nomination for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actor – Musical/Comedy (Tony Randall) and a nomination for the Writers Guild of America, East WGA Award (Screen) for Best Written American Comedy (Frank Tashlin). The character, Rita Marlowe, is based on dumb blond stereotype epitomized in the '50s by Marilyn Monroe.
In 2000, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
The film contains joking references to several of Mansfield's other roles, including The Girl Can't Help It (1956; also directed by Tashlin), Kiss Them for Me (1957), and The Wayward Bus (1957). The book Mansfield reads in the bathtub scene is Peyton Place (1956) by Grace Metalious, which eventually became a feature film and a popular TV series that is claimed to be the forerunner of prime time soap operas. It has been claimed that the buxom characters in the book were inspired by Mansfield.
Release Date: July 29, 1957
Distrib: 20th Century Fox