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Jayne Mansfield: “The Girl Can’t Help It ” (The Criterion Collection)

    In 1956, Frank Tashlin brought the talent for zany visual gags and absurdist pop-culture satire that he’d honed as a master of animation to the task of capturing, in glorious DeLuxe Color, a brand-new craze: rock and roll.

    This blissfully bonkers jukebox musical tells the story of a mobster’s bombshell girlfriend—the one and only Jayne Mansfield, in a show-stopping first major film role—and the washed-up talent agent (Tom Ewell) who seeks to revive his career by turning her into a musical sensation.

    The only question is: Can she actually sing?

    A CinemaScope feast of eye-popping midcentury design, The Girl Can’t Help It bops along to a parade of performances by rock-and-roll trailblazers—including Little Richard, Fats Domino, Julie London, Eddie Cochran, the Platters, and Gene Vincent—who light up the screen with the uniquely American sound that was about to conquer the world.


    • New high-definition digital transfer, with an uncompressed monaural soundtrack
    • Audio commentary featuring film scholar Toby Miller
    • New video essay by film critic David Cairns
    • Interview with filmmaker John Waters
    • New conversation between WFMU DJs Dave “the Spazz” Abramson and Gaylord Fields about the music in the film
    • New interview with Eve Golden, biographer of actor Jayne Mansfield
    • On-set footage
    • Interviews with Mansfield (1957) and musician Little Richard (1984)
    • An episode of Karina Longworth’s podcast You Must Remember This about Mansfield
    • Trailer
    • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
    • PLUS: An essay by critic Rachel Syme and excerpts from director Frank Tashlin’s 1952 book How to Create Cartoons with a new introduction by Ethan de Seife, author of Tashlinesque: The Hollywood
    • Comedies of Frank Tashlin

    Release Date: April 19th, 2022

    Tony M.