The Girl Can't Help It (#1120)

Type: New Blu-Ray

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 De Luxe 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 showstopping 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 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 uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray

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, author of Jayne Mansfield: The Girl Couldn’t Help It

On-set footage

Interviews with actor Jayne Mansfield (1957) and musician Little Richard (1984)

Episode of Karina Longworth’s podcast You Must Remember This about Mansfield


English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

PLUS: An essay by critic Rachel Syme and, for the Blu-ray, 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