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Encyclopedia > The Girl Can't Help It
The Girl Can't Help It
Directed by Frank Tashlin
Produced by Frank Tashlin
Written by Frank Tashlin
Herbert Baker
Starring Tom Ewell
Jayne Mansfield
Edmond O'Brien
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) December 1, 1956
Running time 99 minutes
Language English
IMDb profile

The Girl Can't Help It is a 1956 comedy, musical film, starring Jayne Mansfield, Tom Ewell, and Edmond O'Brien. It was directed by Frank Tashlin, with a screenplay written by Frank Tashlin and Herbert Baker from an uncredited novel Do Re Me by Garson Kanin. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Shortcut: WP:WIN Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia and, as a means to that end, also an online community. ... Shortcut: WP:CU Marking articles for cleanup This page is undergoing a transition to an easier-to-maintain format. ... Shortcut: WP:NPOV Wikipedia policy is that all articles should be written from a neutral point of view. ... This Manual of Style has the simple purpose of making things easy to read by following a consistent format — it is a style guide. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Frank Tashlin (February 19, 1913 - May 5, 1972) was an animator, screenwriter, and director. ... Frank Tashlin (February 19, 1913 - May 5, 1972) was an animator, screenwriter, and director. ... Frank Tashlin (February 19, 1913 - May 5, 1972) was an animator, screenwriter, and director. ... Sir Herbert Baker 9 June 1862 Cobham, Kent - 4 February 1946 Cobham, Kent, was the dominant force in South African architecture for two decades, 1892–1912. ... Tom Ewell ( April 29, 1909 – September 12, 1994) was an American actor. ... Jayne Mansfield (born Vera Jayne Palmer; April 19, 1933—29 June 1967) was an American actress working both on Broadway and in Hollywood. ... Edmond OBrien (September 10, 1915–May 9, 1985) was an American film actor who is perhaps best remembered for his role in D.O.A.. Born in New York, New York, OBrien made his film debut in 1938, and gradually built a career as a highly regarded supporting... Twentieth (20th) Century Fox Film Corporation (known from 1935 to 1985 as Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation) is one of the six major American film studios. ... is the 335th day of the year (336th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... A car from 1956 Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... A car from 1956 Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... A comedy is a dramatic performance of a light and amusing character, usually with a happy conclusion to its plot. ... The musical film is a film genre in which several songs sung by the characters are interwoven into the narrative. ... Jayne Mansfield (born Vera Jayne Palmer; April 19, 1933—29 June 1967) was an American actress working both on Broadway and in Hollywood. ... Tom Ewell ( April 29, 1909 – September 12, 1994) was an American actor. ... Edmond OBrien (September 10, 1915–May 9, 1985) was an American film actor who is perhaps best remembered for his role in D.O.A.. Born in New York, New York, OBrien made his film debut in 1938, and gradually built a career as a highly regarded supporting... Frank Tashlin (February 19, 1913 - May 5, 1972) was an animator, screenwriter, and director. ... Frank Tashlin (February 19, 1913 - May 5, 1972) was an animator, screenwriter, and director. ... Sir Herbert Baker 9 June 1862 Cobham, Kent - 4 February 1946 Cobham, Kent, was the dominant force in South African architecture for two decades, 1892–1912. ... Garson Kanin (November 24, 1912 – March 13, 1999) was an American writer and director of plays and films. ...


The original music score, including the title song by Little Richard, was by Bobby Troup, with an additional credit to Ray Anthony for the tune "Big Band Boogie". It was shot in Color (De Luxe), filmed in CinemaScope, and runs 99 minutes. The Girl Cant Help It is the title song to the film The Girl Cant Help It, sung by Little Richard. ... Richard Wayne Penniman (born December 5, 1932), better known by the stage name Little Richard, is an African-American singer, songwriter, and pianist, who began performing in the 1940s and was a key figure in the transition from rhythm & blues to rock and roll in the mid-1950s. ... Bobby Troup also spelled Bobby Troupe (October 18, 1918 - February 7, 1999) was an American actor, jazz pianist and songwriter. ... Ray Anthony (born Raymond Antonioni on January 20, 1922 in Bentleyville, Pennsylvania) is an American bandleader, trumpeter, songwriter and actor who is best known for his work after World War II. External links Ray Anthony biography at SpaceAgePop. ... A Fox logo used to promote the CinemaScope process. ...

Contents

Plot

A slot-machine mobster, Marty "Fats" Murdock (O'Brien) wants his blonde girlfriend, Jerri Jordan (Mansfield), to be a singing star, despite the fact that she seems to have no talent.


In order to achieve this aim, he hires a press agent, Tom Miller (Ewell), to promote her career. He chooses Miller, because of his past success with the career of singer Julie London (a fiction of the script) and the fact that he never makes sexual advances towards his female clients. Julie London Julie London (September 26, 1926–October 18, 2000) was an American singer and actress. ...


Miller reluctantly takes on the job and sets to work by showing her off around numerous night spots and rehearsal rooms in order that she may be seen by those that matter in show business. He merely requires her to move around looking beautiful whilst always dressed in the latest haute-couture fashions.


Miller's machinations arouse interest in Jerri and soon offers of contracts follow. A distraught Miller, terrified of Murdock, twists and turns and uses various ruses to keep him at bay. On top of this, there are the usual misunderstandings, when Mousie, Henry Jones, an associate of the ever jealous Murdock, misleadingly splices a recording of a wiretap between Miller and Jordan to make it seem as if the two have a business — rather than a romantic — connection. Henry Jones (1912 - 1999) was a film actor. ...


Finally it is discovered that Jerri does have talent, which appears to solve Miller's problems. That is, until Jerri reveals that she is only interested in home and motherhood and that he is the real object of her affection. There is, of course, a happy ending for everyone.


Analysis, criticism, reception

Tom Ewell gives a good performance in his role as Miller, although he is really reprising his role in The Seven Year Itch when he played opposite Marilyn Monroe. He maintains the stoic air of a man struggling against temptation. Image File history File links Acap. ... This article or section seems to contain too many quotations for an encyclopedia entry. ... Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962), was a Golden Globe award winning[1] American actress, model, Hollywood icon[2], and sex symbol. ...


Edmond O'Brien is loud and overbearing as Murdock, but his performance is obviously tongue-in-cheek and he shows a good grasp of comedy in some of his witty asides. Particularly memorable is his sentence, "et cetera, et cetera, et cetera", which is a parody of the same line used by Yul Brynner in the 1956 film The King and I. Edmond OBrien (September 10, 1915–May 9, 1985) was an American film actor who is perhaps best remembered for his role in D.O.A.. Born in New York, New York, OBrien made his film debut in 1938, and gradually built a career as a highly regarded supporting... Yul Brynner (July 11, 1920[1] – October 10, 1985) was a Russian-born Broadway and Academy Award-winning Hollywood actor. ... A car from 1956 Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The King and I is a musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, with a script based on the book Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon. ...


Jayne Mansfield merely carries out the role the director has set for her. She utters a series of simple lines and stands or moves around looking beautiful. Her speech about a woman's place being in the home may sound old fashioned, but it was very much the way of thinking in 1956. Tashlin may have kept her role deliberately simple in order not to invite unfair comparisons with Marilyn Monroe, for whom the role may have originally been written. Mansfield's twee gasp was parodied shortly thereafter by the actress herself in the 1957 comedy Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?. Jayne Mansfield (born Vera Jayne Palmer; April 19, 1933—29 June 1967) was an American actress working both on Broadway and in Hollywood. ... Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962), was a Golden Globe award winning[1] American actress, model, Hollywood icon[2], and sex symbol. ... Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? is a 1957 20th Century Fox comedy motion picture starring Jayne Mansfield, with Tony Randall, Betsy Drake, Joan Blondell, John Williams, Henry Jones, Lili Gentle, Mickey Hargitay, and a cameo by Groucho Marx. ...


Appearing at the night spots Miller and Jerri visit is a line-up of some of the golden greats of rock & roll, including Little Richard, Fats Domino, The Platters, Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps, and acrobatic pioneer rockers The Treniers, as well as lesser-known artists, such as Eddie Fontaine and The Chuckles, who obtained brief bursts of popularity in 1956 but soon faded. There are even young hopefuls like Teddy Randazzo, who hung around the rock and roll scene for years, but who never became major stars. Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... Richard Wayne Penniman (born December 5, 1932), better known by the stage name Little Richard, is an African-American singer, songwriter, and pianist, who began performing in the 1940s and was a key figure in the transition from rhythm & blues to rock and roll in the mid-1950s. ... Antoine Dominique Fats Domino (born February 26, 1928) is a classic R&B and rock and roll singer, songwriter and pianist. ... The Platters were a successful vocal group of the early rock and roll era. ... Gene Vincent, real name Eugene Vincent Craddock (February 11, 1935 - October 12, 1971) was an American rockabilly musician, best known for his hit Be-Bop-A-Lula. He started playing in various country bands in Norfolk, Virginia after leaving the Navy with a permanent leg injury. ... The Treniers (Cliff and Claude Trenier) played a cross between swing and early rock n roll. ... Eddie Fontaine (March 6, 1927—April 13, 1992) was an American actor and singer, best known for television roles in the 1960s and 1970s. ... Teddy Randazzo (May 13, 1935 - November 21, 2003) was a Brooklyn-born Pop songwriter who composed classic 1960s hit songs such as Goin Out of My Head and Hurt So Bad. // In the early years of rock, Randazzo played with a group called The Three Chuckles and appeared on The...


The auburn-haired, husky-voiced, sultry singer Julie London is also featured in the film. She appears in Miller's apartment as a haunting, spirit of a love past who follows him from room to room, constantly changing evening dresses and hair styles and singing her Top Ten hit of that year, "Cry Me a River". Julie London Julie London (September 26, 1926–October 18, 2000) was an American singer and actress. ... // A record chart, also known as a music chart, is a method of ranking music according to popularity during a given period of time. ...


The most memorable scene, however, is probably the one which introduces the film's theme song. In this scene, Jerri walks along the pavement like a fashion model on the catwalk, wearing a tight-fitting, black two-piece costume with matching broad-brimmed hat, gloves, shoes and handbag. All around men are ogling her, the ice on a delivery truck melts and the bottle of milk in a milkman's hand boils as she passes, whilst an unseen Little Richard is belting out, "The Girl Can't Help It" as various special effects match the lyrics, which tell of her effects on all objects: "the menfolk get engrossed...the bread slice turns to toast...the beefsteak become well done...she makes granpa feel like twenty-one...."


The Girl Can't Help It received critical praise at the time and was better regarded than other rock and roll films of the period such as Rock Around the Clock and Don't Knock the Rock, which were really promotional vehicles for Bill Haley & His Comets, and Rock, Rock, Rock which simply collected a bunch of performances around a slight storyline. Rock Around the Clock is a rock n roll song from 1952, written by Max C. Freedman and James E. Myers (the latter under the pseudonym Jimmy De Knight). Although first recorded by Sonny Dae & the Knights, the more famous version by Bill Haley & His Comets is not, strictly speaking... Dont Knock the Rock was a 1956 rock and roll film starring Alan Dale as a rock star who returns to his hometown to rest up for the summer only to find that rock and roll has been banned there by disapproving adults. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Now widely considered Chuck Berrys first album [1], Rock, Rock, Rock (Chess LP-1425) was originally marketed as a soundtrack album for the motion picture of the same name, which was not true. ...


These films were considered to have been thrown together to cash in on the rock and roll craze. The Girl Can't Help It was considered to have a stronger storyline than these other films, to feature better known actors and to have the advantage of being shot in color. Some sources call The Girl Can't Help It the first rock and roll film, but its release was predated by Rock Around the Clock; it was, however, the first rock and roll film to be given the same sort of serious treatment as other major musicals of the day.


The Girl Can't Help It was also allowed to poke fun at rock and roll, which the other films were not.


In some scenes, the stockily built Edmond O'Brien wore a plaid dinner jacket of the type favoured at the time by the stockily built Bill Haley and, as a final twist, at the end of the film his character Murdock became a rock and roll singer. His voice was atrocious and his hit record, "Rock Around the Rock Pile," was really an impersonation of what an adult brought up in the Swing Era thought rock and roll sounded like. Edmond OBrien (September 10, 1915–May 9, 1985) was an American film actor who is perhaps best remembered for his role in D.O.A.. Born in New York, New York, OBrien made his film debut in 1938, and gradually built a career as a highly regarded supporting... Bill Haley, with his band, the Comets, was one of the first rock and roll acts to tour the United Kingdom. ... The Swing Era was the period of time (1935-1946) when big band swing music was the most popular music in America. ...


Poking fun at this attitude was used to good effect in another scene. Here Miller is pleading with Murdock, over the telephone, that he cannot get Jerri a spot on television as she has no talent. Murdock screams at him to watch the television since, if someone can make a noise like the featured act and get on TV, there should be no problem in getting a TV spot for Jerri. Miller switches on the TV to witness a very young Eddie Cochran singing "Twenty Flight Rock". Ray Edward Eddie Cochran (October 3, 1938 – April 17, 1960) was an American Rock and Roll musician and an important influence on popular music during the late 1950s and early 1960s. ...


The Girl Can't Help It was a box office success.


Songs performed in the movie

  1. "The Girl Can't Help It" - Little Richard
  2. "Tempo's Tempo" - Nino Tempo
  3. "My Idea of Love" - Johnny Olenn
  4. "I Ain't Gonna Cry No More" - Johnny Olenn
  5. "Ready Teddy" - Little Richard
  6. "She's Got It" - Little Richard
  7. "Cool It Baby" - Eddie Fontaine
  8. "Cinnamon Sinner" - Teddy Randazzo and the Three Chuckles
  9. "Spread the Word" - Abbey Lincoln
  10. "Cry Me a River" - Julie London
  11. "Be-Bop-A-Lula" - Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps
  12. "Twenty Flight Rock" - Eddie Cochran
  13. "Rock Around the Rockpile" - Ray Anthony Orchestra
  14. "Rocking Is Our Business" - The Treniers
  15. "Blue Monday" - Fats Domino
  16. "You'll Never, Never Know" - The Platters
  17. "Every Time You Kiss Me" - Unknown, lip-synched by Jayne Mansfield

The Girl Cant Help It is the title song to the film The Girl Cant Help It, sung by Little Richard. ... Richard Wayne Penniman (born December 5, 1932), better known by the stage name Little Richard, is an African-American singer, songwriter, and pianist, who began performing in the 1940s and was a key figure in the transition from rhythm & blues to rock and roll in the mid-1950s. ... Nino Tempo (born Antonino LoTempio on January 6, 1935 in Niagara Falls, New York) is an American musician, singer, and actor. ... Richard Wayne Penniman (born December 5, 1932), better known by the stage name Little Richard, is an African-American singer, songwriter, and pianist, who began performing in the 1940s and was a key figure in the transition from rhythm & blues to rock and roll in the mid-1950s. ... Richard Wayne Penniman (born December 5, 1932), better known by the stage name Little Richard, is an African-American singer, songwriter, and pianist, who began performing in the 1940s and was a key figure in the transition from rhythm & blues to rock and roll in the mid-1950s. ... Eddie Fontaine (March 6, 1927—April 13, 1992) was an American actor and singer, best known for television roles in the 1960s and 1970s. ... Abbey Lincoln (born Anna Marie Wooldridge on August 6, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois) is a jazz vocalist, songwriter, and actress, who is widely respected for her writing skills. ... Cry Me a River is a popular song. ... Julie London Julie London (September 26, 1926–October 18, 2000) was an American singer and actress. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... Gene Vincent, real name Eugene Vincent Craddock (February 11, 1935 - October 12, 1971) was an American rockabilly musician, best known for his hit Be-Bop-A-Lula. He started playing in various country bands in Norfolk, Virginia after leaving the Navy with a permanent leg injury. ... Twenty Flight Rock is the name of a song originally performed and released in 1957 by Eddie Cochran, who co-wrote it with Ned Fairchild. ... Ray Edward Eddie Cochran (October 3, 1938 – April 17, 1960) was an American Rock and Roll musician and an important influence on popular music during the late 1950s and early 1960s. ... Ray Anthony (born Raymond Antonioni on January 20, 1922 in Bentleyville, Pennsylvania) is an American bandleader, trumpeter, songwriter and actor who is best known for his work after World War II. External links Ray Anthony biography at SpaceAgePop. ... The Treniers (Cliff and Claude Trenier) played a cross between swing and early rock n roll. ... Blue Monday can refer to more than one thing. ... Antoine Dominique Fats Domino (born February 26, 1928) is a classic R&B and rock and roll singer, songwriter and pianist. ... The Platters were a successful vocal group of the early rock and roll era. ... Jayne Mansfield (born Vera Jayne Palmer; April 19, 1933—29 June 1967) was an American actress working both on Broadway and in Hollywood. ...

Cast

Tom Ewell ( April 29, 1909 – September 12, 1994) was an American actor. ... Jayne Mansfield (born Vera Jayne Palmer; April 19, 1933—29 June 1967) was an American actress working both on Broadway and in Hollywood. ... Edmond OBrien (September 10, 1915–May 9, 1985) was an American film actor who is perhaps best remembered for his role in D.O.A.. Born in New York, New York, OBrien made his film debut in 1938, and gradually built a career as a highly regarded supporting... Julie London Julie London (September 26, 1926–October 18, 2000) was an American singer and actress. ... Ray Anthony (born Raymond Antonioni on January 20, 1922 in Bentleyville, Pennsylvania) is an American bandleader, trumpeter, songwriter and actor who is best known for his work after World War II. External links Ray Anthony biography at SpaceAgePop. ... Henry Jones is a fictional character in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. ... John Emery (May 20, 1905 - November 16, 1964) was an American film and television actor. ...

Trivia

  • Producers wanted Elvis Presley to perform in the movie, but 'Col. Tom Parker' demanded too much money for Elvis to sing one song.
  • In the nightclub, when Jayne Mansfield is ready to go on stage, there is a chorus girl in the background Abbey Lincoln) who is wearing a costume that was previously worn by Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)- the costume worm by Abbey Lincoln in that scene is the same red dress that Marilyn wore in the dining room scene from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes".
  • Some reference sources and websites erroneously suggest that Bill Haley and the Comets appear in this film. They do not.
  • Production began on the film in mid-September 1956 just as Jayne Mansfield was finishing up her Broadway triumph in the play "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" The film was made just in time to be released for the Christmas season in 1956.
  • This was the first of two comedies that Frank Tashlin wrote and directed which starred Jayne Mansfield. Tashlin once said, "There's nothing in the world to me that's funnier than big breasts."

Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Elvis redirects here. ... Jayne Mansfield (born Vera Jayne Palmer; April 19, 1933—29 June 1967) was an American actress working both on Broadway and in Hollywood. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Abbey Lincoln (born Anna Marie Wooldridge on August 6, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois) is a jazz vocalist, songwriter, and actress, who is widely respected for her writing skills. ... Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962), was a Golden Globe award winning[1] American actress, model, Hollywood icon[2], and sex symbol. ... Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a novel written by Anita Loos that was published in 1925, a Broadway play produced in 1926, a Broadway musical produced in 1949, which Loos also wrote the book for, and two motion pictures. ...

Memorable Quotes

Tom Miller: She sings, that's what she does. She's got a great pair of lungs.
Image File history File links Edit-copy_purple. ... Wikiquote is one of a family of wiki-based projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation, running on MediaWiki software. ...



Jerri Jordan: I just want to be a wife and have kids. But everybody sees me as a sexpot. They don't think I'm equipped for motherhood.



Tom Miller: Six weeks? Easy, Fats. It takes time. Rome wasn't built in a day.
Fats Murdoc: She ain't Rome. What we're talking about is already built.
[points at Jerri Jordan's body]



Jerri Jordan: I hope you don't mind, it's only lemonade. But, I squeezed fresh lemons early this morning.
Tom Miller: Without your make-up on?
Jerri Jordan: You should have seen me! I was a mess!
Tom Miller: I don't believe it!



[Jerri kisses Tom]
Tom Miller: That's no way for a bride to act.
Jerri Jordan: I thought brides acted that way.
Tom Miller: Only with the groom.



Tom Miller: She's just a girl, Barry.
Barry the paper boy: If she's a girl, then I don't know what my sister is!


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