Frank Tashlin

Frank Tashlin – Rock-a-Bye Baby (1958)

Carla Naples ran away from her small town life, her small town family, and a small town boy with a crush on her to become a big star. But while on a shoot in Mexico she got secretly married and turns up pregnant with no proof of marriage her agent suggests a little bit of help keeping her babies and keeping them secret, he suggests family but Carla knows there’s only one person who’ll do anything for her and that’s small town crush Clayton Pool. Carla’s little sister has had a crush on Clayton as long as Clayton has had a crush on Carla. Clayton agrees to find the baby on his doorstep and keep it for Carla until…. Carla fails to tell him it’s not one baby, but three..and the laughs go on from there. Read More »

Sidney Lanfield & Frank Tashlin – The Lemon Drop Kid (1951)

Damon Runyon’s Broadway fable The Lemon Drop Kid was filmed twice by Paramount Pictures, but only the 1934 version with Lee Tracy paid more than lip service to the original Runyon story. The second version, filmed in 1951, was completely retooled to accommodate the talents of Bob Hope. Known far and wide as the Lemon Drop Kid because of his fondness for that particular round, yellow confection, Hope is a bookie who finds himself deeply in debt to Florida gangster Fred Clark. Magnanimously, Clark permits Hope to head to New York to raise the money–but he’d better have the dough ready by Christmas, or else. Read More »

Frank Tashlin – The Lieutenant Wore Skirts (1956)

Jean-Luc Godard’s review of the film (and Artists and Models) from the August-September 1956 issue of Cahiers du Cinéma:

The grotesque is an anything but easy genre. It requires sensitivity rather than intelligence, so many of the smartest directors come to grief with it. No chance of cheating here, of escaping into the ivory tower of the misunderstood… Read More »

Frank Tashlin – Artists and Models (1955)

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Rick Todd uses the dreams of his roommate Eugene as the basis for a successful comic book.

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky wrote:
There’s a meaty essay to be written about the lengths to which modern-day Americans will go to distance themselves from Jerry Lewis. Lewis represents the unrefined tastes of some earlier era of moviegoing, explained away through pejorative references to “slapstick” and “the French.” (Never mind that Lewis was never as popular abroad as he was in the U.S.) The truth, of course, is that though Lewis produced his share of dross, the gold remains pretty damn funny, and the stuff that isn’t funny tends to be strange and formally audacious in a way Hollywood comedies rarely are. It’s possible to be turned off by Lewis’ mugging (which is fairly relentless) and still appreciate the command of style displayed by his best films, whether it’s the ones he directed himself, or his collaborations with cartoonist-turned-director Frank Tashlin. Read More »

Frank Tashlin – Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)

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Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? was a run-away success. The film is known as Mansfield’s “signature film.”

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. Read More »

Frank Tashlin – The Alphabet Murders (1965)

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The Belgian detective Hercule Poirot investigates a series of murders in London in which the victims are killed according to their initials. The first victim is A.A. the second B.B. and so on. Poirot is assisted in his investigations by Captain Hastings and Inspector Japp. Written by Mike Hatchett Read More »

Frank Tashlin – The Girl Can’t Help It (1956)

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Description:
The Alphabet Murders is a 1965 British detective film based on the novel The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie, starring Tony Randall as Hercule Poirot. The part of Poirot had originally been intended for Zero Mostel but the film was delayed because Agatha Christie objected to the script. The film varies significantly from the novel and emphasises comedy. Read More »