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The Girl Can’t Help It (1956) Gets Zany on Criterion

The Girl Can't Help It (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

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The Criterion Collection releases The Girl Can’t Help It to Blu-ray on April 19, 2022. Frank Tashlin directed the film starring Tom Ewell, Jayne Mansfield, and Edmond O’Brien.

‘The Girl Can’t Help It’ Criterion Synopsis

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
  • Trailer
  • 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

New cover by Jaffa the Unknown

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20th Century Fox released The Girl Can't Help It on December 1, 1956. Frank Tashlin directed the film starring Tom Ewell, Jayne Mansfield, and Edmond O'Brien.

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