Tom Ewell and Jayne Mansfield in The Girl Can't Help It (1956)

Mansfield Over Shadows this Talent Showcase

Washed up, small time talent agent Tom Miller (Tom Ewell) finds himself hired by a has been gangster, Marty 'Fats' Murdock (Edmond O'Brien), to turn his blonde bombshell girlfriend, Jerri Jordan (Jayne Mansfield), in to a recording star. Having just 6 weeks to achieve this is bad enough but when Tom discovers Jerri has no talent it makes things harder even if she is drop dead gorgeous. But the worst thing is that Tom and Jerri start to fall for each other and that makes things extremely complicated.

Jerri walks along the street, her waist pinched in so that her figure causes a paperboy to walk whistle, a man delivering ice melts a block, a milkman makes his milk boil and a man's glasses crack. No I am not on about Jerry as in Tom & Jerry where many of these gags would have been at home but Jerri as in Jayne Mansfield in "The Girl Can't Help It" an intriguing movie from the mid 50s which watched now feels like something put together to showcase talent rather than to be an entertaining drama.

Jayne Mansfield in The Girl Can't Help It (1956)

What that means is that on one hand we have this storyline which sees Tom trying to make Jerri a star and whilst constantly using her sex appeal to get people interested finds himself falling for her. And as such we have plenty of comedy as Mansfield plays it dumb as a blonde bombshell who just wants to marry and be a housewife. But whilst all this is going on what we get, especially during the first half, is one singing star after another putting in a night club performance. Now whilst this might have entertained back in 1956 and maybe still have some sot of nostalgic appeal for those who watched it back then it struggles for newer audiences watching this out of curiosity.

Now I am one of those people who watched "The Girl Can't Help It" and just wasn't blown away by it, coming to it 60 years after it was released. Yes the music was nice, the performance from Tom Ewell amusing and the talent on show impressive but the whole time all I felt was this was a showcase movie. Having said that it is impossible to watch "The Girl Can't Help It" and not be blown away by Jayne Mansfield who is at her dynamite best' drop dead gorgeous, playing dumb but also with a heart of gold. And quite simply Jayne Mansfield is possibly the only actress I know who could make Jessica Rabbit look ordinary in a red dress competition.

What this all boils down to is that as a movie "The Girl Can't Help It" didn't blow me away although it still kind of entertained. But to be really truthful most of what entertained me in "The Girl Can't Help It" came from Jayne Mansfield being drop dead gorgeous and loveable.