Source: The Daily Review
The Girl Can’t Help It from 1956, is a movie that Jayne Mansfield was born to be in and Jerri Jordan might be the character she was born to play. Jayne, was put on this planet to entertain, make people, to be the Halloween eye candy. And I’m not criticizing her for any of this or calling her a bimbo or anything like that. I have a lot of respect for her as an entertainer and have never seen her as a bimbo.
And there are a lot of great entertainers who’ve made their careers as comedians like Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Bob Newhart, Bette Midler, who were born to make people laugh and bring smiles to their faces and have made great careers for them. Jayne Mansfield, isn’t any of these people, but those entertainers aren’t Jayne Mansfield with her goddess little girl adorable features, with her great comedic and musical abilities.
What also made Jayne great in The Girl Can’t Help It, was not that she was basically herself, because she wasn’t in that movie. Rockwell Hunter, which came out in 1957 where Jayne plays Hollywood actress Rita Marlowe is where Jayne basically plays herself in that movie. The Girl Can’t Help It, she plays the girlfriend of a Hollywood mogul who has been in a career slump and hasn’t produced a hit or really anything in a while and he sees his girlfriend Jerri Jordan ( played by Jayne ) as his next superstar and ticket back in the industry that will jumpstart his career again.
The problem is unlike in Rockwell Hunter, Jerri wants nothing to do with being a star and celebrity. The only career goal that she seems to have in this movie is to be the housewife of the man that she falls in love with. If you’re familiar with the real Jayne Mansfield, you know that always wanted to be a Hollywood starlet.
Jayne Mansfield, always saw more for herself in her career in Hollywood which is probably why it dried up because she wanted to be a great dramatic actress and consistently turned down parts in comedies including musical comedies, but came back to Hollywood in early 1960s after working in Britain to do Too Hot To Handle and had a major role as George Raft’s girlfriend in The George Raft Story, Kiss Me Stupid in 1964, and then a Guide For The Married Man in 1967, which she made right before she tragically died in 1967.
I believe Jayne could’ve had a great career as a comedic actress and just as a musical comedian as well similar to Bette Midler where she would go on stage to sing, dance, and do standup and joke around with the audience. Which is what she was doing when she was on the nightclub circuit in the last years of her life., but had a much better career with and doing more films, had she not left Hollywood in the late 1950s and early 60s and continued down that career path, but she thought she should be doing more than just comedy.
Jayne Mansfield Diamonds To Dust: The Girl Can’t Help It 1956- Jayne Mansfield: Doing The Jerri Jordan Walk