The Girl Can’t Help It is the garish acme of CinemaScope and DeLuxe Color, monumentally loud and blatantly exploitative —a veritable Parthenon of vulgarity and a supremely unfunny comedy that is pure eau de Fifty-Six. This satire of Elvis and Marilyn (or rather, of their clones) shimmers with radioactive pinks and cobalt blues; at once strident and static, the movie defines the atomic-Wurlitzer chrome– tailfin Fontainebleau-lobby look. Producer-director-co-writer Frank Tashlin is one of the very few Hollywood directors who broke into movies as an animator and, like the Dean Martin–Jerry Lewis comedies that preceded it, The Girl Can’t Help It is something like a live-action Looney Tune.
Grotesque stereotypes collide with billboard-sized caricatures. This proto Pop Art pathology might be too painful to contemplate were it not for the exotic life forms flourishing around its periphery. Climaxing with a rock show performed for an audience of teenage white zombies, The Girl Can’t Help It is populated by all manner of failed honkers and would-be cool cats—as well as Fats Domino, the Platters, a gospel-shouting Abbey Lincoln.
The coolest presence ever recorded by a Hollywood camera may be Little Richard, first seen standing entranced before a piano—as if wondering whether to pulverize or incinerate it.
“In Albania, is anything so bad it’s good?” “Little Richard was “…the King of Rock ‘n Roll, and the Queen of Rock ‘n Roll.“
Here, our beloved Pope of Trash introduces Frank Tashlin’s gemstone for everyone to enjoy.…
When our society went from “buying to replace” to “buy to be happy”, the effect snowballed over the decades with the force needed to keep from experiencing a real existential crisis.
Once Upon a Honeymoon is a 1956 musical sponsored film about a couple wishing for a new home. It starts off with a group of angels who decide to help a couple have a honeymoon. The husband (Jeff) tries to write a song, while the wife (Mary) daydreams about a new home, and imagines what it would be like to have the latest household products with the help of the angel. The angel then helps the man come up with a new song called “A Castle in the Sky”.
The film was directed by Gower Champion, and starred Virginia Gibson, Ward Ellis, Alan Mowbray, Chick Chandler, Veronica Pataky and Russell Hicks. In recent years the film has gained a small following, after it was mocked on the show Mystery Science Theater 3000. It is in the public domain.
Design for Dreaming (1956) is a musical sponsored film about a woman (played by dancer and choreographer Tad Tadlock; real name “Thelma Tadlock”) who dreams about a masked man (dancer and choreographer Marc Breaux) taking her to the 1956 General Motors Motorama at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and Frigidaire’s “Kitchen of the Future.” The entirety of the dialogue is sung, though the actors do not move their lips to their characters’ prerecorded voices.
Design for Dreaming has gained a small cult following, with some enjoying it for its perceived camp value, and others enjoying it for nostalgic reasons. One prominent showing of the film was as a short feature in a fifth-season episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K).
The BBC documentary series Pandora’s Box by Adam Curtis made extensive use of clips from Design for Dreaming, especially in the title sequence. Some footage was also used in the music video for Peter Gabriel’s 1987 single “In Your Eyes”, Rush’s 1989 music video for “Superconductor”, a 1989 commercial for the Nintendo Game Boy game Super Mario Land, a 1994 commercial for Power Macintosh, and in brief clips on an episode in the 2nd season of Penn and Teller: Bullshit. Clips were displayed during Nine Inch Nails concert performances. Part of the film, with dialogue, is played during the opening titles for The Hills Have Eyes. Some snippets (without dialogue) are played in the video watched by Michael Douglas during his physical in The Game and in the opening titles for The Stepford Wives.
Mom discovers her son’s stash. Instead of smacking him senseless, his chain-smoking, boozing dad lectures him on the dangers of pot smoking. Tom decides to discover the Truth for himself and learns a harsh lesson before deciding to “Keep Off The Grass”.
Keep off the Grass is a educational film written, produced and directed by Sid Davis. Like all of Sid Davis’s films they were made very heavy handedly. Tom gets in trouble when his mother finds a joint in his room. Instead of punishing Tom, his father challenges him to learn more about marijuanas evil effects on society. Nobody gets killed in this Sid Davis film, yet Tom still learns a harsh lesson after being mugged by druggies and learning that his best friend sells pot to school children. One of the last Sid Davis films to focus on drugs.