Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Wild, Wild World of Jane Mansfield. (1968)

You can watch the full film on Hulu and Youtube free!  
(Although its rated for mature audience so you need to sign in with a free account to view it).

Jayne takes us on a review of her last world tour. She takes us through Rome, shares a fantasy about Roman athletes, and then is off to Cannes. She takes a trip to the nudist colony on the Isle of Levant, where she almost kind of joins in. Then it's off to Paris, where she gets a beauty treatment from Fernand Aubrey, and attends some racy dance revues. In New York and Los Angeles, she visits some topless clubs and listens to a topless all-girl pop band. The film wraps up with some posthumous footage of her family in mourning. VIA IMDB
Filmed in 1968 about the woman who was a giant of self-promotion.   She was definitely on her way out and on to the D-list as the film was sent to theaters;  it seemed a last grasp for fame.   By the late 60s, Jane was acting in B-movie low-budget exploit films and living of her wages from club appearances.  She actually died during the production of the movie so the staff opted to use a body double to fill in the gaps where she was meant to appear in the film.  The breathy voice-over narration that starts out the movie "Hi, I'm Jayne..." isn't even Jayne!  Again, in Jayne's absence they got another stand-in 'voice-alike' to fill her part.  A disturbing aspect of the film is the photographs of the car-crash that ended her life and her saddened son Mickey giving a tour of her pink palace digs post-mortem.   Strangely, the level of chintzy-ness and decisions in such poor taste actually perfectly capture the off-beat aesthetic of the Jayne Mansfield legacy.  Of course, just like in the case of her more successful counterpart Marilyn, who the real Jayne was is a totally different and more complicated matter... 

The opening credits are fantastic animation and the film as a whole is campy delight!


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