Out now: The Hercules Collection dvd-box

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Mythology’s greatest hero and The Trojan War come to life in The Hercules Collection, six classic movies from the ‘sword and sandal’ genre. First brought to the screen by bodybuilder Steve Reeves, the character of Hercules has enjoyed one of the most enduring careers in motion pictures, spanning over fifty years and counting. Exploring the rich variety the genre has to offer, this set packs in all the sword-slinging, monster-battling action you expect from the world’s strongest demigod, as well as two epics inspired by the ancient world’s most famous conflict.

The Loves of Hercules (1960) aka Hercules vs the Hydra
The Trojan Horse (1961) 
Medusa Against The Son of Hercules (1962) 
The Conquest of Mycenae (1963) 
The Triumph of Hercules (1964) 
Hercules Against The Sons of the Sun (1964)

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Buy it here: https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/action-adventure/the-hercules-collection

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Too Hot To Handle!

too_hot_to_handle_us1shvxx$_12 (19) $_57 (13) $_57 (95) vxbhx

Too Hot to Handle (released in the United States as Playgirl After Dark) is a 1960 British neo-noir gangster thriller film, starring Jayne Mansfield and Leo Genn. Directed by Terence Young, later involved with some of the early James Bond films. Christopher Lee appears in a small role in the film.

Too Hot to Handle was Jayne Mansfield’s first film away from 20th Century Fox after achieving stardom in the mid-1950s. By 1960, however, Mansfield’s box office popularity had faded, and Fox loaned her (as they did others) to foreign studios while they awaited a good film for her. This British drama is usually marked as the beginning of her descent into low-budget productions.

The film was billed as “an exposé of ‘sexy, sordid Soho, England’s greatest shame'”. Notorious in its day because Mansfield’s risqué see-through clothing and racy musical numbers caused some controversy, holding up the American release until January 1961, while the sexiest frames were fully displayed in Playboy magazine. For its American releases, Too Hot to Handle was retitled Playgirl After Dark and was mildly edited to meet America’s censor requirements. Halliwell’s Film and Video Guide describes the film as a “rotten, hilarious British gangster film set in a totally unreal underworld and a very uncomfortably cast.”

While filmed and released in Eastman Color, the VHS and DVD editions are in black-and-white for unknown reasons.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Too_Hot_to_Handle_(1960_film)

ps. recently a German dvd was released in colour (dubbed in German, so there is no copy available in English). Sadly I don’t own it yet myself but I have heard that the quality is really good.

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Movies with a Jayne Mansfield connection part 4

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Director: Ben Stiller
Cast: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Patton Oswalt. 

Ben Stiller plays a photo editor at LIFE magazine and he escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

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A very nice touch in the movie is that they made a lot of new LIFE magazine covers that you wish were the real deal. And one of them is a cover of our Jayne.

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LIFE magazine cover created for the movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

“When we were selecting photos for the LIFE covers in Walter Mitty,” says Jeff Mann, the production designer on the film, “we focused on pictures that would serve the story we were telling, but that would also capture the diversity of what LIFE covered in its prime. We worked really, really hard to select photos that were novel, naïve — in the best possible way — and that featured significant twentieth-century people, places and events.”

Jayne Mansfield Wardrobe Tests

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Pete Kelly's Blues (1955) - Cigarette Girl


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Illegal (1955) - Angel O'Hara

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Illegal (1955)

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The Girl Can't Help It (1956) - Jerri Jordan

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The Girl Can't Help It (1956)

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The Girl Can't Help It (1956)

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The Wayward Bus (1957) - Camille Oakes

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Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957) - Rita Marlowe

Jayne as Betty Grable

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Betty Grable and George Raft in the 40s.

In the biopic The George Raft Story (1961), Betty Grable was portrayed by Jayne Mansfield, however, due to the fact that Grable wasn’t public domain, her character was given the alias “Lisa Lang”.

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Movies with a Jayne Mansfield connection part 3

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Kiss Me, Stupid (1964)
Director: Billy Wilder 
Cast: Dean Martin, Kim Novak, Ray Walston and Felicia Farr
Music: Ira & George Gershwin

In 1963 Jayne Mansfield was chosen over many other actresses to replace the recently deceased Marilyn Monroe in “Kiss Me, Stupid”, a romantic comedy co-starring Dean Martin. She turned down the role due to her pregnancy with Mariska, and was replaced by Kim Novak.

Billy Wilder’s once-controversial farce stars Dean Martin as a Las Vegas crooner who is detoured to a small Nevada town where he meets two amateur songwriters (Cliff Osmond and Ray Walston), who’ll do just about anything to get their songs sold, from sabotaging Martin’s car to hiring a local hooker to seduce him.

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Jayne Mansfield on TV: The Burglar

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Channel: TCM 
Fri, Jun 14, 11:30 PM 
The Burglar

The Burglar (1957)

A trail of perfume…and violence!

A gang of criminals rob a fake spiritualist and then take it on the lam to Atlantic City.

Starring:Dan Duryea Jayne Mansfield Martha Vickers Peter Capell Mickey Shaughnessy Wendell K. Phillips

Based on the novel by David Goodis, who also wrote the book that inspired “Shoot the Piano Player” (which airs afterward, at 1:15 a.m.). 

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Jayne Mansfield listed in Top Ten Best Comedy Sequels

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Stumbled upon this lovely post about (almost) comedy sequels and “Will Sucess Spoil Rock Hunter”:

9. Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter:

Few filmmakers understood Jayne Mansfield’s comic persona like Frank Tashlin. With her endowments, she obviously had something going on, but most directors could only think to use her as prop. What marks Tashlin’s work as so exemplary is that Mansfield is clearly in on the joke in The Girl Can’t Help It, and so she worked with Tashlin again in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter. Both are great films, but Hunter is their masterpiece as it pairs her with Tony Randall at the top of his game. Tashlin also understood the cartoon fantasy appeal of someone like Mansfield, and he knew how to play that for all it’s worth. With sharp writing, and some of the best visual gags in cinema, Hunter is a treat from beginning to end.

Here’s the link:
Top Ten Best Comedy Sequels (That Aren’t Sequels)

Pete Kelly’s Blues on Hallwalls

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Thursday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Co-starring Peggy Lee, acting and singing in the Oscar-nominated supporting role of “Rose Hopkins,” and with a cameo performance by:Ella Fitzgerald as “Maggie Jackson.” Other featured actors include Janet Leigh, Edmond O’Brien, Andy Devine, Lee Marvin (as clarinetist “Al Gannaway”), Martin Milner (as “Pete Kelly’s hot-tempered [and drunken] drummer Joey Firestone”), Harry Morgan (uncredited), and a young Jayne Mansfield as a nightclub cigarette girl. Milner would appear as a jazz musician again a couple of years later in the next film in this series, Sweet Smell of Success, the guitarist “Steve Dallas,” another role pivotal to the plot and involving substance abuse.

Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center
341 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14202
Phone: (716) 854-1694; Fax: (716) 854-1696

http://www.hallwalls.org/media-arts/5344.html

Watch Jayne Mansfield on the big screen in New York!

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Watch one of my favourite Jayne movies “Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?” at Filmforum in New York. The movie is newly restored. Me jelous? Naaaah 😉

‘Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?’ 
Plays Through Thursday, April 18
Frank Tashlin’s wildly inventive 1957 satire on the advertising industry stars Tony Randall as the original Mad Man, a midlevel account executive whose dreams of success (the key to the executive washroom!) hang on persuading the anatomically unlikely Hollywood star Rita Marlow (Jayne Mansfield, merrily parodying her own movie image) to endorse a new brand of kiss-proof lipstick. Tashlin’s bold use of color, CinemaScope and outrageous sight gags (drawn from his earlier career as a director of Warner Brothers cartoons) earned the admiration of Jean-Luc Godard, who appropriated Tashlin’s pop self-awareness into his own work. Presented in a new digital restoration. Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, west of Avenue of the Americas, South Village, (212) 727-8110, filmforum.org; $12.50.

http://www.filmforum.org/movies/more/will_success_spoil_rock_hunter

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