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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:16 am 
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Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

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Unsold on celebrity? Congested with consumption? Addled by status? You’re in The World, kiddo, brought to you by Frank Tashlin — “Because Someone’s Got to Live in It.” And now a brief word on our latest fine product, the one that gives you the answer to that nagging question: Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

Ladies and gentlemen, no-one does straight-and-narrow quite like Tony Randall, and we guarantee his turn as lovable ad-man Rockwell P. Hunter will leave you in so many stitches you’ll be just silly with sc-HAH-rtissue! And speaking of tissue: once you see Jayne Mansfield bob and weave as starlet Rita Marlowe, the ambidextrous angel who takes Hunter under her “wings” to launch his agency into the $trato$phere, you too will coo her trademark “ooo”! But that’s not all! You’ll also get Ms. Joan Blondell, star of Nightmare Alley and Opening Night, who rounds out the package as Ms. Marlowe’s assistant and handler — as they say in Paris, quel package!

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? proves that love CAN be manufactured (how else could we get our Blu-rays in your hands??), and finds Frank Tashlin doing what he did better than everyone else: frank tashlin’!!! Trust us when we say we here at The Masters of Cinema Series are simply over-the-moon to be presenting Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? for the first time on Blu-ray anywhere on the planet!

Special Features

- Gorgeous high-definition transfer of the film in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio
- New and exclusive video introduction of the film by director Joe Dante (Gremlins 1 & 2, InnerSpace, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, The Hole 3-D)
- Vintage Movietone short which captures Jayne Mansfield on tour promoting the film
- Alternate music & effects track with a different musical score for the opening of the picture and other ‘temporary’ effects-placement
- Original theatrical trailer
- Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hearing-impaired
- 44-page booklet featuring two new essays by film writer David Cairns, and an exclusive 2003 interview about the film with Tony Randall, conducted by Ethan DeSeife


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:56 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:35 am
Wow. Who woulda ever thought? Tashlin, Blu-ray. I would expect this to be restricted to Region B. By some lucky chance am I wrong?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:30 am 
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It's Fox, and from roughly the same era as The Leopard and The Innocents - and I know the BFI releases are region-locked as a contractual condition. So I'd assume Region B unless otherwise advised.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:48 am 
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I'll buy this. I'm surprised (not in a negative way) that it's part of the MoC range, rather than just a Eureka release. I had a rough idea of the sort of film I believed made up the range and this doesn't fit that preconception (although the non-MoC Wizards does).

Out of interest, if you're reading this peerpee, what are the criteria for qualification for the Masters range?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:58 am 
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Get domino on the defibrillator STAT!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:20 am 
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RossyG wrote:
Out of interest, if you're reading this peerpee, what are the criteria for qualification for the Masters range?


We've been trying for a number of years to blow open what might be considered the criteria for qualification in the MoC Series by releasing lesser known auteur works, whilst still focusing on a core selection of canonical works by prime auteurs. Basically, we scour around, see what we can find, see if we really love it, try and 'feel' whether it needs a decent release, and then work out whether we can nail the presentation and raise the bar a bit in doing so.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:21 am 
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Ah, I see. Thanks. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:27 pm 
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Nick, if only this could be licenced region free you've got a very big market in the US, I would have thought. But you should have in France as well!!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:36 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 2:47 pm
Location: U.S.
RossyG wrote:
I'll buy this. I'm surprised (not in a negative way) that it's part of the MoC range, rather than just a Eureka release. I had a rough idea of the sort of film I believed made up the range and this doesn't fit that preconception (although the non-MoC Wizards does).

Out of interest, if you're reading this peerpee, what are the criteria for qualification for the Masters range?


Just to follow up to what Nick already expressed, I'd definitely recommend anyone unfamiliar with the name Frank Tashlin and the body of work it represents to go exploring. You'll discover one of the most brilliant and inspired filmmakers ever to work in Hollywood during the studio era or, for that matter, anywhere, at any time. He was not only a comic demon capable of devising gags of really superior invention (he started out directing Warner Bros. cartoons), he's one of the sharpest commentators on consumer culture we've ever had, and a master of color and space and rhythm. He was a huge influence on Godard, to take one example, whose early Cahiers piece about Tashlin's Artists and Models remains one of the classic and most oft-quoted pieces of film criticism ever written, ending: "To sum up. Frank Tashlin has not renovated the Hollywood comedy. He has done better. There is not a difference in degree between Hollywood or Bust and It Happened One Night, between The Girl Can't Help It and Design for Living, but a difference in kind. Tashlin, in other words, has not renewed but created. And henceforth, when you talk about a comedy, don't say 'It's Chaplinesque'; say, loud and clear, 'It's Tashlinesque.'" If you watch Made in U.S.A or Soigne ta droite, you'll find some very specific moments where Godard channels "the Tashlinesque." If you ever see I Heart Huckabee's, you can witness David O. Russell floundering to capture the same lightning.

Then of course there's the case of Jerry Lewis, [EDIT: garbled transposition in the original! — ] to whom Tashlin served as mentor, and who of course co-starred with Dean in both Artists and Models and Hollywood or Bust, before going on to take the lead in, and in a few instances co-direct (without screen credit), a string of brilliant Tashlin films — Rock-a-Bye Baby, CinderFella, The Geisha Boy, It'$ Only Money, etc... culminating in the last Tashlin/Lewis picture, The Disorderly Orderly, which is maybe FT's greatest masterpiece. It's like if Van Gogh had decided to adapt for film the Kinsey Reports. With a smidgen of Play Time thrown in for good measure, three years before it came to exist.

Without Tashlin, possibly no Seijun Suzuki, and possibly no Tim and Eric.

Check out Hollywood or Bust and Artists and Models, CinderFella, and The Disorderly Orderly, all out on fine DVDs, as soon as you can! (Son of Paleface and The Girl Can't Help It are also around in decent editions.)

Then, of course, please order the MoC Rock Hunter disc.


Last edited by evillights on Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:43 pm 
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I'll add that it is Volume 4 of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection series which is the one that has the whole of the second disc devoted just to showcasing a wide variety of the Tashlin animations.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:54 pm 
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evillights wrote:
Then of course there's the case of Jerry Lewis, who was Tashlin's mentor.
That's rather a bold statement, and one could persuasively argue that it's the other way around. Tashlin was doing quite well for himself well before he started working with Lewis, and it might be said that Lewis learned everything he knew about directing from Tashlin. I think films like The Nutty Professor or The Ladies Man would be very different had Lewis never worked with Tashlin, but Tashlin's film aesthetic was already well formed before he made Artists and Models. That's not to say that they didn't have great influence on each other, though. That much is plainly apparent from the many films they made together.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:05 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 2:47 pm
Location: U.S.
Matt wrote:
evillights wrote:
Then of course there's the case of Jerry Lewis, who was Tashlin's mentor.
That's rather a bold statement, and one could persuasively argue that it's the other way around. Tashlin was doing quite well for himself well before he started working with Lewis, and it might be said that Lewis learned everything he knew about directing from Tashlin. I think films like The Nutty Professor or The Ladies Man would be very different had Lewis never worked with Tashlin, but Tashlin's film aesthetic was already well formed before he made Artists and Models. That's not to say that they didn't have great influence on each other, though. That much is plainly apparent from the many films they made together.


You're right — a damn bold statement. All of which adds up to me thinking I was typing: "...the case of Jerry Lewis, to whom Tashlin served as mentor." I should be prohibited from catching up on podcasts while posting to a public forum. Will edit the original post, so as not to turn Lewis-as-Tashlin-mentor into a topic for exploration.

But speaking of the right-way-around (Tashlin-as-Lewis-mentor), this seems as fine a time as any to recommend the recent Chris Fujiwara book Jerry Lewis, primarily for Fujiwara's quite-lengthy c. 2003 interview with Lewis, much of which deals with Tashlin. Easily one the best interviews with JL, and one of the best interviews with any filmmaker, that I've ever read.

I think Jonathan Rosenbaum mentioned recently in a Cineaste review of the book (and if he didn't, I'm misremembering reading this somewhere else, or misremembering that someone told me) that Jerry recently bought something like 400 copies of the book to distribute to friends.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:45 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:50 pm
MoC is my main man, but this came from out of the blue (or from the the bushes as we say here in the backlands).

Congratulation for 3000 posts, Jeff from Denver. It's nice to know John Denver is not from Denver.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:12 pm 
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Location: Tokyo, Japan
Amny chance that some Looney Tunes shorts (which I regard would be extremely difficult with different studios), or the DVD commentary to be included?

Well, unless you get some of Tashlin's shorts in the public domain (which I'm not sure about with UK issues...).


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:56 pm 
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They won't be in the public domain in Europe at least until Tashlin has been dead for 70 years - and possibly not even then.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:19 pm 
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evillights wrote:
It's like if Van Gogh had decided to adapt for film the Kinsey Reports. With a smidgen of Play Time thrown in for good measure, three years before it came to exist.

Without Tashlin, possibly no Seijun Suzuki, and possibly no Tim and Eric.

You now have my complete and undivided attention.

I keep forgetting Tashlin was a feature director. I generally associate him with his work with Warner Bros. (and "The Bear That Wasn't," which brought things to full circle thanks to Chuckles Bones). Time to make room on my Netflix queue and find a copy of Looney Tunes Vol. 4 that isn't scratched (unlike my last few).


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:47 pm 
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Be sure to check out the forum's own Tashlin thread too. I agree with most of what evillights says about Tashlin, though we differ greatly on the Disorderly Orderly (I think it's the worst Tashlin/Lewis collab by far). Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? is one of Tashlin's greatest films; though Susan Slept Here and the Man From the Diner's Club are funnier and Hollywood or Bust is more satirically adept, the film is a great starting point for newbies and the Blu will be a real treat for the Tashlin faithful


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:56 pm 
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peerpee wrote:
RossyG wrote:
Out of interest, if you're reading this peerpee, what are the criteria for qualification for the Masters range?

We've been trying for a number of years to blow open what might be considered the criteria for qualification in the MoC Series by releasing lesser known auteur works, whilst still focusing on a core selection of canonical works by prime auteurs. Basically, we scour around, see what we can find, see if we really love it, try and 'feel' whether it needs a decent release, and then work out whether we can nail the presentation and raise the bar a bit in doing so.

That's admirable indeed. Yet I wonder if you tried to get THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT first, a title that appears to have lots more hard-core fans, including Joan Waters, thus improving your presumed sales figures when compared to this entry. Didn't Fox want to part with it, contemplating a Blu-ray release themselves per chance?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:42 pm 
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Having seen both film several times, I think Rock Hunter is the superior film by a wide margin. The Girl Can't Help It has a lot of fans because of the rock acts that appear in it, but if I could only save one Tashlin film from a blazing inferno, I'd probably grab Rock Hunter.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:31 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 10:28 pm
For me this is one of the most exciting MoC releases to date. It may even be the disc that finally compels me to go Blu. Tashlin is an axiom. I slightly favor Artists and Models, but this is simply one of the greatest Hollywood films. Splendid news.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:04 pm 
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Specs are up on the website. You can look them up yourself.

I am so gay for the blurb you gave the film.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:29 pm 
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What a great choice of director to introduce the picture. Now, release one of his films too!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:27 pm 
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...well, you know, besides Make Way For Tomorrow, Universal does own Matinee.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:35 pm 
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It's a shame that they couldn't get the Dana Polan commentary from the U.S. Fox disc.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:24 am 
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Have you heard it? -- We listened to it of course, but our general consensus was that we're trying to avoid dry American-studies lecture style commentaries full of glib generalisations. On the whole, it's a pretty humourless, unvibrant commentary. Sorry!


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