The Hollywood Comedies of Frank Tashlin
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Wesleyan University Press
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Preface: Tashlin Resurgent
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Director Frank Tashlin has left an indelible impression on American and global film comedy. His films are some of the funniest, most visually inventive comedies ever made, and they feature landmark performances by some of the greatest comedians in American film history, a list that ...
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Without the constant support, encouragement, and advice of Lea Jacobs, this book would never have been written. Her suggestions were always excellent ones, and the finished product is far better as a result of her contributions. I also wish to thank David Bordwell, Vance Kepley, ...
INTRODUCTION: The Director Who Wasn’t
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Francis Fredrick von Taschlein was born on February 19, 1913, in Weehawken, New Jersey, a town whose irresistibly comical name the director employs as the putative birthplace of Patricia Crowley’s character in ...
CHAPTER ONE: Tish-Tash in Cartoonland
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One fruitful way of understanding Frank Tashlin’s career is to look at his peregrinations from studio to studio. While most pronounced in his live- action career, this peripatetic tendency announced itself when he was a
CHAPTER TWO: Tashlin, Comedy, and the “Live-Action Cartoon”
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A persistent argument about Frank Tashlin is that his cartoons anticipate his live- action features, and that his live- action features resemble cartoons. I wish to propose an alternative to this long- standing argument, which I believe ...
CHAPTER THREE: "Hurry up! This is impossible!”: Tashlin’s Early Feature Films
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Frank Tashlin’s transition to live- action filmmaking was eased by his five years as a screenwriter. His screenwriting experience, coupled with the directorial skills he had honed as an animator, helped to ease this transition. Nonetheless, I have not conducted any detailed analyses of the films that Tashlin ...
CHAPTER FOUR: The Artist and His Model: Tashlin and Jerry Lewis in the 1950s
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It would probably be going too far to say that, in Jerry Lewis, Tashlin discovered his muse. However, over the course of their eight films together, the two men clearly found in each other what we might call compelling congruencies. When Lewis became a director ...
CHAPTER FIVE: The Director and the Bombshell: Tashlin and Jayne Mansfield
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Critics, scholars, and Tashlin himself generally agree that The Girl Can’t Help It and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? are the director’s two best films.1 It is a claim that this volume will not refute. ...
CHAPTER SIX: Disorderly Conduct: Tashlin in the 1960s
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Tashlin’s films are strongly identified with the 1950s. Authors such as Ed Sikov, Dirk Lauwaert, and Robert Sklar see Tashlin as the embodiment of certain of that decade’s sensibilities. 1 Curvaceous women, bold colors, rock music, a sexuality ...
CHAPTER SEVEN: The Man in the Middle: Tashlin, Auteurs, and Programmers
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Frank Tashlin’s cinematic style has never really been taken on its own terms, nor considered within the contexts of genre and authorship in mid- twentieth- century Hollywood. To that end, this chapter investigates the mechanics of Tashlin’s ...
CHAPTER EIGHT: Who’s Minding the Store?: Tashlin’s Influence
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This book begins on a note of surprise—could we truly be in
the middle of a Tashlin renaissance? Such a notion is as implausible
as . . . a Tashlin gag.
Perhaps I spoke too soon: Tashlin’s work remains underrepresented on DVD and in recent scholarly literature; despite ...
Appendix: Frank Tashlin’s Creative Work
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Unless otherwise noted, Tashlin is the director (or, in the case of some of the animated films, “supervisor,” which means essentially the same thing) of all of the films listed below. The films’ release dates are in parentheses. ...
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Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Wesleyan Film