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The Girl Can’t Help It


The Girl Can’t Help It
Frank Tashlin, 1956

Film History 101

As our film heritage becomes more and more digitized, it is harder and harder for audiences to see important films in the manner in which they were originally meant to be presented: in a theater, on film, with an audience. Film History 101 is our modest attempt to keep this tradition alive. Once a month, we'll present a selection that transcends "classic" status to that of "essential"—films that are widely recognized as among the greatest the art of moving pictures has to offer.


Many classic films are just as powerful today as when they were first released. We add such films from many genres to our schedule throughout the season. Many are shown on the occasion of their rereleases, in fresh, new or restored prints.

Tue, July 24, 2012 7 PM

Filling out our Marilyn Monroe series is Jayne Mansfield's The Girl Can't Help It, which takes the 1950s' craze for blonde bombshells to its most hyperbolic extremes.

Mansfield essentially plays a cartoon-character version of Monroe (which is no surprise, given that director Frank Tashlin started his career making Looney Tunes shorts). Mansfield’s gangster boyfriend hires Tom Ewell (Monroe’s costar in The Seven Year Itch) to make her a star…any kind of star. The film outrageously sends up the mores, culture, and rock music of the era in eye-popping Cinemascope and Technicolor! With musical appearances by Fats Domino, Little Richard, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, and Julie London. (99 mins., 35mm)

Jane B. par Agnès V.

See iconic actress Jane Birkin through the eyes of filmmaker Agnès Varda in a special double feature on Saturday, October 10. 

The Decline of Western Civilization

Don't miss your chance to see filmmaker Penelope Spheeris introduce her iconic The Decline of Western Civilization on Friday, October 23—get your tickets now.