Rockin’ Good News

At last it can be told!

I’ve contributed essays to the forthcoming — very forthcoming — BluRay edition of WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER? from the excellent people at Eureka Masters of Cinema. The project was hatched in secrecy and darkness, so I’ve only just discovered that I share my duties as extra feature with Joe Dante, which makes the whole thing even more thrilling. Now I can introduce myself as his “unwitting collaborator.”

The Amazon product description is a febrile triumph in itself, and worth quoting in full. Do I detect the hand of Master of Cinema mastermind Craig Keller?

“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 of 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. – Gorgeous high-definition transfer of the film in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio – New and exclusive video introduction to the film by director Joe Dante (Gremlins 1 & 2, InnerSpace, Looney Tunes: Back in Action) – 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.”

Get it! Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? [Masters of Cinema] [Blu-ray]

Remember, if you buy it via my Amazon link, it costs you nothing extra, but I get a little tiny percentage of the proceeds.

I will now be offline until, perhaps, Friday night, since I’m going to be in Dublin meeting with producers. A new edition of The Forgotten will appear at the Daily Notebook sometime today, so please drop by and check it out. I’ll link to it when I get back.

14 Responses to “Rockin’ Good News”

  1. There it is, in my Amazon basket, all purty like. Very exciting news.

  2. Jenny Eardley Says:

    That’s ace David, well done. Have you ever sat in a cinema with the auditorium lights up and done a filmed introduction?

    If I rent from lovefilm they don’t provide booklets *wonders about what I’ve been missing*. I like the extras for Bergman films – pages and pages of his notes, really interesting and sometimes bitchy.

  3. Absolutely Fabulous!

    I trust you have the BFI Frank Tashlin book edited by Chris Fujiwara with a piece on Tashlin and Jerry Lewis by yours truly.

    Meanwhile. . .Clive Donner R.I.P.

  4. Fantastic, I just saw HOLLYWOOD OR BUST the day before, my fourth Tashlin, spurred by seeing ARTISTS AND MODELS again, the day before that. I am just amazed how it’s possible that with all the attention paid to 50s auteurs like Ray, Fuller, Sirk, Tashlin gets neglected. All the usual stuff – cinemascope, use of colour, subversion of genres, fake happy endings are there and yet he barely gets a mention in a book as well researched and thorough as James Harvey’s Movie Love in the 50s.

    So far my favourites are Artists and Models and The Girl Can’t Help It. I must say that while Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter is regarded by some as his best, I wasn’t as impressed by it as I was with the rest.

  5. Well darn it all, I was back in Dublin myself just last weekend; would have been happy to show you the cinematic sights!

  6. Please tell me this Blu-ray is region free. If it is… SOLD.

  7. All Blu-Ray are region free…so I am told.

  8. It’s worth checking with a respectable source before buying the disc, re: region codes. I’d say about 80% of Blus are free; but, for example, Criterion is locked to A and a number of BFI discs are locked to B. MoC should be free though. Also, Americans cannot play standard definition PAL extra features (the Dante video intro, etc), but hopefully that might be in 720p/1080p.

    WILL SUCCESS and MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW! Early Christmas. Good work, David.

  9. As per Nick Wrigley at the criterionforum site both “Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?” and “Make Way for Tomorrow” will be Region B-locked.

  10. I have bought some Masters of Cinema Blu-rays that are region free but I don’t take anything for granted and unfortunately the info does not seem to be on their website.

    Also, Borzage coming out on Blu-ray in France:

    http://www.amazon.fr/dp/B0040MF2DE/ref=nosim?tag=dvdbeaver0d-21&link_code=as2&creativeASIN=B0040MF2DE&creative=374929&camp=211189

    http://www.amazon.fr/dp/B0040MF2DO/ref=nosim?tag=dvdbeaver0d-21&link_code=as2&creativeASIN=B0040MF2DO&creative=374929&camp=211189

    http://www.amazon.fr/dp/B0040MF2DY/ref=nosim?tag=dvdbeaver0d-21&link_code=as2&creativeASIN=B0040MF2DY&creative=374929&camp=211189

    Hope that French Street Angel does not have the weirdly squeezed picture of the Fox Region 1 release in the Murnau and Borzage box set.

  11. I would say that, in your own way, you are something of a Master of Cinema. Kinda. This blog of yours proves that.

  12. Thanks, Guy! We very much enjoyed the copy of Midnight Mary you sent, by the way.

    I’ll look into the region B thing. It seems that BluRays from Criterion and Masters of Cinema are more likely to be region-locked than plain DVDs.

    BluRay players do often play regular DVDs from all regions, but it’s actually quite hard to find one that plays all regions of BluRay. I managed it though, with the help of Mr. A. Peacock.

    David E, I do indeed own that book, and I believe I quoted from it…

  13. I saw George Axelrod’s original play on Broadway with Jayne Mansfield. Tashlin’s movie took only the title. Axelrod’s Will Succes Spoil Rock Hunter ? was a modern “Faust” (cue “Jeffrey Cordova” in The Band Wagon) with Orson Bean and Walter Mattau as Mephistopholes. (Jayne was more or less Marguerite) There was no character call “Rockwell Hunter” in Axelrod’s play.

    Jayne was quite marvelous.

  14. The movie has about three lines in common with the play, and her character is pretty consistent from one to the other. I liked the play script, I wouldn’t have changed it that much myself. In this age of Mad Men, a revival would seem like a winning prospect.

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