The Wild Wild World Of Jayne Mansfield

  • 1968
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Documentary

Blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield was on the downside of an already dodgy career when she agreed to appear in this cheesy travelogue, which purports to follow her as she travels the world and engages in a number of "wild, way-out experiences." Begun in 1964 but not released until 1968, a year after the actress's death, the film should really be filed under...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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Blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield was on the downside of an already dodgy career when she agreed to appear in this cheesy travelogue, which purports to follow her as she travels the world and engages in a number of "wild, way-out experiences." Begun in 1964 but not released until 1968, a year after the actress's death, the film should really be filed under "mondo movies" — the then-popular genre of lurid exploitation "documentaries" that promised to bring the whole weird world right to your local grindhouse. Mansfield's journey begins in Rome, where a breathy, first-person narrator (not Mansfield, but an uncredited simulation) extols the beauty of the Eternal City while Mansfield herself dodges paparazzi and fanny-pinching locals, fantasizes about hunky gladiators (the clips are from 1960's THE LOVES OF HERCULES, a cheapo Italian sword-and-sandal epic that starred Mansfield and her second husband, bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay) and generally does what Mansfield did best: attract attention. With her mile-high hairdo and her pet Chihuahua, Choo Choo, tucked under her arm, Mansfield hits the French Riviera, twisting sur la plage to the sassy sounds of soul obscurities Rocky Roberts and the Airdales, then bathes topless without revealing too much ("I'm basically very shy," coos the pseudo Jayne) on the island of Levant. Then it's off to Paris — apparently the world capital of public sex and voyeurism — where, after the obligatory trip to the Eiffel Tower and a quick buff-and-polish at cosmetician Fernand Aubry's salon, Ms. Mansfield and Choo Choo take in a few of Paris's lesser known attractions: a transvestite club where her figure turns the other "girls" "green with jealousy"; an annual "Bust Out" competition in which women's naked breasts are judged by shape, size and contour; and a sexy burlesque show that inspires Mansfield herself to take a lesson at Pierre's Striptease School. On returning to the States, Mansfield stops in at a New York drag pageant, then returns home to L.A., which has in her absence gone totally topless. It's all wonderfully trashy fun, but the good times come to an abrupt halt when the filmmakers, hoping to capitalize on the starlet's sensational death in 1967, cheaply dramatize the car crash that took the lives of Mansfield, her driver, her friend and lawyer, and Choo Choo. The camera then follows a grieving Hargitay as he revisits the "Pink Palace," the mansion he and Mansfield once called home. Tasteless? You bet, but that's exploitation.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield was on the downside of an already dodgy career when she agreed to appear in this cheesy travelogue, which purports to follow her as she travels the world and engages in a number of "wild, way-out experiences." Begun in 1964… (more)

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