Frank Tashlin?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jaime_Weinman, Oct 24, 2004.

  1. Jaime_Weinman

    Jaime_Weinman Supporting Actor

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    Among the great Hollywood directors, I think Frank Tashlin may be one of the most neglected on DVD. One of his first and best, Son of Paleface, is on a surprisingly good-looking PD transfer from Brentwood Communications, and one of his last and worst, The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell, is also available from the same source. Also, two of his Jerry Lewis movies were just released, though they're not among his best (Disorderly Orderly and Cinderfella), and if Chris Lewis succeeds in doing a Martin/Lewis collection next year, we'll get Tashlin's two totally-insane Martin and Lewis movies, Artists and Models and Hollywood or Bust. Also, the new Looney Tunes Golden Collection will include one Tashlin cartoon, albeit not one of his best (the cartoon "Have You Got Any Castles"). But as things stand, except for Son of Paleface, there's just not enough available of one of the most unique and original comedy directors, who influenced everyone from Jerry Lewis to Jean-Luc Godard.

    Fox owns four of Tashlin's films (his masterpieces The Girl Can't Help It and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter, and the underrated The Lieutenant Wore Skirts and Bachelor Flat), and Paramount owns most of the others, and of course WB owns most of his cartoons. With Fox sometimes lending things to Criterion, what I'd really love to see would be a Criterion special edition of one of his Fox movies, the kind that would have tributes to Tashlin and a real explanation of his style. I heard a rumor some time ago that Rock Hunter might be one of the Fox titles Criterion would do, but I guess that was a false rumor.

    Any other Tashlin favorites that I've forgotten to mention? I just thought of another good one, "Susan Slept Here" (a May-December romance film in rather poor taste), but I don't remember who owns it now.
     
  2. ArthurMy

    ArthurMy Supporting Actor

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    I think Susan Slept Here was RKO, if my memory isn't too hazy. I really like Tashlin and would love to have Rock Hunter and Girl Can't Help It. They show them frequently on FMC and the elements look like they're in great shape. Of all of them, however, even though it's not his best, the one I'd most like to have is Bachelor Flat. I really love that film, even with its flaws. Great cast (Terry-Thomas, Tuesday Weld at her most luscious, Richard Beymer, Celeste Holm, and some great character people), a nice musical score by a young "Johnny" Williams, and some hilarious gags. It's never been available on home video and was rarely even shown on TV. I have a flat VHS someone made for me, but it's horrid-looking.
     
  3. Chris*W

    Chris*W Stunt Coordinator

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    I too would love more of Tashlin's films on DVD. Paramount did a very good job with presenting 2 of Tashlin's films on DVD with "Disorderly Orderly" and "Cinderfella" - "Cinderfella" isn't one of my favorites but "Disorderly Orderly" has some absolutely hilarious moments. But Paramount missed some other Lewis/Tashlin films in this most recent collection, and hopefully they will give those titles DVD treatment, which include "Rock-a-Bye Baby", "The Geisha Boy", and "It'$ Only Money." FOX also has to get in gear and release the 4 Tashlin films that they own. A Criterion release for "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter" would be superb. And I agree again with Tashlin's cartoons... I don't think that any of his Columbia cartoons will be released on DVD anytime soon. But with the LTGC, however, there are opportunities to release some of Tashlin's greatest work, like "Porky Pig's Feat", "Plane Daffy", "Porky's Romance", "Wholly Smoke", "I Got Plenty of Mutton", and many others. Sadly, Frank Tashlin is one of the most underrated directors of all time, and needs to have all of his work released on DVD. One of the reasons that he is so overlooked is because of the fact that most of his work is not available on home video except for interested collectors like me.
     
  4. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    I'd hoped Criterion might pick up The Girl Can't Help It and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter as part of the Fox deal, but if not it seems these would more than fit the Studio Classics line.
     
  5. Jaime_Weinman

    Jaime_Weinman Supporting Actor

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    Things are starting to look up, now that Fox has plans for a Jayne Mansfield collection that will include The Girl Can't Help It and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? Hopefully there'll be some supplemental materials.

    However, this leaves Tashlin's two other Fox films, The Lieutenant Wore Skirts and Bachelor Flat, in limbo.

    Sadly, Paramount still seems to be making no move toward releasing Artists and Models, Hollywood or Bust, or the other Tashlin/Lewis films. Oh, how I would love to see a good transfer of the eye-popping use of costumes and color in Artists and Models.

    On the bright side, the new Looney Tunes Golden collection has a documentary on Tashlin and some of his cartoons (including a very nice black-and-white transfer of my favorite Tashlin cartoon, "Porky Pig's Feat").
     
  6. Will Ryan

    Will Ryan Agent

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    Son of Paleface is NOT a PD title. This film was produced by Hope Enterprises, released by Paramount, then over to NTA for TV. Son of Paleface copyright was renewed by Hope Enterprises in 1979, then sold to Columbia Pictures in the late 1980's. Columbia sold off the U.S. rights to all the Hope Enterprises titles (to a company who I forget at the moment) in the mid 1990's right before the DVD boom. Sony still has the international rights, along with the original elements.
     
  7. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    MARRY ME AGAIN (1953) is a rarely shown Tashlin (it's owned by WB via RKO). THE FIRST TIME (his first directorial job) and THE MAN FROM THE DINER'S CLUB (with Danny Kaye) are owned by Sony.GIRL IN THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT is owned by MGM and has been released on dvd; MGM also owns THE ALPHABET MURDERS which might be released with the forthcomingMiss Marple Collection (Marple has a cameo). SAY ONE FOR ME (pretty awful) and CAPRICE are owned by Fox. Taslin directed (uncredited) most of THE LEMON DROP KID (one of Bob Hope's best!!).
     
  8. Frank*C

    Frank*C Extra

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    What a shame that the only way to get Fox's Taslin titles released is to market them as a Jayne Mansfield Box. The only bright spot will be that they'll be quite affordable I'm sure. Here's a question I wrote to Criterion last year with hopes that a Fox deal might be in the works:

    Any chance that Frank Tashlin will be added to the collection. A box set that included The Lieutenant Wore Skirts, The Girl Can't Help It, and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter would be nice.
    Frank

    Dear Frank,
    I'm afraid we do not hold the DVD rights to any of the titles you mention.
    Best,
    JM
     
  9. Will Ryan

    Will Ryan Agent

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    Susan Slept Here has been shown twice on TCM in the past six months. It's an RKO film.

    CAPRICE is on the FMC every other month, and they have a nice widescreen transfer of this title.
     
  10. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Sorry, but I think both Caprice and Say ONe for Me are really terrible films.
    It's good that Fox is doing a Jayne Mansfield set. The real goodie for me in that set is the Wayward Bus which hasn't been shown on TV in at least thirty years because of rights problems.
     
  11. Bob Graham

    Bob Graham Supporting Actor

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    I'd really like to see a collection of Tashlin's "Fox and Crow" cartoons from Sony, but I don't think chances are good.
     

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