Today: April 17, 2024

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

Eureka releases the deliciously satirical comedy, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter, out for the first time, on Blu Ray

A stab at the fake world of television advertising, the film was produced and directed by Frank Tashlin. What can best be described as a masterpiece,
over 50-years later, it is as relevant to society now as it was back
then, commenting on consumptive modern living. The only difference,
perhaps, between the 50s and today, is the quality of our celebrity for
hire, who would endorse products. Back in then, crowds would gather for
Hollywood royalty who, in turn, would reciprocate by adhering to their
public image and keeping anything debauched safely behind closed doors
And selec selective about the product they would endorse.

Nowadays, A-Listers head off to foreign lands to plug some beverage
or another, hoping that their shame will not be revealed in their own
countries. What’s more, notoriety can make the celebrity more popular
with their fans. It can’t be lost on Gillette that sales have gone up
since it was revealed that Tiger Woods is indeed up for ‘the best a man can get’.
Worse still, our celebrities are frequently born out of non-entities
that appear on reality shows, ranging from anything from the now
deceased Big Brother to Fat Camp. An appearance on any of the like seems
to be enough to hold the public’s attention (if only for a minute) and
secure an advertising deal.

Hilarious on the surface but with some serious undertones, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter opens, pitch-perfect, with a series of bold ads making some fake promises.

The luscious Jayne Mansfield fittingly plays Hollywood Starlet
Rita Marlowe, the famous actress with the “oh-so-kissable lips”. In a
clear cut example of art imitating life, Mansfield’s character is
married to Bobo Braningansky (Hargitay), the star of a TV Tarzan
show. None-too-pleased with his playboy ways, Rita heads off to New York
for a bit of R’n’ R and comes across Rockwell P. Hunter (Randall),
an unsuccessful advertising executive. Hunter’s job is on the line
unless he can persuade Ms Marlowe to endorse Stay-Put lipstick.

Rita agrees to the ad campaign and in return, Hunter must pretend
that he is her new lover in order to get her husband jealous. Bobo tips
off the press and Hunter hits the tabloid headlines. This can only be
good for Hunter, or at least it appears to be so in the beginning. He
becomes a bit of a celebrity and he is now courted by his company, not
to the amusement of his fiancée and co-worker Jenny Wells (Drake),
hiding in the wings, and unconvinced that nothing is going on between
him and Rita. Hunter soon realizes that money cannot buy him happiness –
or the love of a good woman.

Mansfield, in undoubtedly the best role of her career – and
not too far removed from her own life and character – sparkles as Rita
squealing and purring in all the right places. Of course, Rita is
loosely based on Marilyn Monroe. As for Randall in his role as Rock
Hunter, he is in excellent comic form.

Possibly the funniest movies to come out of that era. Eureka certainly know how to pick their gems.

Marcia Degia - Publisher

Marcia Degia, who has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years, is the Publishing Editor of KOL Social Magazine. See website:

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