Frank Tashlin


Director, Screenwriter

About

Birth Place
Weehawken, New Jersey, USA
Born
February 19, 1913
Died
May 05, 1972
Cause of Death
Heart Attack

Biography

Former cartoonist who entered features as a comedy writer ("The Paleface" 1948, etc.) and turned to directing with "The First Time" (1952), bringing his exuberant, exhilarating comic-strip style with him. Besides his eight films with the appropriately cast Jerry Lewis, Tashlin's name is chiefly connected with Jayne Mansfield, whose only notable films--"The Girl Can't Help It" (1955) and ...

Family & Companions

Mary Costa
Wife
Opera singer. Second wife.

Bibliography

"Frank Tashlin"
C Johnston and P Willemen (editors) (1973)
"The Possum That Didn't"
Frank Tashlin (1950)
"The Bear That Wasn't"
Frank Tashlin (1946)

Notes

He was a founding member of the Cartoonists Guild (1938)

Biography

Former cartoonist who entered features as a comedy writer ("The Paleface" 1948, etc.) and turned to directing with "The First Time" (1952), bringing his exuberant, exhilarating comic-strip style with him. Besides his eight films with the appropriately cast Jerry Lewis, Tashlin's name is chiefly connected with Jayne Mansfield, whose only notable films--"The Girl Can't Help It" (1955) and the brilliant satire of the advertising business, "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" (1956)--he engineered.

Tashlin tried to repeat similar formulas with Anita Ekberg and Doris Day, but their personae did not lend themselves to parody as readily as Mansfield's. He was in later years praised for his inventiveness and sharp satirical edge by several French critics, particularly Godard and Truffaut.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Porky Pig in Hollywood (1986)
Director
The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell (1968)
Director
Caprice (1967)
Director
The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)
Director
The Alphabet Murders (1965)
Director
The Disorderly Orderly (1964)
Director
Who's Minding the Store? (1963)
Director
The Man From the Diners' Club (1963)
Director
It's Only Money (1962)
Director
Bachelor Flat (1962)
Director
CinderFella (1960)
Director
Say One for Me (1959)
Director
Rock-a-Bye Baby (1958)
Director
The Geisha Boy (1958)
Director
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)
Director
Hollywood or Bust (1956)
Director
The Lieutenant Wore Skirts (1956)
Director
The Girl Can't Help It (1956)
Director
Artists and Models (1956)
Director
Susan Slept Here (1954)
Director
Marry Me Again (1953)
Director
The First Time (1952)
Director
Son of Paleface (1952)
Director
Hare Remover (1946)
Director
Behind the Meatball (1945)
Director
A Tale of Two Mice (1945)
Director
The Unruly Hare (1945)
Director
Nasty Quacks (1945)
Director
Plane Daffy (1944)
Director
The Stupid Cupid (1944)
Director
I Got Plenty of Mutton (1944)
Director
Booby Hatched (1944)
Director
Swooner Crooner (1944)
Director
Brother Brat (1944)
Director
Have You Got Any Castles (1941)
Director
Cracked Ice (1938)
Director
Have You Got Any Castles (1938)
Director
Little Pancho Vanilla (1938)
Director
You're an Education (1938)
Director
The Woods Are Full of Cuckoos (1937)
Director
Little Beau Porky (1936)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

The Big Show (1957)

Writer (Feature Film)

Porky Pig in Hollywood (1986)
Screenplay
The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell (1968)
Screenwriter
Caprice (1967)
Screenwriter
The Disorderly Orderly (1964)
Screenwriter
Who's Minding the Store? (1963)
Screenwriter
Bachelor Flat (1962)
Screenwriter
CinderFella (1960)
Writer
Rock-a-Bye Baby (1958)
Screenplay story and Screenplayeenplay
The Geisha Boy (1958)
Screen story and Screenplay
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)
Screen story and Screenplay
Artists and Models (1956)
Screenwriter
The Girl Can't Help It (1956)
Screenwriter
The Lieutenant Wore Skirts (1956)
Screenwriter
The Scarlet Hour (1956)
Screenwriter
The Scarlet Hour (1956)
Story
Hollywood or Bust (1956)
Contract Writer
Marry Me Again (1953)
Screenwriter
Son of Paleface (1952)
Writer
The First Time (1952)
Screenwriter
The Lemon Drop Kid (1951)
Screenwriter
Love Happy (1950)
Screenwriter
Kill the Umpire (1950)
Wrt for the Screenplay
The Good Humor Man (1950)
Screenwriter
The Fuller Brush Girl (1950)
Writer
A Woman of Distinction (1950)
Additional Dialogue
Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1949)
Screenwriter
The Fuller Brush Man (1948)
Screenwriter
The Paleface (1948)
Original Screenplay
One Touch of Venus (1948)
Screenwriter
Where There's Life (1947)
Contract Writer
Variety Girl (1947)
Original Screenplay
Delightfully Dangerous (1945)
Based on a Story by
A Corney Concerto (1941)
Writer

Producer (Feature Film)

Say One for Me (1959)
Producer
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)
Producer
The Girl Can't Help It (1956)
Producer

Special Thanks (Feature Film)

Four Rooms (1995)
Special Thanks To

Director (Short)

Censored (1944)
Director
The Home Front (1943)
Director
The Goldbrick (1943)
Director

Cast (Short)

Glass Bottom Boat in Catalina (1966)
Himself

Writer (Short)

The Fixer Uppers (1935)
Writer (Uncredited)
Thicker Than Water (1935)
Writer (Uncredited)

Life Events

1926

Sold newspapers, ran errands and worked in a brassiere factory

1933

Moved to Los Angeles

1933

Worked as animator on Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes series with Leon Schlesinger's Vitaphone Corporation

1934

Created comic strip, "Van Boring" under the signature "Tish-Tash"

1935

Left animation to serve as gagman and scritpwriter at Hal Roach Studios (writing for Charlie Chase, Laurel and Hardy, Thelma Todd and Our Gang)

1938

Joined Walt Disney as scriptwriter on "Mickey and the Beanstalk" (date approximate)

1944

First screenplay for non-animated film, "Delightfully Dangerous"

1947

Directed 18-minute puppet film for the Lutheran Church warning against danger of atomic holocoaust

1949

First solo writing credit, "Kill the Umpire"

1952

Feature film directorial debut, "The First Time"

1952

TV debut working for NBC as writer, director and producer

1954

Made first film featuring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, "Artists and Models"

Videos

Movie Clip

Lemon Drop Kid, The (1951) - Damon Runyon Wrote Joining the prologue, citing Damon Runyon and meeting Bob Hope, title character, a.k.a. Sidney Milburn, hustling two greenhorns (Oliver Blake, Billie Bird) at a Florida track, the remake of the 1934 Lee Tracy version, The Lemon Drop Kid, 1951, also starring Jane Darwell and Lloyd Nolan.
Lieutenant Wore Skirts, The (1956) - Gregory, Not Peck Sheree North (as Katy, in one of her first lead roles) narrating the opening, introducing her snoozing husband (Tom Ewell) and his agent (Les Tremayne), script by Albert Beich and director Frank Tashlin, in The Lieutenant Wore Skirts, 1956.
Lieutenant Wore Skirts, The (1956) - I Didn' t See That Movie Hack TV writer Greg (Tom Ewell), hanging at his bachelor pal's place with his wife away in the service, visited by frisky neighbor Sandy (Rita Moreno), who all but names Ewell's earlier movie (Billy Wilder's The Seven Year Itch), in Frank Tashlin's The Lieutenant Wore Skirts, 1956.
Glass Bottom Boat, The (1966) - Okay, Vladimir! Doris Day as Jennifer has her status established in conversation with Donna (Dee J. Thompson), on her first day as a tour guide at the lab run by big time scientist Templeton (Rod Taylor), whom she met at her part-time job, as a mermaid, Paul Lynde the security guard, early in The Glass Bottom Boat, 1966.
Glass Bottom Boat, The (1966) - Approach This Scientifically At the palatial modern home of scientist Templeton (Rod Taylor), Jennifer (Doris Day), whose been hired to write his biography, has just met bumbling sound-technician (Dom DeLuise, in his second movie role), and they have a big slapstick accident, directed by Frank Tashlin, in The Glass Bottom Boat, 1966.
Hollywood Or Bust (1956) - Open, The American Movie Fan Elaborate schtick in taste acceptable at the time, Frank Tashlin directing the opening of the last Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis feature vehicle, Dean addressing the camera, Jerry doing gags, co-star Anita Ekberg in various costumes kind of relevant to the cross-country drive plot, in Paramount’s Hollywood Or Bust, 1956.
Hollywood Or Bust (1956) - Chloroform And Old Calico Heading to Hollywood, one fleeing gambling debts and the other hoping to meet Anita Ekberg, Steve and Malcolm (Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis) have been held up by a hitch-hiking granny (Kathryn Card) then are rescued by jalopy-driving “Red” (Pat Crowley), in the final Martin & Lewis film, Hollywood Or Bust, 1956.
Glass Bottom Boat, The (1966) - Title Song, Que Sera Sera Rod Taylor as scientist Bruce is now socializing with his assistant-biographer Jennifer (Doris Day), who joins in a duet of the title song (by Joe Lubin) and her own standard, with her dad, played by Arthur Godfrey, long-time radio and TV personality, known for his ukulele bits, in The Glass Bottom Boat, 1966.
Girl Can't Help It, The (1956) - Start Working On Me Writer and director Frank Tashlin's jokes with Jayne Mansfield (as "Jerri") stopping traffic, then with the milk bottles, as she awakens her surprised new agent Tom (Ewell), recovering from a bender after being hired by her gangster boss, in The Girl Can't Help It, 1956.
Girl Can't Help It, The (1956) - A Big Canary! Resurgent gangster Fats (Edmond O'Brien) makes his offer to washed-up dipsomaniac show biz agent Tom Miller (Tom Ewell), who's about to back out until he meets the prospect, girlfriend Jerri (Jayne Mansfield), early in Frank Tashlin's The Girl Can't Help It, 1956.
Girl Can't Help It, The (1956) - Gene Vincent At the rehearsal hall, the camera finds John Lennon's favorite singer Gene Vincent, performing his signature song, as chastened Tom (Ewell) brings perplexed Jerri (Jayne Mansfield) in to begin the work commanded by her gangster boyfriend, in The Girl Can't Help It, 1956.
Girl Can't Help It, The (1956) - A Story Of Music Tom Ewell in director Frank Tashlin's introduction of the technique he used to open both his Jayne Mansfield comedies, then credits with Little Richard's performance of the title tune by Bobby Troup, from The Girl Can't Help It, 1956.

Trailer

Artists And Models (1955) -- Original Trailer Original trailer for Paramount’s Martin & Lewis hit Artists And Models 1955, the third-to-last feature starring Jerry and Dean, featuring Shirley MacLaine, Dorothy Malone and Eva Gabor, directed by Frank Tashlin.
Susan Slept Here - (Original Trailer) A Hollywood screenwriter (Dick Powell) takes in a runaway girl (Debbie Reynolds) who's more woman than he can handle. Directed by Frank Tashlin and narrated by an Oscar statuette.
Man From the Diners' Club, The - (Original Trailer) A gangster tries to use a Diners' Club clerk (Danny Kaye) as the fall guy in a scheme to fake his own death in The Man From the Diners' Club (1963).
Lieutenant Wore Skirts, The - (Original Trailer) A middle-aged man is left to tend house while his wife is accepted by the Air Force training program and becomes a Lieutenant in The Lieutenant Wore Skirts (1956).
Glass Bottom Boat, The -- (Original Trailer) Doris Day is mistaken for a Russian spy in The Glass Bottom Boat (1966) co-starring Rod Taylor.
Girl Can't Help It, The - (Original Trailer) A gangster sets out to turn his girlfriend into a rock star in The Girl Can't Help It (1956).
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? - (Original Trailer) A lowly adman tries to better his lot by courting a glamorous Hollywood star in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957).
Paleface, The - (Original Trailer) An inept dentist (Bob Hope) must rescue his outlaw wife from the Indians in The Paleface (1948) co-starring Jane Russell.
Miss Grant Takes Richmond -- (Re-issue Trailer) William Holden hires Lucille Ball as a secretary, thinking she's too daffy to discover he's a bookie.

Companions

Mary Costa
Wife
Opera singer. Second wife.

Bibliography

"Frank Tashlin"
C Johnston and P Willemen (editors) (1973)
"The Possum That Didn't"
Frank Tashlin (1950)
"The Bear That Wasn't"
Frank Tashlin (1946)

Notes

He was a founding member of the Cartoonists Guild (1938)