Tashlinesque: The Hollywood Comedies of Frank Tashlin

Tashlinesque: The Hollywood Comedies of Frank Tashlin

by Ethan de Seife


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Tashlinesque: The Hollywood Comedies of Frank Tashlin by Ethan de Seife

Frank Tashlin (1913–1972) was a supremely gifted satirist and visual stylist who made an indelible mark on 1950s Hollywood and American popular culture—first as a talented animator working on Looney Tunes cartoons, then as muse to film stars Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope, and Jayne Mansfield. Yet his name is not especially well known today. Long regarded as an anomaly or curiosity, Tashlin is finally given his due in this career-spanning survey. Tashlinesque considers the director’s films in the contexts of Hollywood censorship, animation history, and the development of the genre of comedy in American film, with particular emphasis on the sex, satire, and visual flair that comprised Tashlin’s distinctive artistic and comedic style. Through close readings and pointed analyses of Tashlin’s large and fascinating body of work, Ethan de Seife offers fresh insights into such classic films as Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, The Girl Can’t Help It, Artists and Models, The Disorderly Orderly, and Son of Paleface, as well as numerous Warner Bros. cartoons starring Porky Pig, among others. This is an important rediscovery of a highly unusual and truly hilarious American artist. Includes a complete filmography.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780819572400
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Publication date: 03/01/2012
Series: Wesleyan Film
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

ETHAN DE SEIFE is an assistant professor of film studies at Hofstra University. He is the author of This Is Spinal Tap.

Table of Contents

Preface: Tashlin Resurgent
Introduction: The Director Who Wasn’t
Tish-Tash in Cartoonland
Tashlin, Comedy, and the “Live-Action Cartoon”
“Hurry up! This is impossible!”: Tashlin’s Early Feature Films
The Artist and His Model: Tashlin and Jerry Lewis in the 1950s
The Director and the Bombshell: Tashlin and Jayne Mansfield
Disorderly Conduct: Tashlin in the 1960s
The Man in the Middle: Tashlin, Auteurs, and Programmers
Who’s Minding the Store?: Tashlin’s Influence
Appendix: Frank Tashlin’s Creative Work

What People are Saying About This

Joe Dante

“Well, it’s about time! Frank Tashlin, one of America’s greatest yet unheralded comedy geniuses, is rescued from comparative obscurity by Tashlinesque, an admiring chronicle of his influential work from animated cartoons to live action comedy classics.”

Dana Polan

“The wild and wacky films of Frank Tashlin epitomized a comic experience of the movies. Now, with trenchant insight, Ethan de Seife gives Tashlin’s zany, imaginative universe the sharp analysis it deserves, proving Tashlin’s centrality to the history of entertainment cinema. A great study of a key director!”

Kevin Heffernan

“This book on Frank Tashlin is both totally original and highly engaging. The author’s extraordinary attention to Tashlin’s visual design and directorial style makes this a must-read for movie fans and film scholars alike.”

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