The new documentary Mansfield 66/67 details how, in the late ’50s and early ’60s, actress Jayne Mansfield was positioned by Hollywood as the sex bomb successor to the troubled Marilyn Monroe, who would pass away in 1962. While the actress never eclipsed Monroe, the star of The Girl Can’t Help It and Too Hot to Handle did succeed in becoming an icon of camp.
“If you were hired because you had to become Marilyn Monroe, because Marilyn Monroe was sort of not working anymore, I mean, wouldn’t you make fun of yourself?” says actress Mary Woronov (Eating Raoul, House of the Devil), in a just-released clip. “Of course you would! Whoever heard of such a thing? What kind of moron thought that up? Hence: Camp.”
But the meat of the documentary concerns Mansfield’s unlikely relationship with Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan, with whom the actress reportedly had an affair, prior to her death in a 1967 car crash.
“If our parents were formed by their rejection of the picket fence lives of the 1950s, ours were shaped by the way in which that generation insisted on breaking down societal norms and constrictions,” directors P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes write on the film’s official website. “Jayne’s uneasy intersection with that moment of American history meshed perfectly with our common interests in people who live as outsiders, especially those who experience a questioning of faith and how that expands an acceptance of mans’ multiplicitous nature, be it expressed in sexually adventurous behavior or non-traditional paths in life. All very heady thoughts when you are talking about an alleged affair between a woman known best for having the body measurements of 40-21-35 and a man who liked to wear plastic devil horns and a red cape to impress girls! But such is the wild world of Jayne Mansfield because everything Jayne naturally feels larger than normal life.”
Watch the trailer below and, exclusively, that clip from the documentary, above.
FilmBuff is opening Mansfield 66/67 in cinemas, Oct. 27.