The Jayne Mansfield Story

Watch The Jayne Mansfield Story

  • 1980
  • 1 hr 40 min
  • 5.2  (964)

The Jayne Mansfield Story is a biographical drama film released in 1980 directed by Dick Lowry. The film is based on the life of Jayne Mansfield, one of the most iconic sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s. Loni Anderson, who was well known for her role in "WKRP in Cincinnati," plays the lead role of Jayne Mansfield. Anderson's portrayal of Mansfield is brilliant —she captures the dazzling beauty, intelligence, ambition, and the tragic end of the legend's life.

The movie portrays the story of Mansfield's rise to fame, starting from her early years in Texas to her success as a Hollywood actress, singer, and Playboy model. We see how she was discovered by the influential agent and publicist, Gus Otto, played by the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger in his first significant non-documentary role. Gus is taken by Mansfield's charisma and believes her to be a star in the making. He coaches and guides her, and their close relationship develops over the years, until it becomes a love affair.

The movie presents a picture of the entertainment industry during the 1950s and 60s, where beauty, glamour, and scandal were commonplace. Mansfield's journey to fame, her financial hardships, and her love life are portrayed in detail. We witness her struggles as a Hollywood actress– the game of fame and fortune where everybody wants to be a star, and the competition is fierce. She gets her first break in Broadway, singing and dancing in a hit musical. She is the understudy for the leading actress and gets a chance to perform when the star falls ill. Her stunning performance catches the attention of Hollywood producers, and soon, she is offered a contract with 20th Century Fox.

Mansfield's success in Hollywood is not immediate; she had to endure rejections for several years, often being seen as a poor man's Marilyn Monroe. By the time Mansfield's career began to hit the skids, she had five children with different fathers, and her love life had become the subject of intense public scrutiny. The tabloids were obsessed with her, regularly fabricating stories about her sexual exploits, relationships, and marriages. Her debut in films wasn't in a significant role, but as a body double for Monroe in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

As Mansfield's star rose, she put on performances that were deemed scandalous by some of her fans. There was a lot of controversy over her provocative outfits, her nightclub appearances, and her attempt to outdo her rivals such as Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe. This was a time when the press scrutinized every moment of the lives of the celebrities.

Mansfield's affair with Otto causes much anguish, as she tries to balance her relationship with him, the sexual demands of Hollywood, and the needs of her children. Although Gus loves Mansfield, he's no match for the smart, sexy, and independent Mansfield. Their relationship is tumultuous, and it was a significant contributing factor to both their professional and personal downfalls.

Overall, the movie provides excellent insight into the brilliant but complicated woman that was Jayne Mansfield. It explores not only the highs but also the lows of her life, how her personal choices and the expectations of Hollywood collided, leading to her eventual downfall. The Jayne Mansfield Story is an engaging movie that encapsulates the life of a woman who was often underestimated but still managed to achieve greatness. While the film is a little melodramatic in parts, it captures the spirit of Mansfield's life and maintains integrity and quality throughout.

The movie also features some other noteworthy actors. Ray Buktenica portrays Mickey Hargitay – Mansfield's Hungarian-born bodybuilder husband, with whom she had a turbulent marriage. Katherine Helmond gives an outstanding performance as the actress's mother.

In conclusion, The Jayne Mansfield Story is a biopic that has stood the test of time. It presents an accurate portrayal of the life and times of one of the most captivating actresses of the past century. Loni Anderson's performance is powerful, the movie's pacing is excellent, and the story is engaging. This a film worth watching, whether you know a lot about Mansfield or are just interested in classic Hollywood.

The Jayne Mansfield Story
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.2  (964)