Jayne Mansfield is a legend. Not only is she notorious for her exploits in the media and in real life, but she is almost mythical in the way her story is Hollywood lore. Satanism, sex appeal and death by decapitation are all parts of the gossip rumor-mill and just the tip of the iceberg when discussing her, and just about everybody who’s a fan only knows a fraction of the story. Mansfield 66/67 finally does the actress some justice and paints a clear picture of one of the wildest stars ever to shine in cinema history.
This documentary is a blast. The presentation of facts and myth surrounding the life of Jayne Mansfield makes for one hell of a fascinating watch. Where the film begins starts around the time when the actress was at the height of her fame as an actress, and it just spirals from there. It’s an unbelievable tale filled with the kind of tragic end that seems like it could only take place between the pages of a pulp novel.
Jayne Mansfield was one of the “3 Ms” consisting of her, Mamie Van Doren and of course Marilyn Monroe. What separated Mansfield from the rest was an unparalleled larger than life persona undercut by a tongue in cheek sense of self-awareness. She was a brilliant woman who spoke at least five languages and knew how to work to get what she wanted. It’s no wonder she stole the show in everything and gained fans like cult legend John Waters.
Filled with excellent and at times hilarious interviews with Tippi Hedren, Mary Woronov, Kenneth Anger and drag performer Peaches Christ, Mansfield 66/67 is an absolutely fascinating and entertaining documentary about the actress. The time in her life that she spent with Anton LaVey is discussed in depth, but the film still makes sure to honor the actress with due repect. Aside from a few cheesy segments to segue between chapters, the same production team that brought us Room 237 does a solid job presenting this story.
If you’re not familiar with the life and death of Jayne Mansfield, this is a great way to get informed. If you do, this is a movie worth seeing to fill in the blanks you may have missed. The film is currently in limited theatrical run and also available to stream or get on VOD. Check it out and get ready to see a story of fame and tragedy unlike any other. It’s a wild ride.