rock hunter

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? is a 1957 20th Century Fox romantic comedy film starring Jayne Mansfield and Tony Randall, with Betsy Drake, Joan Blondell, John Williams, Henry Jones, Lili Gentle, Mickey Hargitay, and a cameo by Groucho Marx.

It was produced and directed by Frank Tashlin, who also wrote the largely original screenplay, utilizing little more than the title and the character of Rita Marlowe from the successful Broadway play Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? by George Axelrod. The Broadway play ran from 1955-1956 and also starred Jayne Mansfield as Rita.

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? received a nomination for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actor - Musical/Comedy (Tony Randall) and a nomination for the Writers Guild of America, East WGA Award (Screen) for Best Written American Comedy (Frank Tashlin). The character, Rita Marlowe, is loosely based on Marilyn Monroe.

In 2000, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".


A writer for television advertising, Rockwell P. Hunter (Randall), is low on the ladder at the company he works for. He then finds the perfect model and spokesperson for his new line of lipstick, the famous actress with the "oh-so-kissable lips", Rita Marlowe (Mansfield).

In order for Rita to endorse the lipstick, however, Rock has to pretend to be her boyfriend to make her real boyfriend, Bobo Branigansky (Hargitay), the star of a TV Tarzan show, jealous. Bobo leaks the news of Rita's new romance to the tabloids and Rock Hunter is suddenly famous. Women are crazy about him and he moves steadily up the ladder at work, becoming company president, only to find it is not what he really wanted.

At the behest of his agency, Rock is forced to propose to Rita on a coast-to-coast TV show, which breaks the heart of his fiancée, Jenny Wells (Drake), who is not too pleased, but she takes him back in the end. Both Rock and Rita are saved from a marriage neither one wants by the last-minute arrival of Rita's hometown boyfriend, George Schmidlap (Marx).


  • There's a reference to this film in the 1964 spy novel Funeral in Berlin, starring Michael Caine as Harry Palmer. When the secret agent Palmer character, gets forged papers with a new identity, he gets unsatisfied with the name given to him and complains, "Rock Hunter! Why can't I be Rock Hunter?"
  • The book Jayne Mansfield reads in the bathtub scene is Peyton Place by Grace Metalious, which eventually became a feature film and a popular TV series that is claimed to be the forerunner of prime time soap operas. It has been claimed that the buxom characters in the book were inspired by Mansfield.

Main cast

Actor Role
Jayne Mansfield Rita Marlowe
Tony Randall Rockwell P. Hunter
Betsy Drake Jenny Wells
Joan Blondell Violet
John Williams Irving La Salle Jr.
Henry Jones Henry Rufus
Lili Gentle April Hunter
Mickey Hargitay Bobo Branigansky
Groucho Marx George Schmidlap

Footnotes and references

External links

Search another word or see rock hunteron Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature