Promises, Promises (1963/VCI)
Sound: C Extras: C Film: C
Jayne Mansfield became the first major start to ever
appear nude in a feature film when she showed up in the independently produced
comedy Promises, Promises in 1963.
Writer/producer/star Tommy Noonan had already shared the screen with
Marilyn Monroe is Gentleman Prefer Blondes and hoped to have another hit
with another legendary blonde sex symbol.
The story involves two women who gets pregnant (and cannot
say the word!) and do not know who the father is because of some mixed-up
relationships. This was certainly
trashing the dying production code and with Mansfield’s amazing body on
display, the film generated some serious buzz.
Unfortunately, director King Donovan cannot overcome a silly script and
the film is dated otherwise to boot.
Fritz Feld also stars, plus look for Richard Dawson (Hogan’s Heroes,
Match Game, Family Feud) in a brief appearance.
The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 black and white image
is the best part of this disc, with decent reproduction of the monochrome stock
of the time. The great cinematographer
Joseph F. Biroc is one of the reasons this looks as good as it does. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound is smaller
and more compressed than expected, not weathering time as well as the footage
did. Note that though Mansfield sings Promise
Her Anything, there is no title song.
Neither the Burt Bacharach/Hal David classic (known best as a Dionne
Warwick hit) nor the Naked Eyes hits from the 1980s are here that share the
film’s title; neither had even been written yet. Extras include a stills gallery, “hot” & “cold” trailers for
this film + three other VCI DVD titles, text bios on the leads and director. This title was issued at the same time as Three
Nuts In Search Of A Bolt, another Noonan independent production reviewed on
this site from VCI. This time, the lead
is Mamie Van Doran.
- Nicholas Sheffo