Thursday, February 21, 2013

HAPPY 100, TISH TASH! Born Feb. 19, 1913, the great FRANK TASHLIN!

Last Tuesday, February 19, marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great FRANK TASHLIN, the Tex Avery of live action movies.

He was a great writer, a great cartoonist, a great children's book artist, a director of Warner Bros. shorts (memorably Porky Pig), a great screenwriter...and all this before he directed his first movie. Here's one of the many birthday tributes to Tish Tash all over the worldwide web!
What followed once he began making movies for Paramount: the hilarious Bob Hope sequel SON OF PALEFACE, Martin and Lewis vehicles ARTISTS AND MODELS and HOLLYWOOD OR BUST, solo Jerry Lewis movies CINDERFELLA, ROCK-A-BYE BABY and THE GEISHA BOY, swingin' Jayne Mansfield comedies WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER? and THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT.

Listen, nobody could make a live-action cartoon like Frank Tashlin -- and HOLLYWOOD OR BUST, arguably my favorite of his films, totally informed another favorite film of mine, Tim Burton's first, PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE.
Anyway, "wacky" and "zany" have become maligned words by now, but back when Tashlin mastered that kind of comedy, those words meant a lot. He had a great imagination. 

 The man was a renegade within the studio system. He forged a diverse, anarchic, subversive, creative career that I surely envy.

God bless Frank Tashlin and other talented creators like him!

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