A campily designed documentary about the last year in the life of voluptuous actress Jayne Mansfield, who shortly before her death developed an intense interest in satanic rituals. A whole raft of academics, feminists and psychologists give their opinions, alongside homages from cultural icons such as John Waters, Kenneth Anger and Marilyn Manson.2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of actress and sex symbol Jayne Mansfield in a bizarre car accident – a great opportunity to look back at her colourful life. If the documentary Mansfield 66/67 makes one thing clear, it is that the term ‘post-truth’ is not a recent phenomenon. The makers deliberately choose to put forward many different, conflicting visions of the ‘blonde bombshell’. Was Mansfield, who had Marilyn Monroe as competition in the 1950s, a living cartoon, a camp character – or was she very gifted and blessed with talents other than her ample bosom, to which film titles such as Kiss Them for Me semi-humorously referred? And was her death the result of a flirtation with the Church of Satan, or just bad luck?
The exuberantly designed Mansfield 66/67 – as over-the-top as Jayne herself – also shows the contrast between the 1950s and the 1960s, which brought a new generation of more politically aware actresses to the fore, replacing the three Ms: Monroe, Mansfield and Mamie (Van Doren).