Jayne Mansfield's Car

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Jayne Mansfield's Car
Jayne Mansfield's Car.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBilly Bob Thornton
Written byBilly Bob Thornton
Tom Epperson
Produced byAlexander Rodnyansky
Geyer Kosinski
StarringRobert Duvall
John Hurt
Billy Bob Thornton
Kevin Bacon
Robert Patrick
Ray Stevenson
Katherine LaNasa
Frances O'Connor
CinematographyBarry Markowitz
Edited byLauren Zuckerman
Music byOwen Easterling Hatfield
A.R. Films
Aldamisa Entertainment
Media Talent Group
Distributed byAnchor Bay Films
Aldamisa Releasing
Release dates
  • February 13, 2012 (2012-02-13) (Berlin)
  • September 13, 2013 (2013-09-13) (United States)[1]
Running time
122 minutes
CountriesUnited States
Box office$79,178[2]

Jayne Mansfield's Car is a 2012 drama film directed by Billy Bob Thornton, marking his first fiction directing job since 2000's All the Pretty Horses. Thornton also stars alongside Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Ray Stevenson, Frances O'Connor, Ron White, and Robert Patrick.[3] The film had its world premiere at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival in February 2012.[4] The film was released in limited release on September 13, 2013.[1]

One of the locations in which the movie was shot is Cedartown, Georgia, USA.[5] Exterior home shots were filmed in Troup County, Georgia,[6] while additional scenes were shot in Decatur, Georgia.[7] For the Greek Revival home, the interior shots were filmed at The Bailey-Tebault House located in Griffin, Georgia.[6]


The film is set in 1969 Morrison, Alabama. The Caldwell family includes three World War II veterans, their sister Donna, and a patriarch, Jim, who is a World War I veteran. The Caldwells are involved in a cultural clash with the Bedfords, a family which includes Phillip, a World War II veteran, his sister Camilla, and their father Kingsley, also a World War I veteran.

The Bedfords are a London family in Morrison for the funeral of Kingsley's wife, who is the ex-wife of Jim Caldwell and the mother of Caldwell's children. Duvall described the film in an interview as "putting Tennessee Williams in the back seat".[8]

The film's title refers to the automobile in which movie star Jayne Mansfield was supposedly decapitated in 1967. When a nearby town has a side show displaying the vehicle, Jim Caldwell takes Kingsley Bedford along to gawk at the grisly artifact.



The film holds a 35% approval rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 37 reviews with an average rating of 5.4/10. The website's consensus reads, "Jayne Mansfield's Car assembles an impressive number of talented actors, but the screenplay — co-written by director and star Billy Bob Thornton — never gives them much of anything to do."[10] Metacritic gives the film a weighted average score of 48 out of 100, based on 18 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[11]

Lou Lumenick of the New York Post gave credit to the film's "star-laden" cast, commending the presences of Duvall, Hurt and Thornton but was critical of its "overlong" runtime.[12] PopMatters contributor J.C. Macek III found criticism in Thornton's unfocused direction of the multiple stories and the screenplay being more suited for a mini-series than a condensed two hour film filled with vignettes. He did however give praise to the performances for adding substance to their given arcs, singling out Bacon, O'Connor and White as the highlights.[13] Norm Schrager from Paste commended Thornton's direction for bringing out great performances from the cast and his scenes having competent execution but felt the film overall suffered from "a distinctive lack of cohesiveness" throughout the script in its handling of plot concepts and themes, concluding that: "[T]here's something here. It just needs a clearer road to travel."[14] Alonso Duralde of TheWrap also voiced problems with Thornton and Epperson's screenplay, calling it "too sprawling and [too] tidy" with its generational family drama and misuse of plot devices towards the third act.[15] Claudia Puig of USA Today felt the familial themes were elevated by "intriguingly impressionistic cinematography and a strong ensemble cast", but criticized the characterization of both families for containing stereotypical rednecks and stuffy aristocrats that conduct "tedious monologues and theatrical speechifying" and the misuse of the film's title for lacking "insight and depth." She concluded that: "Self-indulgent, heavy-handed and lumbering, Jayne Mansfield's Car is not a wreck, but it's certainly a vehicle for boredom."[16]


  1. ^ a b "Jayne Mansfield's Car". ComingSoon.net. Mandatory. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  2. ^ "Jayne Mansfield's Car". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  3. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (June 14, 2011). "Billy Bob Thornton Sets Cast, Funding For First Directing Effort In Decade". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  4. ^ Press Office (January 9, 2012). "Taviani, Petzold and Billy Bob Thornton: World Premieres in the Competition and Angelina Jolie's Directorial Debut in the New Cinema at the 'Haus der Berliner Festspiele'". Annual Archives: 2012. Berlin International Film Festival. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
  5. ^ Christine (June 4, 2011). "UPDATE: 'Jayne Mansfield's Car' set to shoot in Cedartown, GA, Extras Needed". On Location Vacations. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Staff Reports (June 24, 2011). "Movie crew to film in Troup". LaGrange Daily News. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  7. ^ Varela, Anna (July 5, 2011). "Billy Bob Thornton, Kevin Bacon Shoot Film in Decatur". Decatur-Avondale Estates Patch. Patch Media. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
  8. ^ Chadwick, Will (June 15, 2011). "Robert Duvall cast in Billy Bob Thornton's film Jayne Mansfield's Car". We Got This Covered. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  9. ^ Radish, Christina (September 14, 2013). "Billy Bob Thornton Talks JAYNE MANSFIELD'S CAR, Getting Back in the Director's Chair, BAD SANTA 2, FX's FARGO Miniseries, and More". Collider. Complex Media. Archived from the original on January 3, 2020. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  10. ^ "Jayne Mansfield's Car (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Archived from the original on October 4, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  11. ^ "Jayne Mansfield's Car Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 7, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  12. ^ Lumenick, Lou (September 13, 2013). "'Jayne Mansfield's Car' a wreck". New York Post. News Corp. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  13. ^ Macek III, J.C. (February 14, 2014). "'Jayne Mansfield's Car' at the Fringe of the Family". PopMatters. Archived from the original on October 8, 2020. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  14. ^ Schrager, Norm (September 26, 2013). "Jayne Mansfield's Car". Paste. Wolfgang's Vault. Archived from the original on October 8, 2020. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  15. ^ Duralde, Alonso (September 13, 2013). "'Jayne Mansfield's Car' Review: Overloaded Star Vehicle Tends to Drag". TheWrap. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  16. ^ Puig, Claudia (September 12, 2013). "Family Drama 'Jayne Mansfield's Car' stalls out". USA Today. Gannett. Archived from the original on November 9, 2019. Retrieved June 15, 2019.

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