The Wayward Bus (1957)

Jayne Mansfield and Joan Collins in the same movie? My dreams do come true.

Joan is Alice Chicoy, the owner of a restaurant that likes her booze. Her husband Johnny (Rick Jason, The Witch Who Came from the Sea) owns a bus that is falling to pieces. She’s unhappy with life, so she determines that she needs to leave her husband.

Meanwhile, Camille Oakes (Mansfield) is a stripper on her way to Mexico and falling for a salesman (Dan Dailey, who most often worked in musicals).

All of their lives — and others — will come together on that falling apart bus as it makes its way through the California mountains. Dolores Michaels plays a passenger that makes a pass at Johnny in a scene that eclipses the sexiness of the two female leads, but this movie really showcases Mansfield’s ability as any actress.

Actually that scene was so hot — some compared it to Jane Russell’s The Outlaw — that two different versions were shot by director Victor Vicas, who was trying to make a high brow film — this is based on the John Steinbeck novel — but for shredded by critics.

This is kind of, sort of Jayne’s version of Bus Stop, which her rival Marilyn Monroe made a year before. The difference is that 20th Century Fox spent $3 million on Monroe and made her film in color. This was a $1.5 million black and white film that barely made its money back, while Monroe’s film went on to be a major success.

You can watch this on YouTube.

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