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The Devil and Miss Jones (1941)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  11 April 1941 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 2,403 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 15 critic

A tycoon goes undercover to ferret out agitators at a department store, but gets involved in their lives instead.

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Title: The Devil and Miss Jones (1941)

The Devil and Miss Jones (1941) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Joe
...
Merrick
...
Hooper
...
Elizabeth
...
George (as S.Z. Sakall)
...
First Detective
Walter Kingsford ...
Allison
Montagu Love ...
Harrison
Richard Carle ...
Oliver
Charles Waldron ...
Needles
...
Withers
Edward McNamara ...
Police Sergeant
Robert Emmett Keane ...
Tom Higgins
Florence Bates ...
Customer
Edit

Storyline

Department store owner J.P. Merrick finds that several of his employees are unionizing to get more money and better working conditions. In order to find out who the organizers are, he gets a job at the store as a shoe salesman. Not realizing his true identity, he's befriended by Mary Jones and Joe O'Brien, the two ringleaders, and Elizabeth Ellis, a charming older woman with whom he develops a romance. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 April 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le diable s'en mêle  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on June 7, 1943 with Charles Coburn reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

The photo in the newspaper shows the storefront and you can clearly see, in two places, the name of the store is Neeley's. Minutes later, on Detective Higgins's note from the store's personnel head has the store name as Neely's. See more »

Quotes

First Policeman: When they start recitin' the Constitution, watch out!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Jean Arthur's head is shown wearing a halo with a clouded sky behind her (Heaven-like), she then turns to her right and blows. The scene changes to one of Charles Coburn's head shown with a dark shadow and flames behind him (Hellish), he looks to his left and grimaces. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Smallville: Zero (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played aboard ship at the end and sung by the employees.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Labor Day Sale
5 February 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Norman Krasna, was one of the best screen writers in the movies of the period. Sam Wood shows his ability to direct this excellent cast in one of the most satisfying comedies about the distinctions between the moneyed classes and the working stiffs they employed.

If you haven't seen the film, please stop reading now.

J.P. Merrick, is a millionaire who has investments all over New York. It is to his amazement he sees himself burned in effigy in front of the department store he has forgotten he owns. Merrick, like all people in business don't want to appear to be exploiting the workers, but this is too much! He must put an end to it.

In disguising himself as a salesman, he goes directly where the problem seems to be coming from, the shoe department. There he meets Mary Jones, who immediately feels Tom Higgins, his assumed name, is a man that is going through a rough time in his life. Mary feels pity when she realizes he doesn't know a thing about salesmanship.

In spite of everything going bad for him as a shoe salesman, Tom sticks to his new persona. He only meets kindness from all the people he is trying to fire. Merrick, by the end of the first full day at the store feels the strain of being on his feet all the time; we watch him soaking his feet in hot water, aided by his butler, George. In the process of gaining knowledge about the trouble makers, Merrick becomes human. He gets to realize how wrong he has been about a life he has lived so alienated from.

"The Devil and Miss Jones" is a movie that will delight anyone wishing to have fun. Of course, this is a film that depends totally in the two principals, Jean Arthur, who plays Mary Jones, and Charles Coburn, who as J.P Merrick/Tom Higgins shows why they were about the best actors working in the cinema in the 30s and 40s in Hollywood. Not only did they bring such class to whatever they played, but they are totally convincing. Ms. Arthur was a natural and so was Mr. Coburn.

The rest of the cast is extraordinary. A young Robert Cummings is perfect in his role as the union man. Spring Byinton, an actress that appeared in many films, is a charming Elizabeth, the woman that steals Merrick/Higgins heart. In her first scene with Mr. Coburn, she sits in the park bench to have lunch and he has nothing to eat. She gives him one of her tuna popovers and clarifies for him she paid 12 cents for the can! What times! In minor roles, S. Z. Sakall is George, the loyal butler. Mr. Sakall is a joy to watch, no matter what picture, or what character he is playing. Also, Edmund Gwenn, who probably stayed behind to played Santa Claus for the store, makes an incredible Hooper, the man in charge of the shoe department.

Thanks to Sam Wood's inspired direction this is a film that will not cease to please.


25 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The economics of running a department store parillamilt
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Brilliantly acted comedy! DS3520
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