45 user 15 critic

The Devil and Miss Jones (1941)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 11 April 1941 (USA)
A tycoon goes undercover to ferret out agitators at a department store, but gets involved in their lives instead.



Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
George (as S.Z. Sakall)
First Detective
Walter Kingsford ...
Charles Waldron ...
Edward McNamara ...
Police Sergeant
Tom Higgins


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


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 April 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le diable s'en mêle  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jean Arthur planned to remake the picture with her as the devil and the title "The Devil and Mr. Jones," but that project never materialized. See more »


During the beach scene, the people in the background change completely from shot to shot. However, the crowd in the opening shot of the beach scene is the same as the one in the final shot. See more »


Mary Jones: You... Benedict Arnold in sheep's clothing!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The foreword after the opening credits reads: Dear Richest Men in the World: We made up this character in the story, out of our own heads. It's nobody, really. The whole thing is make-believe. We'd feel awful if anyone was offended. Thank you, The Author, Director and Producer. P.S. Nobody sue. P.P.S. Please. See more »


Spoofed in Devil in Miss Jones (1973) See more »


The Blue Danube Waltz, Opus 314
(1867) (uncredited)
Written by Johann Strauss
Played aboard ship at the end and danced by Merrick and 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.

30 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The economics of running a department store parillamilt
Brilliantly acted comedy! DS3520
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great movie for a remake bsantosu
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