The Devil and Miss Jones (1941)
The Devil and Miss Jones (1941)
The Devil and Miss Jones Photos
as John P. Merrick
as Mary Jones
as Joe O'Brien
as Elizabeth Ellis
as 1st Detective
as Police Sergeant
as Tom Higgins
as 2nd Detective
as Sally (Little Girl)
as 1st Policeman
as 2nd Policeman
Critic Reviews for The Devil and Miss Jones
Delightful comedy about low paid employees trying to organize a labor union.
Audience Reviews for The Devil and Miss Jones
Talk about your hidden treasures! This film is under the radar for one reason only: character actors Charles Coburn and Spring Byington step from behind the shadow of the leads and take a bite out of the script themselves, and man, what a bite. Not to say that Jean Arthur and Robert Cummings don't do their part, because they do, but the emphasis here is on the old folks for a change, and its a refreshing change. There's also a scene on Coney Island, back when it was the shizzle, and its a wonderful scene for warmly placing you there in the midst of a steaming humanity all trying to cool off. There's a Caprasque story impetus about the problems of the rich versus the poor, along with some liberal solutions to those problems, but what's really nice is about watching folks who are past redemption finding it at the most unexpected time of life. Hope for everyone here. Too bad its only a movie.
A very cool movie, I think all our corporation owners and top people should follow the main character's example in this movie. I highly recommend this film.
John P. Merrick (Charles Coburn), a bigtime businessman (the "richest man in the world") is upset that the employees of one of his "small holdings" (a department store) are burning him in effagy, and wants to get to the bottom of things. Rather than sending in a private detective to infiltrate the organizers, he decides to get to investigate the situation himself. Rather than the group of lazy rabble-rousers he expected to find, he's instead greeted by a group of caring and well-meaning individuals who look out for one another. It's something a bit foreign to him, this concept of people liking one another. He's especially bowled over by Miss Jones, an almost saintly figure in comparison to the miserly board members he's used to associating with. Mary Jones (Jean Arthur) seems to be a friend to everyone in the department store, and, under the mistaken impression that Mr. Merrick is a down-and-out tramp who's just found a job, is quick to offer him lots of helpful advice. As Merrick gets a firsthand look at the sort of treatment the average worker gets from the supervisors, he makes little notes in a notebook of DOOM for those who treat him cruelly. Things get complicated when he finds out the chief rabble-rouser is none other than Miss Jones own boyfriend. It's really amazing how quickly Mr. Merrick gets into the persona of a common working man, almost immediately identifying with all the problems facing them (which is a huge jump from the way his character is introduced). As his moral change happens rather quickly, the rest of the movie is sort of a "secret identity" type caper, where Mr. Merrick is constantly on the verge of being discovered. "A madcap comedy of errors", I suppose is the term. While Jean Arthur's charming performance really shines, it's famous character actor Charles Coburn makes this film great. Coburn (1877-1961), who didn't appear in film until the age of 56, also had roles in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and Howard Hawks' "Monkey Business". I don't think he was ever finer than he was here.
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