It Happened to Jane (1959) - Rotten Tomatoes

It Happened to Jane (1959)

It Happened to Jane (1959)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

It Happened to Jane Photos

Movie Info

In this comedy, the owner of a lobstery in New England clashes with a railroad magnate after he delivers a shipment of dead crustaceans and she takes him to court to sue. She enlists the aide of a good friend, hires an attorney, and eventually wins.
Classics , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Sony Pictures Entertainment

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Doris Day
as Jane Osgood
Jack Lemmon
as George Denham
Ernie Kovacs
as Harry Foster Malone
Steve Forrest
as Lawrence Clay 'Larry' Hall
Teddy Rooney
as Billy Osgood
Russ Brown
as Uncle Otis
Walter Greaza
as Crawford Sloan
Parker Fennelly
as Homer Bean
Philip Coolidge
as Wilbur Peterson
Mary Wickes
as Matilda Runyon
Max Showalter
as Selwyn Harris
John Cecil Holm
as Aaron Caldwell
Gina Gillespie
as Betty Osgood
Dick Crockett
as Clarence Runyon
Bob Paige
as Himself
Dave Garroway
as Himself
Garry Moore
as Himself
Bill Cullen
as Himself
Jayne Meadows
as Herself
Harry Morgan
as Himself
Betsy Palmer
as Herself
Steve McCormick
as TV Newsman
Gene Rayburn
as Himself
Bess Myerson
as Herself
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for It Happened to Jane

All Critics (2)

An amiable but stiff populist comedy that should have been funnier since it starred the talented Doris Day, Jack Lemon and Ernie Kovaks.

Full Review… | January 27, 2009
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A likeable cast just can't salvage this utterly inconsequential romantic comedy...

Full Review… | February 26, 2005
Reel Film Reviews

Audience Reviews for It Happened to Jane

There would have been a time when I would have found this corny and predictable but the message in Jack Lemmon's town hall speech could not be more timely - and simple and true. In a time where every news story relates another big business coup against heartland America, 'It Happened to Jane' gives us a bit of hope that maybe David could still beat Goliath. The goliaths of the world have power, media, secrecy and government controlled to a science, it seems impossible to stand up for the principles that once motivated this country. Indeed with the sly introduction of genetically-engineered crops, out-sourced jobs, hormone-enriched meat and fish, remotely manipulated bank loans and role models presented not for their values but for their ability to attract the largest, lowest common denominator, the average American has a tough time discerning quality from what should be a simple process. 'It Happened to Jane' may simplify things a bit, but it recognizes the machinery that can thwart an honest person who does not try to second guess everyone else. That person is Jack Lemmon's character, George Denhan, not Doris Day's Jane. He is the unglamorous good guy who misses his chance with the girl, not through not noticing her but by not appearing as the rugged take-what-I want he-man. He is the honest, reliable, very intelligent, creative man who lives in the present, volunteering for good causes and ignoring the cheap lure of instant celebrity. He is the one who, when all seems lost, chooses not to give in and follow the easiest expedient in the moment, but stands true to his ideals, a quality that allows him to find a solution when facing the impossible. He has the courage of his convictions. Day and Lemmon have an interesting chemistry on-screen. There is a spark but it is closer to real life where true love can still exist even burdened by everyday obligations, children and differences of opinion. While not perfect, 'It Happened to Jane' is well worth a viewing.

Regina Mcilvaine
Regina Mcilvaine

Doris is full of pluck and moxie fighting a big corporate jerk who actually seems unhinged in his singular quest to squash the hard working widow Jane. Jack is the earnest lawyer who has loved her since childhood. Together they make a wonderful pair as they go through no end of complications that drive them apart and united them again. Charming comedy was an inexplicable failure on its initial release probably in large part because of that atrocious title. It's re-release title of Twinkle and Shine was hardly an improvement, why they didn't stick with the initial title of That Jane from Maine which would have fit it perfectly is a mystery. Be that as it may this is a cute family comedy with wonderful location shooting and high production values as well as a super supporting cast.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Credit where credit is due: altho Day was for middle American women (wholesome, virginal yet courageous - here's she's got 3 children and yet blushes when approached for more than simply dinner - and plucky, dammit, plucky) what John Wayne may've symbolised for their male counterparts ("we're Americans, dammit, and its a small world after all!")and so there are many, many scenes patronising the audience, at least this piece moves quickly enough to escape contempt.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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